However, I would say that we are doing a really good job, and attempting a lot. We’ve started using a new grading system (and as I sit here waiting for the spinning wheel of “loading” death to stop spinning I can reflect that it’s a good idea… when the computer system works) where parents can always go online and look at student grades, see comments from teachers, and find better detailed information about how their student is doing. But as previously stated (spinning wheel of death) technology doesn’t always work the ways that you want it to. In fact, many of our families don’t have internet at home or can only access at the nearby libraries.
We’re not just going digital but are making other good changes. We’ve updated our grade card to add comments and give a better/more accurate idea of what students are doing but again a technology glitch has made last year’s music standards show on the card and not this year’s updated standards. This means that students are getting the right grades but what the parent thinks/reads that they’ve learned isn’t maybe what they’ve actually been learning. It’s frustrating!
And let's not even get into the language barrier and digital divide. If parents can access our online grade card (let's assume that they do have internet at home) they may not be able to read or really understand it. We do our best to translate everything but when you have 40+ languages it's hard to make it understandable for everyone. I'm lucky that most of my students are bilingual and that other language is mostly Spanish. There are other schools in my district where 3 or 4 other languages are spoken at home. We really do try hard (both parents and teachers) but sometimes the language barrier can be really tough.
I came up with a list of standards we’re working on, things that every grade level does, and other topics that we would cover through the course of the year and then thought how I could craft that into an “I Can statement.” I chose the I Can Format because we use that sort of language so often with parents they’ll already be familiar with it. I then sat down and crafted a long list, had it translated into Spanish, and then set about putting it into a pleasing visual format. I came up with a list of 60 different “I Can” statements that were easy enough for kids and parents to understand and written in a way that made sense to someone who maybe didn’t know our musical vocabulary.
I posted the file on my Teachers Pay Teachers page but wanted to share the idea here. If you’d like to get my file on TPT it’s already set out in English and Spanish and can be printed front/back with both languages. There are instructions in the file about how to do that. If you’d like to just use my idea and think up your own statements to send home that’s great too!