Cut Your Report Card Comment Writing Time in Half

By Megan Power on February 18, 2010


 
Does your "To Do" list look like this around report card time? Do you procrastinate or dread writing comments for your students' report cards because they take so long? If you would like to cut down on the time and frustration spent writing comments, take a look at this free program called Teachers Report Assistant. I have included two "how to" videos in this post to get you started.

The narrative comments section on report cards is an important parent communication piece. It is a place where you can explain in better detail what the numbers or letters on the report card might not. With that in mind, we as teachers know that we need to make sure this narrative piece is written well. This is where many teachers spend hours writing paragraphs for each of their students. It does not have to be that way any longer!

A few years ago I came across this wonderful free program called Teachers Report Assistant. Since using this program I have cut my comment writing time by more than half, yet still have quality comments to send home to my students’ parents. Take a look at this "video how to" using Jing to see how quickly I can write a child’s comments using this program.

If after watching the video you feel like you're ready to give this free program a try, then take a look at the "video how to" below using Jing where I take you through the steps of setting up your comment bank. It takes a little time to customize the program, but it will save you precious time and frustration for years to come. I continue to build on my comment bank each year which gives me a wonderful collection to choose from as I think about each of my students.

Here are a few good resources for you as you are building your comment bank:

Favorite Words, Phrases for Report Card Writers

Six Steps to Writing Thoughtful Report-Card Comments

Report-Card Writing Strategies for First-Timers

0439531365_lg 201 Just Right Words: Report Card Comments 


I would love to hear places where you find comments you use on your report cards as well as feedback on Teachers Report Assistant. I hope you love it as much as I do!

Comments

Hey Megan, your post is nicely written and it contains many good things for schooling students. I am glad to find your impressive way of writing the post and your videos is helpful for written comments. Now it's become easy for students to understand and implement the concept. Thanks for sharing the post.

Hi Megan,

I really like this program as it is a nice way to save and compile comments for later use. If people are looking for a web-based alternative to this, that's even more efficient and user-friendly, they should consider the site I created called Student Evaluator. Student Evaluator is a report card comment generator program that simply asks teachers to click on responses to a queestionnaire. After the questionnaire is finished, you simply enter a quick intro and concluding comment, and Student Evaluator creates your entire learning skills comment for you. It is intended primarily for Ontario teachers, but would work with teachers anywhere as it describes a students learning skills in the following: Self-Regulation, Initiative, Responsibility, Organization, Independent Work and Collaboration. Check out the website to see just how easy this program is to use.

Thanks from Ontario,
John Workman (teacher and webmaster)

Thanks Megan, It seems good for every teacher. Thanks for helping.

Is there a program out there similar to report card assistant that I can use with my Mac?

I have been searching around the internet looking for a similar program for Mac, but I haven't found anything yet. I am hopeful there is one out there because it is such an amazing time saving program. Let me know if you find one and I will continue to look. Smiles, Megan

Megan, I want to say Oh my goodness!!! what a help the report card program is. I can't wait until the summer to get those comments in better order. I did use it on this last report card and really it did cut my time in half for doing 32 report cards!!! Both english and spanish. I can hardly wait for the next one...not really! But it will be easier. thank you again for your great ideas. Shelley

Shelley, I am so excited that you tried it out. It really is such an easy way to write quality report card comments in a very short amount of time. Have fun organizing your comment bank and making this task easier for yourself! Smiles, Megan

This is amazing! I have struggled on writing report card for few years. It was hard for me to get better on writing comments! But I think I can save time and write better comments from now. Thank you Megan. I always get so much wonderful ideas from you!

Joy

Joy, Thank you so much for your sweet words. Report card writing is like its own genre of writing. It takes a while to be able to put our students progress and struggles into words that are positive and well writiten. I am sure you will find this program to be very helpful. I am working on my report card comments this weekend. This tool keeps it stress free and makes writing comments as painless as possible for me. Please let me know how much it cuts your writing time and your feelings after using it and share this tool with your colleagues. Smiles, Megan

I loved the teacher assistant tool, it is not compatible with my computer system. Is there any way to down this tool for mac system? Nancy Paulino

Nancy, I am so sorry that this is a PC software. I am in the process of searching around to see if there is a Mac version out there. I am sure there must be something like it. Smiles, Megan

Meagan, I went to the videos to see how this would work and I loved it. One question I have is how do you import the info into the actual report cards we have. We use easy grade pro at our school. Do you just copy and paste? Thank you. I love your ideas. Allie

Allie, I am so glad you liked the program. Once I got it all set it has saved me so much time. I have shared this program with colleagues over the years and they have had the same response.To import I just copy and paste them in my comment section online. Give it a try and let me know how it goes. Hopefully it will save you hours of time and frustration! Smiles, Megan

Megan, Is there anyway we can see what you wrote for the beginning of the year? Thank you, Alice

Alice, Thanks for your comment. My district actually does not do comments on the report cards in the beginning of the year so I do not have any. Take a look at some of the links I used in my post and that might help you. Let me know if you need more ideas. Smiles, Megan

Post a Comment
(Please sign in to leave a comment. Privacy Policy)
top
RSS Subscribe ButtonSign up to get these great teaching ideas delivered automatically.Subscribe now >