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Interim Report Cards Are On Their Way! Will Your Student Get The Results You Both Want?

Published midway through the marking period, interim report cards serve as a barometer of your student’s academic progress, while still providing enough time for positive changes to be made that

Published midway through the marking period, interim report cards serve as a barometer of your student’s academic progress, while still providing enough time for positive changes to be made that can impact that term’s grades.

What should you do if you see an unexpected comment or grade on your child’s interim report card? Maybe the average grade in a given subject is 79, when you really expected an 84. Perhaps a skill is marked “Basic” instead of “Proficient.”

If your child gets receives a less than desirable mark, the first line of action is to talk to your student. Do not scold or express disappointment. Instead, use open-ended questions, that ask your student to identify what may be challenging in a given class or subject. Questions such as: “Do you know what happened in this class?”, “What makes this subject hard for you?”, and “Why do you think that is?” may prove invaluable and provide insight that you may not have considered.

In addition, this approach will encourage your student to open-up, trust and confide in you. Do they know how to take notes? Is your student actively reading? Do they self-advocate in class? Do they use their planner to make sure assignments are handed in on time? Perhaps there are multiple areas from which your student would benefit from study skills – after all starting in the 6th grade, with an emphasize on a content-based curriculum, study skills are not taught! If you think your student might benefit from this extra support, talk to their guidance counselor, or look for an outside resource for workshops or tutoring.

To read more stories like this, subscribe to S4 Study Skills free Thursday Tips.

Contact us by phone 203-307-5455, or via web, info@S4StudySkills.com, to find out about upcoming study skills workshops that may benefit your student!

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Steven DeVaux January 18, 2013 at 11:36 PM
It is indeed a shame that report card can be " bought". What does that say about us as a society? And to have publiclly paid "guidance counselors" as the sales reps?
Steven DeVaux January 20, 2013 at 01:48 PM
It's a shame parents "cheap out" by buying education like this. Why can't local schools simply effectively teach subjects? Is it asking to much to get what the taxpayers paid for? Why should these courses and tutoring be needed if Brookfield's teachers were, in fact, effective at teaching ALL the students? Ineffective teachers + Ineffective parents = Cheated Kids.
Ken January 20, 2013 at 04:01 PM
I do not think this is simply an effectiveness issue. An analogy to the delivery of education is a sports teams with a game plan or a businesses with an operating plan. Specific parts of the plan are set to occur at specific times for a set period of time. Education's operating plan is the curriculum. Units of learning are delivered at specific times during the year, with a set duration. Design and duration for each learning unit has a goal that the required learning is imparted to the majority of students within that units time frame. However, not every student learns at the same pace in every subject area. Some students are naturally better in sciences and some are better in languages. Another sports analogy. Some members of a team, students in a class, pick up the plays more quickly than others and some players are more skilled than others. Additional conditioning and training, think TUTORING, can in many cases help bring the player or in this case the student up to speed. I remember my daughter struggling in a high school math class while her friend thought the same class was a breeze. We needed a tutor for our daughter to pass the class. Aside from all the grandiose rhetoric about 'trying to meet the needs of every student at their own pace' in the classroom, the reality is a classroom is a GROUP instruction and learning situation.
Steven DeVaux January 20, 2013 at 04:28 PM
So lengthen the school day. Don't create class warfare for those who can afford tutors opposed to those who can not. Is that the meaning of separate but equal in the state of Connecticut? It appears clearly so. Give exams that waive classroom time to those who master material easily and allow the students who struggle to have more personal time with instructors in school. What you're saying is that GROUP instruction fails in Connecticut but suceeds elsewhere in the world. Why is that?
onceuponanewtown January 20, 2013 at 06:41 PM
The schools basic job is to teach children solid, core skills then move on to expansion of knowledge - the hoped result it to learn how to learn. How to study is a huge piece of this. If the core subjects were focused on a little more without the big push for instant results students would be more independantly successful in the later years. I can't even accept statement: ..."after all starting in the 6th grade, with an emphasize on a content-based curriculum, study skills are not taught!". It is only common sense that study skills need to be taught before a student can learn - it this statement is true there is bigger problem that needs to be addressed!
Ken January 20, 2013 at 06:50 PM
The school day can be lengthened but it is not going to be a freebie. You would run into the class warfare thing not among students but with some parents saying my kid is already a 3.5+ student I see no reason to pay more for a longer school day. If we want to lengthen the school day this means the majority of residents have to be willing to pay more in taxes. Agreement for MORE taxes is not a likely scenario in Brookfield. For required classes, as is the case for almost all classes below high school, this somtimes does come back to a students innate ability to comprehend and understand the concepts in certain subject areas. There is also the idea that by mixing stronger and weaker students in the same subject area the stronger kids help bring along the weaker students. I believe there is research to support this I did not just make this up. If you give top students exam waivers, who is left in the class? As far as parents helping students with today's academic rigor, parents are not a likely source of help. If my kids asked me for help with Chemistry or high school math I would have told them I can help them get a LOWER grade. Told them Google was the best bet for finding Chem. and math help. Education, transmittal of knowledge and the learning process are definately complex issues. The innate learning differences among students can also create a paradox when it comes to education delivered as standardized learning units.
fibkinsS January 20, 2013 at 07:42 PM
Actually it's true. School do not teach study skills starting in 6th grade because they are focused on content. That doesn't mean that kids don't learn how to write or read better. But kids are not learning how to to take notes in class. They are not required to take notes when they read. And, just because school issue planners, doesn't mean the kids know how to use them. Teachers are not required to incorporate specific study skills into the curriculum. That;s a fact. And some kids don't even realize what they dont know until the work load becomes too overwhelming for them. That's when parents realize that their student might need extra support. If you dont believe me, go ask to see your middle or high school's curriculum and see for yourself.
Steven DeVaux January 21, 2013 at 03:19 AM
Welcome to the Brookfield School System, Brookfield, Connecticut.
Steven DeVaux January 21, 2013 at 03:22 AM
Top students don't need to be in a class they have already mastered. That's just a waste of their time and the taxpayers money. In terms of parental responsibility, it goes far beyond the biology of procreation. Parents have a responsibility to teach their kids as well. Telling kids to go to a library, on the internet or ask a friend is not parenting.
Steven DeVaux January 21, 2013 at 03:24 AM
Bingo! Welcome to Brookfield Connecticut.
Suzy S January 21, 2013 at 01:14 PM
http://www.sde.ct.gov/sde/cwp/view.asp?a=2618&q=322592 Here's the link for the National reading, writing, and math Common Core standards, adopted by CT for the current school year. New science and history standards are being developed nationally, but CT current standards can be found on the state's education website. There is a skills section for every area of curriculum, K-12. FACT: skills are being taught. Notetaking is not one of them because it is not a skill. 'Doing' teaches. 'Listening' and 'copying' helps memorize, but that is different than learning. Compare, interpret, analyze, conclude. These are educational skills. If you want your child to learn to be organized, use a planner more effectively, or take notes, you are welcome to teach these at home. But the above skills are required by the state and that will be the teacher's focus because he/she has no choice. If you're going to complain about the state of education, you'll make a better argument if you are, in fact, educated about current standards and regulations.

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