Save some time with report cards

If you are like me: report cards take forever for write. Time I just don’t have. Having two little kids at home I can’t just lock myself in a room and write report cards. Trust me I have tried. They both end up in the room colouring on my assessment pages. Last year I returned from maternity leave and quickly had to write report cards. I again did not have the time that I really needed to write these report cards. I needed help. What normally takes me the most time was the learning skills. I typically don’t use a comment bank but like to write personalized comments. But after about the 20th report card comment they all sound the same. I came across a program which was Ontario based to help me with this. You can use it to save some time with report cards too.

Plus it was also recommended to me by a friend Sidney from Teaching is a Gift. So I decided to try it. AMAZING!! I was quickly done my learning skills comments not in a week using up all of my evening but in a day and a half. That time is valuable, and I got it back. Another great part was that the comments were actually unique. It gave me phrases that were combined together that fit the kids in a way that I creatively could not come up with that type of variety. Sure I had to generate a comment that fit a couple of times before it really fit and I would have to do some slight editing but that does not take nearly as much time as writing the comments myself.

The creator of Student Evaluator was trying to spread the word of this awesome site and asked if I would share with you how I use this product to save me time.  Since I already tell everyone I know around report card time I thought I would also share this awesome program with you too.  Thanks John for extending my trial so now I am covered with this program to 2017 since I already renewed for this year to make sure I was covered for this round of report cards.

How it works

First you sign up. Sure it costs money but your time is more valuable then the cost of this program.  My two little princesses enjoy actually seeing me during report card season.
Next you watch the video tutorial or read some of the support documents to help you get a feel for how the program works. This takes very little time but is well worth your time at getting to know the program. Even though it is very easy and simple to use. Also set up your profile and information.
Finally it is time to begin. You add your student. You choose the learning skills you are commenting on for this report and rate them on three areas within that learning skill. Just like filling out a rubric. You add your opening and closing sentences. Once you have completed your rubric/checklist. You click generate. This will generate a comment for you. Read through it if it is a good fit keep it. If not regenerate it. Once you are happy with it you can edit the comment to add some examples for each student to make it more personal.
Now you may worry that this feels like cheating. That we should write every word ourselves. This program is no different from making your own comment bank the difference is that they have a much larger comment bank of comments and the generate the matching comment based on the ratings that you provide. Trust me it sounds more personal than writing them myself, because I am not that creative after the tenth or twentieth report.
Now it is not perfect. Nothing a computer writes would be. You do need to edit your comments and make sure they fit the kids.  But you can regenerate your comment until you find one that fits sometimes this is not necessary but other times I regenerate a few times before it fits well.  They also have comments for k-3 and 4-8. This is a nuisance for junior teachers because depending on the kids either comment bank might be more appropriate. I know they are working on more comments so hopefully this will be added. However the comments are still very usable even the way they are you may just need to generate the content more times for some kids.

Overall this saves you time, and stress during this busy season.  Get your time back and use this program. Check it out here 

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