Saturday, December 16

10 Great Ways to Use Report Cards

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Well, it’s report card season, so here are 10 things to do with them when they arrive.

1.) Make phone message papers.
Cut the report card into 3.5 inch squares and leave by the phone, that way whenever someone wants to leave a message, you won’t have to make the caller wait while you find a piece of paper.

2.) Create recycled paper.
Rip it into tiny little pieces and put them in a blender along with about half a cup of water and some flower petals. Dump the blender contents onto a piece of screen, smoothing so it is all in one even layer. When it is dry you’ll have a brand new sheet of recycled paper.

3.) Start a fire.
If you heat your home with a wood stove or fireplace, report cards make a great starter to get the wood burning.

4.) Origami.
Paper cranes are always fun to make. Curl up with the book about Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes, then set about making your own paper bird collection out of report cards.

5.) Potted plant bottom.
Put the report card under a potted plant to prevent water and dirt from staining the surface beneath it.

6.) Flash Cards.
Turn it into alphabet or mathematical flashcards for teaching younger children.

7.) Keep cool.
Fold the report card in one-inch sections and staple the bottom together to make a nice paper fan to keep you cool during the hot months of the year.

8.) Beads.
Cut it into long triangular strips then roll them around a needle. Glue the end to itself and remove the needle to create a series of interesting paper beads.

9.) Bookmarks.
Cut the report card into rectangles and decorate with markers, crayons, stickers and pressed flowers to create unique place keepers for your favorite books.

10.) Toilet paper.
This one’s self explanatory and is probably the best use available for a report card.

If there’s one thing you don’t want to do with a report card, it’s read it, because if there’s one thing a report card does not measure, it’s intelligence. The only thing a report card measures is how well a person can take a test, it doesn’t measure real intelligence. I say this as someone who always had good report cards when I was in school, but had enough smart friends with bad report cards to know that report cards don’t mean much.

Real intelligence is not something can be measured by a test or a report card, because many students, no matter how smart they may be, simply do not handle the stress of taking a test. In addition, a test only measures how good a person’s short-term memory is. The person who scores 100 on a test may forget most of that information years down the road, while the person who only scored a 50, might still be able to score the same or better years down the road. In my own area, someone on the school board once ran an experiment to prove this very point. He handed out Regents tests to all the parents to see how many of them could pass it. None of them did. When they had been in high school, they’d remembered the information long enough to pass the test and then it was forgotten.

A second example of a real situation is perhaps even more apropos. When one of my cousins was in high school, everyone knew that a particular girl was the smartest person in the school. When the students were given their choices of classes, the smart girl elected to take a class that would teach her something new, while my cousin, being uninterested in having to stress herself out learning something new, opted to take the easy way out with a refresher class on what she’d already learned. When it came time to take tests that year, guess who had the higher score; my cousin. This was certainly not because she was smarter, it was because she had been lazy and taken a review class which refreshed her memory long enough to ace the test. The smart girl, on the other hand, who had actually taken a class to increase her academic knowledge ended up with the lower score because the material on the test wasn’t as fresh in her mind. The test scores would show my cousin as being the more intelligent person, despite the fact that such a claim would be inaccurate. So I ask, how can test scores or report cards possibly measure intelligence when the smartest girl in school got the lower score?

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