How to Write Report Card Comments in 20 Minutes
NOTE: Please watch the video for a visual of exactly how to follow these steps.
In my last post, I’ve walked you through step by step on how to create a template for your comments, and in this article, I’ll show you how to use that template in Excel and personalize the report card comments for your entire class in less than 20 minutes. The purpose of making that template is to provide meaningful academic performance information to students and parents with minimal effort. Teachers can use Excel to create report card comments in a matter of minutes to easily conduct tests or assessments of the students. Let’s take a look at how it’s done.
1. The first thing you’ll need is a word template document and Microsoft Excel to fill in the blank spots in the template. Open a blank Excel file and save it as “Report Card Template Data” so you won’t lose any data. Split your desktop screen to see both the word template and Excel data file side by side to make the data entry easy.
2. Next, look for all the red spots in the template as those will be the titles in the Excel file and will be personalized for each student.
Entering Data into Excel
1. Starting with the top it says, “Student’s Name” and “Positive Statement”. So, go to the excel file and type these in.
2. Next type his/her and as it’s the beginning of the sentence, capitalize the first letter.
3. Next write ELA strength, and mathematics strength. To fill out the template we used our statewide tests buy you can use whatever test your state or school uses to test strengths.
4. Next enter the grade level you’re teaching.
5. Then enter the Lexile level or any other performance benchmark you want your students to meet such as i-ready reading or i-ready Math.
6. The next field says student name, but since we have already entered a student name in our Excel file, we don’t have to type it in again.
7. Next enter he/she category since we don’t have this category.
8. In the next column add attendance.
9. Next enter him/her as we don’t have this category.
10. Lastly, add a column named “Support” in Excel to show how you are going to support your students to deal with the problems they are facing.
Filling the Excel Data Sheet
1. Fill in the student’s names and positive statements for each one. As a teacher, you have to come up with positive statements on your own but if you find yourself struggling you can just Google “Positive statements for report cards” and it will show you tons of useful links that will help you come up with some amazing positive statements.
2. Next fill in his/her based on the student on the list, add ELA and Math strength. Next enter the grade and copy this field for the entire document since all your students have the same grade level.
3. Next comes the Lexile level which will also be the same for the whole class so fill the exact same thing for everybody in the class. Enter the i-reading and i-Math levels.
4. In attendance, write how many days the student has been absent from the class.
5. In the support column write about the interventions you are using in the classroom to help students.
6. Once you have your whole Excel sheet filled out with your entire class information make sure to save it before closing it.
How to Fill in the Blanks in the Word Template from Excel Sheet?
1. Click at Mailings at the top, start mail merge, and then Step-by-Step Mail merge Wizard.
2. You’ll see a box will pop up at the right-hand side of the document. Click on the Letter, then next, and ‘Use the Current Document”.
3. Click on next, and select “Use an Existing List” under Select recipients, Recipients is another word used for blanks. Go ahead and click on “Edit Recipient List” and find the Excel sheet you’ve created and click open.
4. Next, go to step no 4, Write your letter”. This is where you can start filling the blanks.
5. Go to the student’s name and click on “Insert Merge Field” at the top and select “Student Name”. Match the merge field with all the empty spaces in the letter and click on the Next, then “Preview Letters” to see the magic.
6. All your empty spots will automatically be filled with the sentences you need and create a big nice comment. You can also sift through the comments for all your class.
7. Complete the merge and click on “Edit Individual letters”, select all, and then OK. It will create a word document with all the letters for the entire class.