Preschool Student Report Cards: What to Say and How to Say It

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Report cards in preschool may not resemble a traditional report card for an older child, but they are still important documents for charting academic progress. These documents for preschoolers should include four basic sections, highlighting a student’s development in the areas of motor skills, language skills, cognitive skills and social skills.

Report cards, paired with anecdotal records and individual developmental portfolios, should paint a very vivid picture for parents of their child’s progress through his preschool year. Consider assessing children twice each year in order to show a progression in development and to highlight a child’s strengths as well as the milestones he will be expected to reach in the coming months.

Motor Skills

Break the motor skills section of the report card into two distinct sections: fine motor skills and gross motor skills. Provide a list of possible motor skills that a preschooler may exhibit, as well as three choices for a teacher to check: Mastery, Progressing, and Not Observed. Whenever it is necessary to check off the box labeled “Not Observed”, give the parents a chance to discuss with you whether or not they have seen the child exhibit this skill at home. Be sure to explain to parents that “Not Observed” means simply that. It does not mean that their child is behind, or that he is not capable of performing that particular skill. You simply have not observed him participating in that particular activity in your classroom.

Use anecdotal records, pictures, artwork and portfolios to highlight the areas you are covering on the report card. Any evidence you have to back up your report card assessment should be shared with parents. Download this copy of this preschool progress report as a helpful start.

Language Skills

Try to break up the language skills section of the preschool student report card into two sections: productive and receptive speech. As a subset of the language skills section, you should consider adding a literacy component to your student report card for older preschoolers. Within the productive speech section of the report card, you should include skills such as "Uses words to communicate needs" and "Spoken language is understood by other students". In the receptive language section, be sure to include "Can follow two step directions" and "Able to engage in appropriate conversation patterns with peers".

For literacy, highlight the child's steps toward becoming an independent reader and writer. "Can recognize his own name" or "Can write his own name" can be included in this section. Include pictures and anecdotal records to highlight a child's progress in language and literacy.

Social Skills

The social skills section of the report card will rely heavily on anecdotal records and any of your recollections of the child's preschool experiences. This section will highlight things such as "Plays well with others" and "Shows empathy". If you were able to videotape a child's interactions with other students in the classroom, this would be a wonderful time to show that to parents. If not, be sure to provide pictures of the child interacting with others as well as anecdotes of interactions you observed during the school day.

Cognitive Skills

The cognitive skills section will appear to be the most academic portion of a preschool student report card. Provide parents with as much detail as you can to highlight their child's academic progress. As this is often the area parents are most concerned with, put it at the end of your report card. That way, parents will be sure to pay close attention to the other, just as important, sections before turning the page to see their child's cognitive process.

In this section, include things such as "Uses conventional counting numbers up to 5", "Can count up to 5 objects without error", and "Can classify objects based on one attribute". As always, use anecdotal records, children's work and pictures to back up your assessment.

Showing Progress

This does not have to be a daunting task; rather it can be fun to gather materials to exemplify your assessment of your preschool class. If you give yourself plenty of time to get prepared before creating preschool student report cards, you can also see the areas where you may need to gather more data before being able to make an accurate assessment of a child’s progress.