As part of the TeachThought January Blog Challenge today’s prompt is:

How would you choose to report progress out to children and parents? 

I was not going to post on this topic, I felt too far removed from this since I am five years out of the classroom. However, another #ReflectiveTeacher brought this back to my attention with Susan’s comments on the immediacy of student measurements to their parents.
That comment about the immediately availability of grades to parents helped me make a connection. The context which grades immediately available provides is that it makes clear the environment, the setting within which the student completed/did not complete successfully the item. Parents are able to apply everything they understand about their child in that point isn’t time to the grade/outcome. The context which I most enjoyed sharing with the home was the one page narrative per nine weeks I sent home when I taught 5th grade. In 1998 and 1999 real-time grades were not a reality. However, the context I enjoyed sharing were the anticipated talking points of a parent conference for that grading period. I would talk about each content area, themes for that period and how well the student was able to demonstrate understanding of those ideas or where they needed to improve. My school was a magnet school and had a high population of families which would not be available during traditional conferencing times. When they were available the preferred format as a school was a student-led conference. So in hindsight, what I provided parents were Cliff’s Notes to their student’s progress relative to the Sunshine State Standards. I provided them context.