Saturday, November 8, 2008

Cinquain Saturday

Many schools have given out report cards recently. My two grade school age children received theirs this week. I am thankful that they act respectfully in the classroom and earn good grades. As a former grade school teacher, I have much experience with report cards. Children are so different. The learning levels vary so much in one classroom. Some are lucky enough to have parent guidance at home, some are not. Some children have a thirst for knowledge, others just wait for the school day to end. A few children get A's and B's with little effort, while others struggle to get C's and B's.
I could write a hundred cinquains about report cards (maybe I will!). Today's is about the students who do well, but don't want to go that extra mile to do better. I remember a student who received all B's, and the mom was pleased (as she should be). I tried to convince her though that her son was capable of so much more, that he did this with little effort. I wanted the parents to have even higher expectations for their child. I had another student who would study more, ask me more questions, really try to achieve B's and C's. When he did receive all B's, it was a huge accomplishment. His parents and I were so very proud.
Grades are important records of what a child learns in the classroom, but there is so much more to understand about your child's abilities beyond the report card.


All B's.
My teacher writes,
"Doesn't apply himself."
Mom hugs me, but expects some A's
next time.


Rena said...

Great post, Kelly!

This reminded me of something Nathan did yesterday. He just turned 9 yesterday. I homeschool him and I'm always on his case about writing neater and doing a better job on things. I know, nag, nag, nag! After we were finished with school for the day, he sat quietly on the floor writing. He comes up and shows me this full page report, in perfect penmanship, all about Hobo spiders. It even had illustrations. Now why he doesn't do that with his regular work, I don't know. But what I do know is that he has the ability to do very good work when it's something HE is interested in doing. And honetly, I think that's where it matters the most.

Great cinquain, btw -- :)

Brianna Caplan Sayres said...

Great job expressing some of the problems with report cards. Even kids who get straight A's might not be working to full potential.

Funny report card story: When I switched to public high school, I got a C+ in PE for my first quarter (I love sports, but I'm an awful athlete.) Even though I got A's in everything else, that C drove me crazy. I worked incredibly hard at PE that next semester, determined not to get another C. When I brought home my mid-year report card, it was again filled with A's for all my academics. But both my parents first comment was to congratulate me on my grade for PE... a B-. They both knew how hard I had worked for that B-. :o)

P.S. I loved the cinquain!

Kim Kasch said...

Was it Les Brown or Brian Littrel who said, "Shoot for the moon. Even if you fail, you'll land amongst the stars." ???

That's what I want my kids to do.

Of course, they don't always listen to Mom. And sometimes, "Good" to them, is "Good enough."

C.R. Evers said...

Wow! You're so clever! You make me want to try some of this poetry stuff. But not until NaNo is over. :0)

Until then, I'll read what you've got.



Kate said...

All so true. It's hard to know how to get the ones who won't try to put in that extra effort, especially when they get no encouragement from their teachers -a regular gripe of mine.

C. Lee McKenzie said...

I don't think I ever read one of my boys' report card that didn't have, "doesn't work up to potential." Maybe there should be a stamp made for that comment.

Carrie Harris said...

Cinquains. I'd totally forgotten about them. :)

Kim said...

Nice poem.
I did a school visit last week, and I was shocked at the span of ability between the students. I came away with sympathy and empathy for the teacher who did her best to accomodate the many levels in her class.

Linda said...

I love cinquains and use them with my eighth graders. The one you wrote here is so true and really sounds like something one of my students would say. Great job!

AWells said...

I like your work! I'll be illustrating one of your poems for Dec. Stories for Children Magazine.