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Creating a dialogue about what it’s like to be a new teacher.

The Rookie Teacher



It’s that time again, Ontario Teachers! 0

Posted on January 17, 2015 by Natasha

4TIPS FOR WRITING REPORT CARDS

That’s right. Time to get out the assessment and evaluation binders, your anecdotal notes, observation records, and conference guides.  Term 1 is coming to an end here in Ontario, and elementary teachers are going to be hard at work planning and prepping the school day and writing report cards.

This means taking a good look at our kids. How they are progressing in all their academics. But more importantly, their Learning Skills.  Since September, how have they been developing these life long learning skills? From organization to self-regulation, responsibility to collaboration, independent work to initiative, it’s our job to evaluate.

I must admit, this time of year sometimes brings me to an odd place, where I contemplate how we assess — I often find it hard to assign ONE final grade, ONE final “E”, “G”, “S”, or “N.” But alas, it’s our job.

On top of an evaluation, our comments are what truly paint a picture of each student and give families a look into life in Kindergarten to Grade 8.

Thankfully, there are strategies, tips, and tricks to thrive
during report card writing time as a Rookie:

  1. Ask for help. Get in touch with a mentor, teaching partner, grade or division team and collaborate. We talk to our kids about the power of collaboration – so let’s not only talk the talk, but walk the walk. Most experience teachers will have a comment bank that can be tweaked or edited to reflect the current school year. If not, starting from scratch with a team is also an option – after all, 2 heads are better than 1.
  2. Reach out to your PLN (i.e., Ask for help 2.0). If you are involved in NTIP, Facebook groups, or have contacts in the industry – get in touch with them. They can either provide you with some help first hand, or encourage you through this time of writing.
  3. Check for school board or ministry documents. Each year, my school board publishes a great”Guide to Creating Meaningful Report Card Comments.” In this document, teachers are informed about formatting, qualifiers, language, and balancing Strengths & Next Steps.
  4. Search Online. There are other guides available out there.  About a year ago, I came across a site called Student Evaluator. “The Student Evaluator was created by teachers, for teachers. An idea that began over 5 years ago, the Student Evaluator has brought together a team of teachers, learning advisers, web design specialists, and software engineers to create an evaluation tool for teachers. We realized that there had to be a better and more efficient way to accurately assess and create report cards for our students, and so we built software to do just that.” I have used their service to help me create meaningful comments.  


Until the end of January, Student Evaluator is offering our
readers a 20% discount by using the code JAN15.
 

Student Evaluator

Happy Writing, Rookie!
Reach out to the Rookie Teacher Team if you need

someone to talk to about Report Cards or any other EduQuestion.

Comment below, join us on Facebook.com/TheRookieTeacher, or send us
a Tweet @RookieTeacherCA & sign up for our Newsletter!

 

 

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A Rookie Introduction: Our Newest Contributor…Allison Dyjach 0

Posted on September 11, 2014 by Allison Dyjach

Hello there! My name is Allison Dyjach and I am in the process of completing my Bachelor of Education in the Primary-Junior stream at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario. Although teaching wasn’t the original career path that I had in mind several years ago, working with children has always been a passion of mine. Throughout my teen years I volunteered at day camps being run at church and worked at a summer camp for several years. I recently completed my Bachelor of Applied Science at the University of Guelph in Child, Youth, and Family Studies with a minor in Psychology. Over my four years at Guelph, I was able to explore several aspects of child development and learning, get some experience working with many different populations of children and teens, and eventually discovered that I have a love of education and teaching—which led to me to pursue a Bachelor of Education degree.

Allison Dyjach

Some specific interests of mine, based on my experiences in the education field, include teaching mathematics, special education, working with English Language Learners, and using music in the classroom. Outside of the classroom, a few of my hobbies include all things music (singing, playing guitar, musical theatre, concerts and shows…I love it all!), writing, exploring nature, cooking, and social media. You can follow me on Twitter @AllisonDyjach to see what I’m up to!

Over the next eight months, I hope to provide you with some commentary, insights, and stories from my “Teacher’s College Experience!” For those of you interested in joining the teaching profession or currently completing a degree in education, perhaps I can be a support to you as you go through this journey, and you can in turn share your thoughts with me. After all, I am not an expert by any means; I would love to hear what some of your experiences and questions are as well. And for those of you who are past the formal education stage of your lives, I’m hoping these words can prompt you to either reflect back on some of the learning you did during your BEd days, share your wisdom with a “Rookie, Rookie Teacher” like me, or just sit back and listen to some of the memories, quotations, and resources that are sparking my attention as I move through the process of learning what it takes to stand on the other side of the desk.

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Scratching the Surface of Online Collaboration 2

Posted on August 10, 2012 by Natasha

Online collaboration is such a vast subject that I’m having difficulty beginning this blog post.  I supposed I should start with the social media I use most often in education: twitter & pinterest.  Here we go…

Twitter by Webdesigner Depot, via IconFinder

Twitter by Webdesigner Depot, via IconFinder

1. Twitter: Wow, what a powerful form of social media and online collaboration!

I was first introduced to twitter back in ’09 when my friend @zoic suggested it.  At the time, I had no idea just how engaging twitter would become.  I learned the lingo pretty quickly: following, follower, 140Characters, @reply, #hashtag, #FF, DM, HootSuite, TweetDeck, etc.  Then I started my year at the faculty of education where all BEd students were encouraged to sign up for Twitter (actually, it was a prerequisite for the course, thanks to @zbpipe & #brocktechies).  We started following other educators, administrators, boards of education, like minded people who believed in the same philosophies of education as we did.  I experimented with Twitter Chats and watched in on some live web presentations.

Since then I have been able to collaborate with some great educators, we share resources, articles, a friendly hello, and I still participate in some useful chats…such as #ntchat.  This past Wednesday was my first co-mod with host Lisa Dabbs (who may be familiar thanks to The Lounge Episode 9: Long Range Planning) and Remind101.com.  Here’s what Remind101 had to say about the experience: Until You Try a Twitter Chat, You Haven’t Lived.

Ilovepins by Sneh Roy, via IconFinder

Ilovepins by Sneh Roy, via IconFinder

2. Pinterest: This year I found myself checking Pinterest before Google when searching for lesson plan ideas.  There are so many creative and talented teachers who are very willing to share their ideas and support new teachers.  I was able to come across some fantastic ideas to enhance my lessons on inferencing.  There were several anchor charts and activities – and all of them extremely creative (which helps to get my creative juices flowing).

Check out my pinboards and our Rookie Teacher Collab board (where, at the time of this post we sit at 1607 followers and 294 pins).

 

What about you? What are your favourite online collaboration sites? Tools? Let us know – comment below or join the discussion on facebook.com/TheRookieTeacher and twitter.com/TheRookieTeacher.

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