Grades and Comments

2013-11-30

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Last March I wrote about my school's grading policy. The rules have changed a little bit since then. This is an updated version.

High school grades

We teach tenth grade students once a week. At the end of each of the five terms, we give them a score out of 100. Technically speaking, our Eikaiwa class is one hour a week from a three hour class called "Eigo Hyogen". The other two hours (confusingly also called "Eigo Hyogen") are taught by a Japanese English teacher. At the end of each term, we make a list of scores and send it to the Japanese English teacher. That teacher weights our grades and their grades 30% and 70% and enters the overall score into the computer system.

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Junior high school report cards

For junior high school Eikaiwa there are no official school grades. But we can and do create our own grades, because this is good for student motivation. After all, if students don't know how well they're doing, and if parents have no information on their kids, it's hard for them to react appropriately. So, we decided to make report cards just for our class. Because we make the report cards ourselves, we can issue them whenever we see fit. Here's an example report card. We can make report cards whenever we like, and after consulting with the vice principal, we decided to give report cards to parents twice a year (July and March). If we want, we can make report cards at the end of other terms (May, October, and December), and give those to students directly.

Junior high school remarks

At my junior high school, we write remarks once a year on each student's report card. Junior high school Eikaiwa class is part of the period for integrated studies, and there's a section on the school's report card for our remarks. Our students' parents receive their report cards, so the remarks need to be written in Japanese. The most common remarks are shown below. Each student is typically given three comments. For these comments to be useful to the students and parents, it is good to choose different comment types. For example, one comment could be on attitude, one on pronunciation, and one on homework. Also, a few of the below comments use words like "normal" and "normally", but those are of little merit. After all, if the class studies hard, normal is a good thing, but if not, then it's not, which means parents learn little. As for students, typically we want students to try a little more or a little harder, but when they see the word "normal", they might get lazy and decide that copying their classmates is a fine way to go through school. As such, when selecting comments for students, specific notes on positive behavior, negative behavior, and ways to improve are ideal.

#English日本語
Participation
1Very active in class. Shows initiative.授業にとても積極的に参加し自発的に発言しています。
2Active in class.授業に積極的に参加しています。
3Should participate more in class.もっと授業に参加すると良いでしょう。
4Not very active in class.あまり授業に参加していません。
5Hardly ever participates in class.ほとんど授業に参加していません。
Concentration
6A leader in the classroom.クラスのリーダー的な存在です。
7Helps those around her.よく周りの生徒を助けています。
8Shows good classroom deportment.授業態度が良いです。
9Easily distracted but can do well when she pays attention.気が散る傾向がありますが、真面目に取り組めば良くできます。
10Sometimes has a bad attitude but can do well when she tries.ときどき授業態度が良くない時がありますが、真面目に努力すれば良くできます。
11Needs to pay more attention in class.もっと集中して授業を受けた方が良いでしょう。
Attitude on Speaking
12Noisy. Distracts other students.授業中騒がしく、他の生徒が集中できません。
13Noisy even after the teacher asks her to be quiet.先生に注意を受けた後も授業中騒がしくしています。
14Makes efforts to use English even outside the classroom.授業以外でも英語を使おうとしています。
15Makes good efforts to use English in the classroom.授業では英語を使おうと努力しています。
16Makes a small effort to use English.授業ではある程度英語を使おうとしています。
17Shows little interest in using English.授業中英語を使う事にあまり関心がありません。
18Uses too much Japanese in the classroom.授業中に日本語を使いすぎています。
Pronunciation
19Very good pronunciation.とても良い発音です。
20Good pronunciation.良い発音です。
21Makes efforts to use good pronunciation.発音を良くしようとする姿勢が見られます。
22Is capable of good pronunciation when aware and trying.意識している時は発音が良いです。
23Needs to make more efforts to improve pronunciation.もっと発音を上手にするため努力する必要があります。
24Uses too much katakana-style English.カタカナ風の発音が目立ちます。
Volume
25Speaks in a loud clear voice.大きくはっきりした声で話します。
26Speaks clearly in class.はっきりした声で話します。
27Needs to speak in a louder voice.もっと大きな声で話した方が良いです。
28Speaks too quietly to understand well.声が小さすぎて聞こえ辛いです。
29Speaks too quietly even after asked to speak up.先生が注意した後でも声が小さすぎて聞こえ辛いです。
Homework
30Overall, does well on homework.全体的に宿題は良くできています。
31Often does well on homework.宿題はたいてい良くできています。
32Needs to work harder on homework.宿題をもっとしっかりとやる必要があります。
33Often forgets to bring homework.宿題を頻繁に忘れます。
Other
34This student has not ever attended class, so no remark is given.授業に出ていないので評価できません。

Mail Merge

Suppose you have a spreadsheet with grades and want to make paper report cards. There should be some automated way where you just make one report card text file and then auto-fill certain fields in it, making a copy for each student in your grade book. This is done using what is called a mail merge. I use LibreOffice Calc and Writer, though you could use Word and Excel instead. Here's a short video of the process. The same video is on YouTube. Below is the text version.

  1. These instructions are for LibreOffice 4.1.3.2.
  2. In Writer, select the place where you want to add a linked field.
  3. Go to Menu / Insert / Cross Reference. In the opened dialog select the Database tab. Click Browse... and add your spreadsheet file.
  4. Under Type, select Mail merge fields and in Database selection, browse to the field you want to use and click Insert.
  5. Repeat until you have all your fields in the template. Then close the Fields window.
  6. Go to Menu / Tools / Mail Merge Wizard....
  7. Click through to step 8 and save, print or email the merged document.
  8. Done.