As an educator for preschool-age children you will have the opportunity to formally evaluate your students several times a year and report your findings. This is a valuable tool for you, your students and their parents. If you are a part of a public organisation you probably have a format to follow, but if you are teaching in a private preschool you may have to produce your own reporting materials. For both situations, it is important to remember a few tips to make the reporting positive, successful and informative.
Before sending report cards out for the first time during the year, make a point to visit with your students' parent or guardian. This gives them a chance to meet you and to speak with you concerning the student. This is your chance to make a positive impression and to open the doors of communication. Then, when you send report cards home, parents will feel comfortable in approaching you with any feedback they have.
Evaluation Key & Grid
Organization in reporting is very important. The reader will want an easy to read report card with charts and straightforward comments. Having a key at the top of the paper to explain marks will help. For example, you could list skills and abilities (such as cutting with scissors or following directions) on the left hand side of the paper and assign a letter on the right. The letters might be represented as follows: E-Exceeds Expectations, S-Satisfactory, I-Needs Improvement, U-Unsatisfactory. For other skills you might just check a box or leave it blank depending on whether the child has mastered certain material such as shape recognition or colour identification.
Display of Skills
A helpful tool for parents or guardians is when they can view actual work that the student has completed. For example, you could attach a page that has been created solely for formal evaluation. It may have the beginning of a pattern drawn out and will have a space for the student to complete it or it may have four pictures and a spot for the child to circle the one that is different from the other three. No matter what pencil-and-paper work your students are working on, there should be a way to display it for parents and guardians to see for themselves.
The final thing to keep in mind when writing preschool report cards is that the children in your class are young and are learning each day. The primary education you are providing is optional and should be a place of encouragement and direction. Report cards should be free from critical comments and should have emphasis placed on the positive interactions and abilities of the child. Caregivers will want to know if there are things they can do to help the child, so any concerns should be expressed with care and kindness.