Is your school or district using standards based report cards and grading systems? Or are they thinking of moving to a standards based system? Or perhaps you’re just looking for a better way to report student progress with a common core aligned report card. These report cards can definitely help you with that.

Male teacher in a parent conference with a report card.

Several years back, the small school district at which I taught was going through some changes. We had changed our grading system, and at the time, still didn’t have a report card that could be used across all grades K-8. 

We had switched to standards based grading and I found it to be eye-opening, to say the least. It became easier to grade and easier to see exactly which areas I needed to reteach. I was surprised at how well my students responded to this as well.

If you do standards based reporting, you may have discovered, like I did, that it’s revealing in a very positive way. When you grade with a standards based rubric, when you share those grades with parents, you can give solid evidence of their children’s progress, areas of strength, and areas needing improvement.

One time I had a disgruntled parent complain to the principal about a grade her child received. Have you ever had that experience? ? This system came in very handy. I shared my rubrics and grading scales with them for the assignments in question, and all was resolved, quickly and simply. There’s no arguing with data.


Before you read further, take a second to bookmark this page so you can share it with your team or your administrator.Common-core-report-cardWhy Use Standards Based Report Cards?


Standards Based Grading Using Common Core Anchor Standards

If you read my blog with any regularity, you know that I’m all about being organized and making things as simple as possible. You may also know that I love solid data. I take reporting on student progress very seriously, and I want to give the most accurate picture possible.

So during this time of change, when we didn’t have a system yet, I was a bit…discombobulated. We needed a way to track our grades that would directly correlate with a report card. I began with creating standards based rubrics for everything.

I sat down with my gradebook, which I divided into sheets for each of the Common Core Anchor Standards. At that time, I was using a program for recording grades called Gradekeeper. I highly recommend it. It’s made by a teacher, for teachers, and I was able to create the sheets for each standard.

Today, I have my own standards based gradebooks created in Google Sheets (™) which are super handy and that I blogged about here. They have sheets for each Anchor Standard. They have drop down lists for all the standards that fall under that domain. You can create a quick progress report with them. 

This is an image of the report card derived from the Common Core Standards.

A computer with a report card on the screen.

How Standards Based Report Cards Work

These standards based report cards grew from the roots of my grade books. I began by creating a Standards Based Report Card Template so that teachers and teaching teams could adapt it to fit whatever standards they want or need.

However, it needed to be easy to use. I’m the chill teacher. That being said, I didn’t want something time consuming where I had to type in grades on 32 sheets and then print them one by one. That’s way too much work. 

First, I created this report card template with one data entry sheet. On that sheet, you input your students’ names. Their names will populate into their own individual report cards.

Next, on the same data entry sheet, you enter their grades for each standard by term. Again, the grades populate into their own report cards.

After that, you can visit each student’s report card, and update or change a grade if you’d like. You can type in the comments for that reporting period. Finally, there’s room to add special classes or activities the students are involved in.

This is an image of the report card in Excel.

A computer with a report card on the screen.

The print settings are made for landscape 8.5 x 11 paper. You can see an example of the front and back in the images below.

Printed example of a report card.

How to Use the Standards Based Report Cards

In order to use these, you’ll need to have Excel or Google Sheets (™) on your computer. In this preview video, I walk you through some of the features and show you how to use the standards based report cards.

Within the file, (if you happen to purchase one,) I’ve included a couple more videos showing you how to make specific edits and adaptations that you might want to do.

If you prefer to have the report card already set up with your grade level Common Core standards, and not just have a template, I’ve created report cards for all the grades from Kindergarten to 8th grade in Excel. However, you can still make changes to the report cards that are already set up. The same areas that are editable in the template are editable in the grade level report cards.

Understandably, some people are a bit intimidated by Excel. For that reason, I also created the template in Google Sheets (™). I’m in the process of creating each grade level in the Google Sheets (™) version as well. 

However, no matter your level of technology, the videos walk you through the set up and use of these report cards.

Now You Can Write Your Report Card Comments Faster Than Ever

I’m super happy to share with you that you can use the TeacherWriter Report Card Comment Generator. It makes writing comments so fast and painless, you’ll save countless hours over writing them from scratch.

Want to know more?

A computer with a report card comment generator on it.

Image of a computer screen and the title Report Card Comment Generator Write Comments in Less Than One Hour

What Teachers Say About the Standards Based Report Cards

I’m always happy to hear from teachers using these report cards. It makes my day! Here are a few of the reviews for these report cards.

  • *This saved me SO much time!  Thank you! ~~~Elizabeth O.


Are you on Pinterest? Save this pin so you can find the report cards anytime!

A laptop with a report card on it. Sticky notes on a wall and a calendar to the right.
Save this to your Pinterest board so you can find it easily.

Where to Find Standards Based Report Cards 

The standards based report card templates are available in several places online. The full suite of report cards, with individual grade levels, are available through Teachers Pay Teachers, through TpT School Access, and I’m honored to have them included in the TpT Flex Beta program. 

There are two versions: one for a quarter system and one for a trimester system. Make sure you check for the version that’s appropriate for your school.

I hope you’ll check them out and find out how much time using these report cards can save you. Here’s where to find them.

Hey, thanks for reading this far! You’re amazing!


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