Report Card

Part 2 – How To Talk To Your Child About Their Report Card

Part 2 – How To Talk To Your Child About Their Report Card

How To Talk To Your Child About Their Report Card

In the second part of our series, “Report Cards: What Do They Really Mean,” we will discuss how to speak to your child about the marks they received on their report card. Students will be receiving their report cards any day now, and parents must understand what the marks mean and speak to their children about them. 

Many parents struggle with how to speak to a child who may have a gap in learning. They often don’t want to make the child feel bad for falling behind, so they tend to shy away from the situation. But this won’t help the child with the problem they may be facing. 

Find Some Quiet Time

If a child brings home a report card that indicates they may be struggling, a parent must address the mark. The best way to approach a child is by finding some quiet time where you can sit down with them one-on-one. You will want to give them your undivided attention, without any distractions, so try and set aside enough time to have a quiet, relaxed discussion. 

Find Some Quiet Time

Focus On Effort

It is important not to focus on the child’s marks on the report card but to focus on their effort and attitude instead. The teachers’ comments can provide a lot of insight into how the child performs and if they are limited in any way. Focusing on effort over achievement isn’t going to reduce their motivation to work hard. If a child is focused on trying their best and feels that their efforts are seen and valued, they are much more likely to be resilient learners. A child who is a resilient learner is more likely to challenge themselves and are more comfortable making mistakes.  

A child needs to understand that everyone is different, and we all struggle and excel in different areas. Try to avoid any comparisons between your child’s report card and a sibling or classmate’s report card. The focus should be on where they achieved well or greatly improved from their last report card. Siblings should be reminded that comparison is pointless because they have been graded on entirely different outcomes. 

Set Plans And Goals

Set Plans And Goals

If a child’s report card indicates an area of challenge, or a gap in learning, speak to them about using it as a way to plan a learning goal. Use their current report card as a baseline and then set an individual learning goal for the next term. 

It may be helpful to compare your child’s last report card to the current one to help them see their progress. Identify any areas that the child is still struggling and discuss why they may still be falling behind in that area. Be sure to praise any improvements made and their areas of growth. 

After making a comparison of the last report card, it can be helpful to set a plan to focus on the areas that may need attention. Along with your child, decide on steps they can take to progress towards their learning goal. These steps could include asking to meet with their teacher to discuss suggestions of ways to meet challenges. They could also set a weekly goal for a little extra study time or revision with your help. 

Have A Conversation With Their Teacher

It may also be helpful to have a conversation with your child’s teacher if they appear to be struggling. A parent-teacher conference can help clarify your child’s academic performance and overall experience at school. In a one-on-one conversation, teachers can give more detailed information about your child and offer suggestions on how they can improve in any areas that may be falling behind. This can be an excellent way for a parent to better understand how their child is performing in the classroom.  

At Dropkick Math, we believe that parent engagement is vital for a child’s success. By being actively involved and setting high expectations for your child, you can help guide them towards having high values towards their schoolwork. 

If your child is showing a gap in learning in their math skills, Dropkick Math can help. Through our fun and interactive programs, students can focus on the four pillars of math and get caught up to where they should be in their curriculum. Get started today by learning more about our programs.

Report Card

Part 1 – How To Read Your Child’s Report Card

Part 1 – How To Read Your Child’s Report Card

It is February, and that means that the 1st term report cards are just around the corner. At Dropkick Math, we believe it is crucial for parents to fully understand how to read the report card and decipher what the marks really mean. So, we have completed a two-part series for parents to refer to during report card time. This first article will focus on the marks on the report card and what they mean for your child. 

It is essential that parents understand that this year’s marks on your child’s report card may be hindered by gaps caused due to COVID and virtual learning. The pandemic reshaped Canadian society and disrupted more than a year of schooling, which has slowed progress in math for millions of Canadian students. 

Younger students saw some of the most significant declines, and educators are now left trying to help students catch up to pre-pandemic levels. So, when your child brings home their report card, remember that their grades are just a snapshot in time of where they are now and the direction in which they should be working towards for the end of the year. 

So, what does this mean for your child? 

How do you make sense of what the mark means, and what can you get out of the comment that your child’s teacher has provided?

Let’s break it down for you:

The Mark

If your child meets the curriculum goals set by the ministry in the new math curriculum, they will receive a mark in the B range or something in the 70s. Higher marks represent the notion that your child is consistently achieving the goals set by the ministry. 

But what about if the mark is below?

The grades reflected on your child’s report card are to help them understand how they are performing and where they can make improvements before getting their final mark of the year. So, if students are not doing well, it should be thought of as they haven’t got it “Yet”….as these curriculum goals are to be achieved by the end of the year.

A mark in the C (60s range) or D (50s range) means that your child has learning gaps and is experiencing difficulty meeting the goals set in the math curriculum. Now, these gaps are just that, missed learning that has created some misconceptions in your child’s education. It may be due to a variety of reasons including, an absence in an earlier grade or the result of missed learning due to COVID. Whatever the reason, your child has missed something that has and can continue to lead to problems as their education moves forward. 

The good news is, with the proper identification and effective teaching instruction, these misconceptions and learning gaps can be addressed and filled, helping your child move forward with new math learning. However, if left unchecked, these gaps can continue to grow and often end up creating a variety of math anxieties in your child’s future math education. 

What Do Letter Grades Mean

The Comment

All too often, parents pass over the comment provided with the mark. After all, “It is just a cookie-cutter” comment…right?

Some things can be pretty general in the comment provided by your child’s teacher, but there is also some helpful information if you know what you are looking for. 

Report card comments are often designed from an asset based lens, meaning the first part of the comment should list all the things that your child can do. It is essential to read this section to see if the teacher has provided some information about what your child might be able to do on a limited scale. 

The last part of the comment is also valuable as it identifies the ‘next step’ in your child’s learning or what things your child struggles with and should work on to help their overall math learning for the second term. Reading this comment allows a parent to understand better what their child did, what areas they were limited in, what they could do, and the areas they struggled with during the 1st term.

A report card can provide helpful insight into a student’s learning. If a child is showing a gap in learning, the report card can help a parent understand this gap and inform them where the child may be struggling. Effective teacher-parent-student communication is fundamental to student success. So, it is also a great idea to reach out to your child’s teacher for more in-depth information on how your child is performing if they appear to be struggling.  

If your child is experiencing a gap in learning, Dropkick Math has programs that can help get them back on track. Our tailored programs equip students with problem-solving skills that can help them for years to come. Get started today by learning more about our programs

Report Card

How to Speak with Your Child about Their Progress Report

How to Speak with Your Child about Their Progress Report

Chances are, your child will be bringing home a progress report over the next couple of weeks. This will be the first time for your child’s teacher to let you know where they see your child’s development regarding the standards set by the Ministry of Ontario. Usually, it gives you an idea of where your child is and what areas they need to work on as they work toward some actual marks in February.

When the progress reports are distributed, there are some common questions that parents often have about them such as:

  • What does this Progress Report mean? 
  • How does it help me better understand where my child is at? 
  • How do I talk to my child about it, so they also understand where they are at?

First, let’s look at what this Progress Report is and what it intends to do.

There are two main versions of the Elementary Progress Report Card:

  • Grades 1 to 6
  • Grades 7 and 8

All versions of the Elementary Progress Report Card are intended to show a student’s development of learning skills and work habits during the fall of the school year. Their general progress in working towards the achievement of the curriculum expectations in all subjects are also explained.

Three Options

The three options on the report card are “Progressing Well”, “Progressing Very Well” and “Progressing With Difficulty.”

“Progressing Very Well” means that students are meeting learning goals that are set by the teacher.

“Progressing Well” means that students are working toward meeting the learning goals that are set by the teacher

“Progressing With Difficulty” means that students are not moving toward meeting the learning goals set by the teacher.

You will see a lot of “Progressing Well” as it is a very general statement. Any child that is learning and working toward learning goals in the classroom will fit under this umbrella. This year, with the effects of COVID-19, teachers have been instructed to make the umbrella even larger, so even if children show gaps in their learning, but are still working toward learning in class, then they are still housed under the umbrella “Progressing Well”

“The Progressing With Difficulty” statement means that this student in this subject is still not making much progress in their learning. It is a red flag and should be addressed so that all involved can develop a plan to help improve your child’s education.

So, now that you have this information, what do you do with it, and how do you approach it with your child?

Generate a Conversation

It starts with generating a conversation with your child and addressing, without judgement, how they feel about the designation they received. Start by asking them about what each progressing statement means to them, then ask which ones they feel good about and why. This starts the conversation and gets your child focused on what they did well and what they feel good about.

Engaging with your child in this way can open the door to a discussion in what areas they feel they can improve. It is essential to word it in a way that emphasizes this is an area that they can improve on or that they still have learning to do here. This helps them to think about what they can improve on, not what they failed at. It helps to build a growth mindset in your child and get them to look at problems as solvable rather than hopeless.

Talking about your child’s learning progression is essential in opening up and sharing their feelings about school with you. The more they talk, the more trust is built between you and your child. The hardest part is to focus on the task and listen.

Listen to their thoughts and continue to ask questions. Be open and transparent, share your feelings with them and make sure they have a say in solutions and directions you want to take.

If your child appears to be struggling, it may be helpful to have a conversation with your child’s teacher. A parent-teacher conference can help clarify your child’s academic performance and overall experience at school. This will help you gain more information and build on the progressing statement that doesn’t offer many specifics.

Schedule a Parent-Teacher Conference

By getting past the structured responses on the progress report cards, you can learn more about your child and their learning progress. In a one-on-one conversation, teachers can give more detailed information about your child and offer suggestions on how they can improve in any areas that may be falling behind.

This meeting can also be used as a way for the teacher to understand your child better. Think about how you can describe your child to them to help them connect on a more personal level with your child. Let them know about your child’s favourite subjects, their special interests, hobbies, medical conditions, family situations, and any problems that could affect their learning, attendance, or behaviour.

A Missed Opportunity

Unfortunately, many parents glance at a progress report when it is brought home from school and don’t take much notice. But, this can be a significant time to focus on the child and offer them support in any areas they may be falling behind in. Addressing any issues early on will make it much easier for them to catch up to where they need to be by the time report cards come around.

If your child’s progress report signals that they may be falling behind in Math, the Dropkick Math team can help! At Dropkick Math, we teach students how to approach math concepts and understand their relationships to overcome problems more efficiently on their own. Our tailored programs equip students with problem-solving skills that can help them for years to come. Get started today!