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.

## 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