April 7, 2020 by Evan-Moor | 1 Comment
I don’t know any teacher who looks forward to doing report cards. This time always seems to be packed to the max with additional testing days and long to-do lists. Despite this, report cards are an important tool that schools employ to show parents how their child is progressing in school and should be completed with careful consideration.
Report card comments should be personalized for each student and provide meaningful feedback to help parents understand their child’s progress. The most important concept to remember when writing report card comments is to frame each statement in encouraging and positive language.
Here are a few tips to help you provide honest and valuable feedback while being encouraging and professional, including 100 sample report card comments that you can use today.
Download a free PDF of 100 Report Card Comments here!
5 Strategies for Simplifying Report Cards
1. Employ the sandwich feedback technique:
- Always begin with a positive comment and end with a positive comment. This approach can help parents receive any negative feedback with the understanding that you “see” their child and are approaching his or her learning with a “growth mindset” and not criticism.
2. Highlight areas of growth
- Every student has areas of growth throughout the school year. Find an area he or she has improved on and mention it. It could be in a field of study such as reading comprehension, fluency, math facts, handwriting, asking important questions or a personal attribute such as persevering, helping others, leadership in the classroom, etc.
3. Expand on areas of improvement
- Highlight important areas for improvement and provide practical advice/examples of how to work on this at home. Provide simple strategies that parents can implement that will give them a tangible tool to help their child at home. Even if you think the parent won’t or isn’t interested, it is a good idea to provide documented options for your school files.
4. Be transparent
- Being honest about students’ progress takes careful consideration. Be tactful in your comments and back up your observations with specific examples. (I recommend taking notes on students’ progress throughout the semester and using this documentation during report card time.) This is also a great time to include helpful strategies/ resources and offer advice on how parents can support their student at home.
- Always proofread your reports before sending them. Report cards reflect you as a teacher and should be treated with the same consideration you show your students in the classroom.
- Takes an active role in discussions.
- Consistently cooperates with the teacher and other students.
- Listens well and shares ideas frequently.
- Works democratically with peers.
- Shows self-confidence in…
- Works well in groups, planning and carrying out activities.
- Follows directions well.
- An enthusiastic learner who enjoys school.
- Tackles new challenges with a positive attitude.
- Has a positive attitude about school.
- Consistently makes good choices during the school day.
- Shows respect for peers and teachers.
- Transitions easily between classroom activities and is not a distraction to others.
- Is sensitive to the thoughts and opinions of others.
- Is a leader and positive role model for students.
- Is enthusiastic about participating.
- Takes an active part in discussions about (topic).
- Speaks with confidence.
- Volunteers often.
- Has a great sense of humor and enjoys our class assignments.
- Has difficulty staying focused and on task. · Needs to actively participate in classroom discussion.
- Needs to work on not distracting others during class.
- Is learning to be careful, cooperative, and fair.
- I would like to see him/her work on…
- One area for improvement is…
- Eager to participate in class but needs to raise his/her hand.
- Is becoming more independent when completing class assignments.
- Needs frequent reminders to stay focused throughout the day.
- When motivated, does well on class assignments.
- Needs to work on following written and oral directions.
- Needs to actively participate in classroom discussions.
- Frequent absences are affecting (name’s) schoolwork.
- Needs to work on treating others with respect.
- Needs to work on completing homework assignments on time.
- Frequently comes to class unprepared.
- Often seems tired at school.
- Gets upset easily when (topic).
- Although _____________’s growth in social skills and maturity is continuing, it is not consistent.
- _______ continues to make nice progress this year concerning his/her attitude in the classroom and on the playground.
Time Management/Work Habits
- Uses class time wisely.
- Is a self-motivated student.
- Completes work on time.
- Is very organized.
- Demonstrates problem-solving skills and is persistent.
- Has done a great job facing and overcoming big challenges this year.
- Is very responsible and turns in work on time.
- Is a flexible learner and adapts to changes easily.
- Has made improvements in the area of…
- Has strengthened his/her skills in…
- Does not complete assignments on time. Seems unable to finish.
- Is encouraged to use time wisely to finish tasks in the time required.
- Struggles to stay organized and find appropriate materials (paper/pencil).
- Needs to slow down to improve the quality of his/her work.
- Is not working to full potential.
- Is easily distracted.
- Needs to listen and follow directions more carefully.
- Needs more opportunities to…
- Grades are suffering because of missed assignments.
- Would benefit from…
- Has demonstrated very good progress this year.
- Is learning how to be a better listener and takes direction well.
- Has worked very hard this year and has made strong gains in the area of ______.
- Has shown great improvement with ______.
- Is progressing nicely and shows consistent improvement in many areas of schoolwork, including ______.
- Is learning to be cooperative when working in groups.
- Is developing more positive ways to interact with others.
- Is listening to directions more carefully.
- Has continued to make steady progress with…
- Has shown noticeable improvement in…
- Has good reading and decoding skills.
- Is reading well at level…
- Uses reading strategies to increase his/her reading comprehension.
- Is reading smoothly and with good expression.
- Struggles with reading comprehension.
- I would like to see (name) read for 15 minutes each night.
- Is choosing books that are too simple for his/her level.
- Has difficulty using reading strategies to decode new words.
- Needs to learn basic sight words to improve decoding skills.
- Needs to build reading vocabulary.
- Uses various strategies to solve one- and two-step word problems.
- Demonstrates a good understanding of math concepts.
- Demonstrates strong problem-solving skills.
- Has strengthened his/her critical thinking and problem-solving skills.
- Has difficulty understanding/solving word problems.
- Understands skills and strategies but has a difficult time explaining processes.
- Would benefit from memorizing math facts.
- Has difficulty solving multi-step problems.
- Needs to slow down and check work.
- Memorizing basic math facts would be helpful to…
- Is willing to learn new writing skills and quickly applies these skills within his/her writing.
- Understands and applies the correct use of punctuation within writing.
- Writing is clear and follows grammar and punctuation rules.
- Enjoys writing stories and can construct unique and interesting sentences.
- Is able to create clear and effective writing that is interesting to read and easy to comprehend.
- Has shown great improvement with his/her writing skills and is consistently increasing his or her writing comprehension and techniques.
- Has difficulty writing clear and understandable sentences.
- Words are often misplaced throughout his/her writing.
- Frequently displays grammatical errors within his/her writing.
- (Name) needs to slow down and review his/her writing.
Report cards are used to show parents what students have learned, areas they excel in, and areas for improvement. Although report card grades reflect how well a student is performing against a set of standards, I would refrain from any comparisons on report cards. Every student matures and develops at a different rate, and it is important not to focus on how well children compare to their classmates, but rather to highlight how they are excelling in their personal goals/growth.
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Heather Foudyis a certified elementary teacher with over 7 years’ experience as an educator and volunteer in the classroom. She enjoys creating lessons that are meaningful and creative for students. She is currently working for Evan-Moor’s marketing and communications team and enjoys building learning opportunities that are both meaningful and creative for students and teachers alike.