Sometimes the hardest part of report writing is getting started when it comes to writing the comments. We have been there before… sitting in front of our computer screen with an empty word document only consisting of a table with our students' names.
This post is Part 4 of our 4-part series about Writing Reports.
What we know for sure is that the ostrich approach is never a good one when it comes to writing report cards.
If this is sounding familiar and you need a little motivation to get started on your comments, here is what we suggest to do next…
Allocate time in your week to begin writing comments. Put it in your diary and stick to it. Remember, the hardest part is often just getting started.
Start by writing a bank of comments for each grade and subject you need to report on. You’ll find you can keep the comments similar for an A and B grade or B and C grade by simply changing the adjectives and adverbs. Use a word bank or previous reports you have written to help you! Next, work out the grade for each student. This will help with organising which student gets what group of sentences strung together. (Double-check this closer to submission to check all the data pairs up).
Write the subject comments for all of one grade at a time, starting from the top grade and working down or vice versa. We are big advocates for writing comments for students in the same differentiated groups when teaching reading, writing, maths, etc. It saves our brain jumping all over the place.
If you are having trouble, we recommend starting with the comments you find the easiest to write. Getting started is the hardest part, but once you get momentum, you’ll be off!
Phones, social media, emails, and anything else that dings and rings do not mesh well with writing reports. Put your phone in another room or on airplane mode while you are writing.
Have resources ready to assist in being super productive (speaking of productivity, click here to read about our productivity strategies when report writing).
Unsure or sitting on the fence about a comment or grade? Speak to your colleagues. Simply by talking it through, clarity can be found.
Finally, setting up a split-screen on your computer can make it easier to switch between documents. There is nothing wrong with taking advantage of the copy and paste function.
Everyone tackles comment writing differently. You may wish to complete 5 a night for a week or smash them out in one weekend. Do what works for you but make sure you reward yourself once you have finished!
This was part 4 of our 4 part series about report writing. Click on the links to read our other helpful articles:
Need a helping hand with setting up comment and word banks? We have created our Report Companion that includes ready-to-go comment formulas, word banks, sentence starters, and example comments. Click here to get your hands on a copy!
“Such an amazing guide and tool to support you through report writing, From structure, to do and don'ts, to fantastic examples - it has it all!” Emma