Progress Reports and Progress Reporting for ELLs- Some Ideas

Progress Reports for ELLs

Progress reporting is important for all students. Progress reporting is extra important for ELLs to make sure they are in fact making progress. But, it’s important not only for the ELL teacher to track their progress, but also to inform teachers and parents/guardians about this progress. Probably one of the trickiest parts of this job is trying to connect with content area teachers and make sure that they have a good understanding of where ELLs are in their English learning journey and how teachers can meet them where they. I am still figuring out the best way to report out to teachers and parents.

Getting Started with Progress Reports

Before we went department-wide with a standardized ELL progress reporting, I created a little thing I called an “ESL Snapshot,” which was meant to similar to the “IEP At-A-Glance” that content teachers receive for students on IEPs. I used this for several years and updated it biannually.

In the “Snapshot” I included:

  • basic demographic info: name, grade, years in the country, home language
  • linguistic strengths/challenges
  • instructional suggestions
  • WIDA levels of student
  • Description of the “CAN DO Descriptors” copied and pasted from the WIDA site for reference to show what the student should be able to do given their linguistic level

ELL Snapshots

Here’s a screenshot of parts of one of these “Snapshots” with the identifying information removed:

ESL snapshot sample narrative for a student

ESL snap shot can do descriptors


If you would like a copy of the blank template. You can download a word copy here–> ELL Snapshot Template

 Progress Reports on the Web

These “Snapshots” were pretty time intensive and difficult to streamline, so as a department we moved to a standardized progress reporting system this year. We looked around the web for what other districts were doing and found some good things.

Boulder Valley School District ESL Progress Reports

I can’t find the link to their progress reports, but St. Vrain Valley Schools- ESL Department had a great template that we ended up basing our final progress report template off. I wish I could find the link, but I’ll show you what we ended up creating.


First Draft of Progress Report Tool

I started creating a draft template that addressed reading, writing, math, listening and speaking, science and social studies and scored 1-5. That iteration is here –>  Progress Draft Template

The top has the basic demographic information, as well as any services provided, the most recent ACCESS scores and a spot to add in other assessment data. For me this usually includes the reading progress monitoring I’ve done with each student, meaning their QRI-level and a writing assessment score as well.

Habits of Work

We also wanted to track other aspects of student progress, like Habits of Work, so we created a section at the bottom of the page for this. In the draft above you can see we started with the idea of a 1-5 scale, but felt that it was too subjective. Instead of doing numbers 1-3, we decided on Beginning, Developing and Secure. This was a way to account for those other aspects of student behavior that affect learning, but might not be directly related to language acquisition.

ELL Progress Report 9-12- top

Using WIDA “CAN DO Descriptors”

The second half of the report is the WIDA “CAN DO Descriptors” rubric with checkboxes. This is why the progress report will have to be modified for each grade level, as these “Can Do Descriptors” are different for the different levels. Since the report is dated, you can simply check off the boxes for whatever skills a student has demonstrated. We are saving copies of the reports as we good, so the student should have more and more boxes checked the longer they are receiving ELL services.

ELL progress report 9-13- bottom

Here’s a copy of the full report in google drive –>

9-12 ELL Progress Report

Since I didn’t do all the work for the other grade level clusters e.g. PK-K, 1-2, 3-5, and 6-8 I don’t want to share those, but you can easily see how to easily modify this for other grade levels- just copy and paste the Can Dos from other grade level clusters.

Progress Reports for ELLs pinterest graphic

Are there any tools you have found helpful for doing progress reports for ELLs? What has worked for collaborating with content area teachers?

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