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Learning Skills on Report Cards

Many people quickly look at the marks on a report card, and that is what they think is important. Well, do you really remember any of your marks in Social Studies, or Reading, or Written Communication? What do you remember about your report cards?

From a teacher's point of view, I put a lot of effort into the learning skills part of the report card, because I want to communicate how a child learns, how she relates to her peers and adults around her, how she deals with challenges. These skills of self-regulation, relating to others, reading the cues around her are so important in life. Can your child calm herself? Is she aware of her own strengths and does she use these in daily work and play? Can she negotiate with others to be able to cooperate? Does she have empathy and is she able to recognize when others need help?

The marks on the content areas are important. But, they are based on what the child has demonstrated of her learning. If he is not able to focus on what is important, or gives up easily when something requires deeper thinking, or sustained attention, then the marks are usually lower. Is organization a problem and does the teacher comment on that in the learning skills? Then probably, something wasn't completed or handed in on time. 

By all means, you should be concerned about the marks. But, first look at the learning skills section of the report card and see if there are answers as to why the marks may be low. Ask for a meeting, and work with the teacher to find out more about the child's effort, attitude, independence, organization, initiative, cooperation with others, conflict resolution and see how those skills are affecting the demonstration of learning.