Julie’s Step by Step Report Writing Blueprint

At this busy time of the year for teachers, we would like to share some tips and tactics for your Smart Words customers for your classroom. We hope you’ll find these useful.

Reports are the hot topic in our staffroom. Are they at your school? Do you have a process that lets you whizz through the reports, and helps you to write thoughtful and helpful comments that will help your students?

After 30 years, I’ve built a process that works really well for me, and I’ve outlined it below for you.

Julie’s Step by Step Report Writing Blueprint:

  1. Double check the Australian Curriculum
    I want to check that I’m on track and make sure that I’m covering all the important bases. This keeps me focussed on what is important.
  2. Collate results collected over the semester
    Photocopy them so you can scribble on them.  Highlight any concerns.
  3. Brainstorm words for each child
    Jot down words next to each child’s name. e.g. phonetic spelling, edits (rubs out a lot), appeals.
  4. Brainstorm with other educators
    We go through each child and I take notes. I usually ask ‘Tell me about Johnny’s spelling’.  This way I get input from others, and can form a bigger picture of the child.
  5. Write for the parent
    When I start writing, I picture the parent at home reading the report. I drop the ‘teacher talk’ and try to write for them.
  6. Write the positives
    Try to write positively and if you have to say something negative make sure you end with something good and always discuss a problem with the parent before reports go out.
  7. Double check with the other educators
    After I’ve written the first draft of comments, I ask the other people who work with the child, to have a run through and see if I’m on the right path
  8. Wait 3 days
    I can get so deep into report writing, that the comments start to blend. I finish up all the children’s reports, then I wait 3 days. It gives me a chance to come back and look at them again with fresh eyes.
  9. Share with a Teaching Partner
    I show the reports to my teaching partner. They comment and I edit where appropriate.
  10. Principal’s final edit
    Our principal will pick up any ‘teacher speak’ that doesn’t communicate effectively for the parents. She’ll also edit sentence structures that aren’t quite right, and ask me to remove superfluous words.

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