I've been inspired by a few recent friends' posts to get involved with Ruth Ayers' Celebrate Link Up, #celebratelu.
Today I am trying to celebrate ... report cards.
Traditionally, our school's report cards are due right after the Memorial Day weekend. Teachers are given Friday off as our "work day" for writing reports, and kids and families get a four-day holiday weekend. But it also tends to mean that we teachers get four days of work and a no-day holiday weekend.
Report card writing is tough. It is hard to condense a quarter or a semester's worth of learning and discovering and turn it into a few tidy paragraphs and a checklist or two. It feels inadequate. It's hard to imagine that a parent or a child will be able to look at a score of 3 or a sentence about revision and reconstruct the hours of time spent reading student work or the time spent in school celebrating accomplishments big and small.
I have been trying to push myself to remember the bright sides of report card writing, of this process of review and reportage. I have had many moments of laughter while rereading student journals and remembering a particular description or turn of phrase. I love the joy that third graders find in the world around them and the honest ways that they share their inner thoughts and feelings.
Here are a few quick favorites ...
From a brainstorm for a persuasive essay on reading:
I think reading is really fun. If I'm reading a really good book, then sometimes I just get so wrapped up in it that I can't hear anything around me, nor can I concentrate on anything else, making the exception of kicking the chair behind me ...
Introductory paragraph to a formal research report (or in which I remember the perils of a lack of authentic audience):
Hungary is a very interesting place. Katie will read about Hungary’s Geography, People, and Food.
Opening paragraph to a literary essay:
I chose to do “Slower than the Rest” because I have felt slow learning things but then once I learn it I feel super fast about it. I like to read stories with main characters like me so I learn how to fix my problems, (sadly none of the problems in these books involve video games).
How do you find joy in report card writing?