Looking for assistance in writing report card comments? You landed in the right spot!
As teachers, one of the most dreadful times of the year is writing report card comments.
It’s not that we are opposed to giving our students and parents feedback. It is just that it tends to be so time consuming to do it well.
Check out our collection of ideas to help you get started!
We know that time to work on writing the comments well is one thing we do not have a lot of.
Still, both parents and students deserve to have feedback reflecting their growth, progress and areas to work on.
Our hope is that we are providing you with a good starting point for writing report card comments when the time comes.
Tips for Writing Report Card Comments
Be honest! Telling a parent their child is doing great when there are really struggles you are facing will only come back to hurt you in the future.
While honesty is important, don’t be harsh. Remember, the parent is doing the best they know. Your job is to guide them to help them help their student. You do not want to push them away from assisting you in helping the child.
Think about your classroom expectations and standards. If you have not worked on developing cooperative learning skills, it is not fair to site the child as not working well in small groups.
Share actionable thoughts. Stating that a child is below grade level is not helpful to the parent. If they knew how to help their child be more successful in school, they would already be doing it.
Instead of saying the child is below grade level, try something more specific like ___ is reading at a __ level. This is below grade level. Let’s meet to make a plan to help accelerate growth. Or, reading together for 10 minutes a night will help in increasing growth.
2 strengths and a wish!
When we are working on helping our students share feedback with their classmates, we often share this simple formula. You want to start with something positive, give an area for improvement and then end with another strength.
If we encourage our students to follow this plan, shouldn’t we do the same as teachers?
We have divided our ideas for report card comments into groups below.
While you might not find the perfect comments for each child, these are written to spark ideas and help you get started.
Suggestions for Report Card Comments
Character Traits & Behavior
- Good role model
- Gets along well with others
- Works well in groups
- Mentors students needing guidance
- Positive outlook or attitude
- Self-directed learner
- Sets goals / Works to achieve goals
- Avoids distractions
- Makes good choices
- Does not interrupt the learning of others
- Accountable for actions / Admits to mistakes
- Works to improve self
- Relates well to classmates
- Appreciates other perspectives
- Accepts and appreciates the differences of others
- Manages emotions
- Works to be helpful in most situations
- Shows strong leadership traits
- Focused during class
- Contributes to class discussions
- Works well independently
- Reading at a level ___
- Working on Fry words ____
- Reading below / at / above our school expectations
- Strong reading comprehension
- Working on developing reading comprehension
- Does not fully understand text at grade level
- Fluent reader
- Is fully engaged during independent reading
- Consistently choosing books that are engaging for them
- Strong decoding skills
- Shows strong phonics skills
- Developing sight word mastery would help __ increase reading fluency
- Is strong at reading picture books, I would like to see __ begin trying longer books including chapter books
- Has a strong vocabulary
- Use background knowledge to help with comprehension
- Ability to make connections helps with reading comprehension
- Enjoys reading from a variety of genres
- Tends to read mostly from the genre of ____, I would like to see them begin to try other genres
- Good written communication
- Expresses ideas clearly
- Is a creative writer
- Uses voice in writing
- Writes stories with / without a clear beginning, middle and end
- Working on checking writing carefully before publishing
- Careful when writing
- Strong use of capitalization and punctuation in writing
- Working on consistently using capitalization and punctuation
- Produces clear, organized pieces
- Working on carefully planning writing
- Enjoys writing workshop
- Is fully engaged during independent writing time
- Uses a writing checklist to review their writing
- Has grown to be a wonderful writer
- Enjoys math
- Is engaged in math class
- Shows mastery of math facts
- Working on mastering math facts
- Careful mathematician
- Is able to apply the concepts we have learned in math this year
- Strong problem solving skills
- Excels at helping others during math
*Often for math workshop, we find that students can be strong in one area and struggle in others. Because of this, your comments might be guided more by the standards. One student might be very strong in geometry but struggle with understanding fractions. Giving parents clear guidance on the skills that provide a challenge will make it easier for them to help their child.
You’ll notice that many of these comments are positive. For students needing to work on the skills above, you can add “working on” to the beginning of each phrase. Saying “working on improving responsibility” might be interpreted better than “is not responsible”.
We do not want parents to become defensive. We also want to remember that we are talking about a child. Not all children are naturally responsible. As teachers, it is unfair to expect a child to have developed the skill of responsibility without assistance. It is part of our job to help them with this. Our comments should be intended to guide the setting of goals and encourage future learning.
Words You Might Use When Writing Report Card Comments
Sometimes a single word can help get you started. We have created a list of words that might help you in writing your feedback of students
Reread and Check:
Again, on your final read through of the comments, make sure your comments are kind. In writing, things can sometimes be misinterpreted or read in the wrong tone of voice. It is important that the comments are working to further develop your parent-teacher relationship.
If you are looking for additional resources to help you when it comes to writing report cards, you might like our student data binders. These are a good spot to collect student information throughout the year. Then, when it comes time to write report cards, all of the needed data will be in one spot!
Some teachers find our “I Can” Standards to be another helpful resource. These are a way you can track student growth on specific standards. While you might not need to complete a checklist for every student, it might be beneficial for those students who you are working to help get up to grade level.
Curious to learn more about the history and progress report cards have made?
As teachers, we often feel that the comments we share tell more about the progress of a child than a letter grade. We know there is so much more to school than a letter grade
While reading about the history and background of report cards, we stumbled upon Student Report Cards – Do They Earn an A – or a “Needs Improvement?” It’s a good read to encourage more thinking about report cards.
As with all of our resources, The Curriculum Corner creates these for free classroom use. Our products may not be sold. You may print and copy for your personal classroom use. These are also great for home school families!
Remember, you may not modify and resell in any form. Please let us know if you have any questions.