Hi! This is my first post to the list, but I've just finished writing 260
report cards, and thought I'd my two cents as introduction. I've also built
up a database of comments and will cut and paste in a similar fashion as
Linda does: average girl, etc. The gifted and don't-wanna-be-there's are
easy to write because they come straight from the heart. The average ones
are the hardest.
This term, I wrote myself a rubric for what I wanted to see achieved, (this
term, it was additive sculpture) and used that as a basis for the comments,
so that even "average girl" would be slightly different for each child; as
one may have strengths in contributing to class discussion while another may
be the star of clean-up. Since half my classes are Montessori, the children
aren't graded per se, but are measured against themselves in the areas of
focus and concentration; process and product (although I avoid dealing with
product as far as possible, reminding myself that I could be failing a
Picasso)knowledge; and participation. I added creative problem solving
abilities (because that's important to me).
So with a few well-crafted sentences as the basis of the rubric and a range
from rarely; sometimes; usually and always; I found that this reporting
season's comments were a pretty good reflection of the child in the art
room. It helped to have their yearbook pictures handy; and to double check
any siblings reports to make sure they weren't identical. And yes, the
digital camera sure was handy for really personalizing some of them.
My grade one art teacher failed me; and I believe I spend my life in the art
room making sure no child suffers the same fate.