Day 57 (of 184) shifting from report cards to communicating student learning

Day 57 (of 184) shifting from report cards to communicating student learning

7 years ago I turned in a sample report card to my principal that I knew he would like, but not sign off on. I was right on both counts – but he felt the school district (and possibly the ministry and parents) wouldn’t be ready for: pictures of student work in lieu of written comments…..

Today, as a principal myself, I know that I am ready, many on my staff is ready (and many in the ministry and most of my parents) are ready to embrace what is evolving into an ePortfolio of student learning.

We are building on the work being done by another elementary and supported by the ministry as a catalyst(?) to encourage/support the shift coming to BC education through the new school curriculum.

But we aren introducing our reporting strategies gently:
It will be voluntary by each teacher.
It will be communicated to each parent that they are part of the feedback loop.
Term 1 will have a traditional report card AND a mock-up of what an ePortfolio may look like, while being aware that each portfolio may/should look different.

We are excited to share student work in their portfolios – especially the learning journey, knowing who the student is. Including samples of complete & incomplete work along with samples showing ‘works in progress’.

I’m not thinking or saying this will be easy (or even easier than traditional report cards) but I’m saying it’s going to be different – because school today IS different than when I was a student but the reporting methodologies aren’t.

Letter grades and report cards (as we know them) were experimented first in North America in the late 19th century and There is some indication that Herbert Mumford, the Illinois professor who proposed a grading system for beef in 1902 (schools grades & beef?) , took his inspiration from the educators. Surely we can and should be doing different.

I’m glad my school is taking (and being supported to) the next step in communicating student learning differently.

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About technolandy

Educator in BCs Sunny Shuswap Pushing 'technologization' in education: blending technology and curriculum seamlessly. Advocate for better understanding of Anxiety in Education (and use of self-regulation) Utilizing ePortfolios & Descriptive Feedback
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