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Effective Report Card Comments

posted Oct 8, 2014, 8:41 AM by Jaime M Bell
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A comment on the report card should provide additional information about the student’s level of achievement. In combination with the assigned grade it should give the parent/guardian a picture of what the student has accomplished over the course of the term and the areas he/she may need to continue to work on in the future.

Consider the audience: Comments should be written in language, free from educational jargon, which will be easily understood by parents/guardians and students.

Creating Strong Report Card Comments 

Try to…

• Maintain a focus on the child

• Relate comments to the outcomes

• Focus on what was learned/achieved

• Use “parent friendly” language and maintain a focus on that audience – remind yourself of what you would like to read about your own child.

• Give examples to help clarify the broad statements

• Identify strengths, challenges

• Connect next step(s) to the challenge(s) identified


Try Not to…

• List what was taught

• Include comments about attendance, homework, behavior, attitude (this information can – and should – be included in the Learning Behavior’s  section of the report card)

• Use teacher jargon

• Over-emphasize the negative (challenges)

• Mix speaking to parents and students interchangeably by inserting comments such as “Good Job, Jason!”, or “Bravo!” etc. (These comments should be reserved for the additional space at the end of the report card.)

• State what will be the focus for the whole class instruction during the next quarter.


For example:

During independent reading time Jason needs support in making appropriate book choices. He is becoming more comfortable with various genres but benefits from guidance in this area. He answers questions willingly about the books he reads and his answers demonstrate his improving understanding. He benefits from small group discussions with other students who are reading the same text. Jason still relies on finger-pointing when reading and rarely reads silently. As his knowledge of the basic sight words, improves, his reading will become smoother which will aid comprehension.


Jason expresses his ideas clearly, stays on topic and responds well to questions. He listens and follows multi-step directions. He will continue to take advantage of opportunities to express original ideas to our class audience. Jason consistently reads grade level material independently and is able to choose ‘just right’ books with little guidance. He quickly solves words and ensures that his reading sounds right, looks right and makes sense. He is able to express a solid understanding of what he has read. His fluency is improving but he does not always pay attention to punctuation. He will continue to have small group practice opportunities to pay closer attention to punctuation. In writing Jason is able to use complete thoughts and some details to help the reader understand his ideas. His writing is easy to read because it always goes from left to right, top to bottom, and has spaces between the words. His writing contains most of the proper punctuation and many common words are spelled correctly. His next step is to organize his thoughts according to different forms of writing.