It’s that time of year again when teachers are starting to write report cards. Schools and teachers have the added pressure this year to meet the reporting requirements identified in the Department of Education and Skills, Circular 0056/2011.
The NCCA has yet again has come to the rescue. They have already created in my opinion an invaluable online curriculum planning tool for Irish primary teachers and now they have developed an online Report Card Creator ( http://www.reportcard.ncca.ie/). They developed it to support schools to meet the requirements in Circular 0056/2011.
The Report Card Creator helps schools in creating their own report card in 7 simple steps. Using this tool, you can customise the front cover with your school details including the school crest or other images. This allows a lovely personal touch for your school; my school has used our school crest, along with school details including website and blog. We also included our school motto and all with such ease.
The Report Card Creator also allows you to edit the reporting headings and edit the rating descriptors. You can choose from using text only descriptors or choose symbols such as smiley faces or stars. The Creator allows you to include score descriptors when reporting the standardised test results. This is really useful as you can give clear descriptors to parents who often find it difficult to decipher the standardised results scores.
Another useful feature of the Report Card creator is it allows you to include optional items such as ‘Learning Support/Resource Teaching’, ‘Other school or class tests’, and ‘My learning in school’. I especially like the option for the Learning Support and Resource teacher to add to the report card. On our old report cards in my school there was never a space for the Learning Support and Resource teacher to add comments and I was always chasing after them for comments and squeezing it in top the small space. Now I can email them the report ask them to fill in the space provided and email it back to me. Could it get any easier?
The Report Card Creator does not store or share a school’s completed reports you must do this but yet again it’s very easy to do so. You must download the Report in the last step (step 7) and save it to your computer. You can create a folder on your computer for your report card; the principal can create folders for each class if they wish. The class teacher can save the ‘filled-in’ report cards for each child to the class folder. This all works great on a shared network and solves the forever problem of storage.
When filling in the report card you can either complete it on your computer for each child and then print it or print it out and fill it in by hand. I have started using it and find it great to fill in on my computer. I have created my own bank of report card comments and it is great being able to copy and paste these comments into my report cards.
For anyone who is not very confident on the computer there are user guidesand video tutorials available on the website that you can refer to for help.
One drawback but only a small one is that NitroPDF must be downloaded to each computer before filling in the report cards for each child. NitroPDF is free and easy to download. So it couldn’t be easier.
I already love the NCCA’s online curriculum planning tool and use it constantly for my planning. I think the Report Card Creator is going to be another fantastic tool for teachers. Both are very useful great time savers and easy to use. What will be next from NCCA?