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Best Practice Report Comments

Discussion in 'English' started by adam_sea, Dec 4, 2008.

  1. Hi All,

    Finally!!!! I'll be out into the real world!!
    Feeling excited but anxious at the same time about my first year of
    teaching next year! I've heard how demanding first year can be!! I've
    looked into lesson plans and feel OK about it but I'm soooo anxious
    about report writing...worried about how horrible some parents might be
    and I dont want my first report feedback from my supervisor to be a
    nasty one! I have been comparing report comments and confused which is
    the best style of report comment (if there is one) expected by parents,
    Principals etc etc...

    Given that you all probably have a tonne of teaching experience, I would appreciate any comments on the best-practice reports.

    written 3 comments for a Year 4 student in English (the name is an
    alias). Could you tell me which is better and why???? And perhaps what
    is wrong with the others. Be brutally honest if you must!!!! I rather
    make the mistake now!!

    Comment 1:
    Sam has worked very hard this year and has continued to make excellent
    progress in all areas of English. He reads independently, and is
    developing stamina as a reader, tackling more demanding texts with
    confidence and enjoyment. Same is keen to use and read from simple
    reference books for topic work, and is able to read a range of texts
    fluently and accurately. Sam can write in sequences of whole sentences,
    using some capital letters and full stops. He is able to communicate
    meaning and interest in different forms of writing. He is able to talk,
    listen, ask and answer questions on topics which have been studied
    within a group.

    Comment 2:
    Sam is a cooperative and self-reliant student, who works industriously
    in all class activities. He participates in class discussions and is
    able to confidently give an opinion and justify his point of view on a
    topic, film or book. Sam reads for enjoyment and is able to make
    connections between different parts of the text such as the beginning
    and the end. Sam shows confidence in developing and expressing his
    point of views when writing, justifying it with appropriate arguments.
    He is learning to proof read his writing through checking for spelling
    and grammatical errors. Sam can improve by using a wider and more
    interesting vocabulary.

    Comment 3:
    Sam is currently working within national expectations in literacy and
    he is improving steadily. He takes turns during conversation with a
    small group, and has explored characters and stories through role-play.
    Sam uses more pace when retelling incidents and gives direct responses
    to questions. He thinks about where a word is used within a sentence to
    work out what it means and knows a growing number of phonic sounds,
    using these more successfully in her reading. He knows that italics
    indicate important words in a sentence and gives answers to obvious
    questions about the setting of a story. In his written work, he can
    produce a simple story using pictures to help him, and he shows some
    control over word order. He spells some shorter words correctly and
    tries to use simple punctuation, although he is still learning exactly
    where this should be placed. His handwriting is more controlled and he
    now more often forms her letters in the correct fashion.

    Thanks for your help


  2. manc

    manc New commenter

    These seem fine to me, although very comment-banky, and not really saying what strengths weaknesses are.

    Your examples highlight the problem with comment banks - pronoun confusion (agghh!)

  3. They get the basics across but are rather impersonal (and I HATE that comment about "working within national standards" or whatever it was - can't see your post) - that's awful! The bottom line is parents want to know what their strengths/weaknesses are, what their standard of work is like, what their behaviour is like and what they can do to improve. Don't be afraid to say the negative stuff - I quite often write comments like "X's behaviour is often attention-seeking and silly, and this is impacting on the quality of his work and that of his classmates. When told to concentrate, he frequently responds in a rude or inappropriate manner". Sometimes you need to call a spade a spade. My advice would be to forget the comment banks and go with your gut instinct for each child.
  4. I was under the impression that report comments had to have a positive spin on it - like having to be politically correct. So instead of saying "attention seeking and silly", you might replace it with "easily distracted and needs to be more productive in class." Although I am not sure if this.
    I've heard that other schools are using programs that have comment banks. We don't but are thinking of it. How wide spread is the use of comment banks? Given this, does it mean that all the schools/teachers using these banks are being lazy or acting in an unprofessional manner.
    Furthermore, what is the government's (department's) stance on this?

  5. GloriaSunshine

    GloriaSunshine New commenter

    As you say in EVERY one of your posts.

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