25 Meaningful Report Card Comments

Why does writing Report Card comments have to be so hard?!  Sometimes it’s a mental block.  How do you give parents an honest and clear picture of how their child is doing in one comment? Oftentimes though, teachers have to say things that aren’t easy for parents to hear but need to be told.  Certain information is essential for parents to be aware of if they’re going to work together with you as a team to help their child get the best education possible. Here are some tips to help you write meaningful report card comments to help parents understand their child’s progress… along with examples and 25 actual comments that you can use on your own Report Cards!

Instead of filling out report card comments with the same boring phrases over and over, mix things up a little with meaningful report card comments both your parents and students will appreciate.

Here are my best tips on how to write Report Card Comments

1. Start out with a compliment

Anytime you share information about a child with their parents, always start out by sharing a kind, heartfelt compliment first.  This is especially important when you need to say something that might be hard for parents to hear.  
Show parents that you not only know their child, but can see the amazing kiddo they are by starting out your meaningful report card comments with a compliment.
When a parent knows that you care for their child and believe in them, they are much less likely to get upset when you bring up areas of weakness.  They trust you and will listen to what you have to say.  Give each child a compliment so that parents feel good knowing their child is doing something well. This compliment could be educational, behavioral, a positive character trait, or could be anything you have noticed the student does well.  
Some ideas could include:
  • Jack is such a creative thinker!
  • Susan gives her best effort every day!
  • I can always count on Cody to follow my directions!
  • Beth knows all of her multiplication facts all the way up to the 12s!
  • I love how Neil is always willing to help his classmates!

If you’re struggling to come up with something positive for a particular student, think of what the rest of your class might say about this child.  Would they say he makes them laugh and is really funny?  Then, “Caleb has a great sense of humor” might be the compliment you’re looking for!

2. Tell the truth in a caring way

Now that you’ve got a compliment to acknowledge the student’s good attributes, you can share what needs work.  Always remember that report cards reflect how students are doing in their classes.  Even though a report card is probably not the first time you have shared that a student is struggling, it can be difficult for parents to see it in black and white. You can help parents be receptive to any perceived “criticism” by staying positive just as you would if you were meeting in person.  Focusing on the “thing” as opposed to the student can make a big difference in how the words are received. 
When sharing news that could be negative, focus on the act as opposed to the studetn.
Have you ever had your principal or other superior say something about your performance in a negative way? If so, then you know exactly how it feels (and it’s not good!). Parents can often feel personally attacked when receiving “bad news” about their child’s academic abilities or behavior, and that can cause them to become defensive.  Try to keep comments focused on the actual problem and the effects of the problem causes.
For example:
  • Abby shouts out in class all the time!– “I love that Abby is so willing to participate in class discussions, but blurting out is distracting and prevents others from being able to share.”
  • Hunter never reads at night and really needs to!– “It is very important that Hunter reads 20 minutes each night to help improve his fluency skills.”
  • Callie talks too much with friends during class!–  “Callie’s desire to socialize with her friends is causing her to lose focus during instructional time.”
  • Jason is not growing in any academic areas!– “I am concerned that Jason is not showing the growth I would have expected at this point in the year.”  

3. Give a “next step” solution  

Once you have shared the problem, give parents an actionable step that shows a plan to fix it!  Parents can feel overwhelmed knowing that there’s a problem.  Giving them a “next step” can show that you are committed to helping them and their child work towards a solution.
This “next step” could be something the student is responsible to work on, a method you try at school, a way parents can help at home, or a plan that you work on together to benefit the student.
Use your meaningful report card comments to offer helpful solutions to parents.
Some examples include:
  • “Please discuss with Abby the importance of raising her hand before speaking in class.”
  • “Feel free to read aloud with Hunter each night for his 20 minutes of reading.”
  • “Callie and I have talked about how important listening in class is. Please remind her of this at home as well.”
  • “Let’s get together and talk about a plan on how we can help Jason.  Call or message me to let me know dates that you are available to meet.”
If a student is doing well and doesn’t have any areas of weakness, a “next step” could be to address the student directly with acknowledgment of all they are doing: “Sarah, I’m so proud of you! Keep working hard!”  The student and their parents will enjoy seeing that you noticed their efforts. 

Don’t know where to start?

Sometimes it’s stressful writing report card comments, especially if you’re in a time crunch!  
If you are struggling to write meaningful report card comments, don't be afraid to use a template to help you along the way.
If you’re struggling and need a boost to get started, try filling in the blanks of the templates below:
  • “I am so proud of (Student’s Name) for (something positive he or she does). He/she is a joy to have in class!  Keep working hard!”
  • “(Student’s Name) does a really great job (something positive he or she does). I have noticed that (name a problem the student has). Let’s meet to discuss how we can help your child with this issue.” 
  • “I love the way (Student’s Name) (something good he or she does)! I think that if he/she would (something the student needs to stop doing or start doing), it would really help him/her grow in (area of needed improvement). Thank you for your support!” 

Need more report card comment inspiration?

Here are 25 quick and easy comments that you can add to any Report Card!
Even if you are offering areas where students need to improve, it's possible to write meaningful report card comments to help parents understand what's going on at school and how they can help.

Positive Comments

  1. (Student Name) is a hard worker and does all that I ask of him/her.
  2. (Student Name) perseveres even when tasks are difficult.
  3. (Student Name) is a good leader for other students to follow.
  4. (Student Name) completes work neatly and on time.
  5. (Student Name) works well in partners and groups.
  6. (Student Name) participates appropriately in class discussions.
  7. (Student Name) is kind to others and well-liked by his/her peers.
  8. (Student Name) is making great growth in Reading/Math/Writing etc…
  9. (Student Name) has wonderful artistic talent! I love his/her drawings!
  10. I appreciate how (Student Name) comes to school each day excited to learn!
  11. (Student Name) is so organized and always uses his/her class time wisely.
  12. I am so proud of the effort (Student Name) is putting forth to become a better reader!
  13. (Student Name) has excellent critical thinking skills.
  14. I appreciate how honest and trustworthy (Student Name) is!
  15. I love hearing the dramatic way (Student Name) reads aloud!

Needs Work Comments

  1. (Student Name) has difficulty staying focused in class.
  2. (Student Name) has many missing assignments that have caused his/her grade to drop.
  3. (Student Name) often comes to class unprepared.
  4. (Student Name) can be very talkative during silent work time.
  5. (Student Name) struggles to follow written and/or oral directions.
  6. (Student Name) has difficulty completing assignments when given a time limit.
  7. I find that (Student Name) seems very tired each morning and struggles to stay awake.
  8. (Student Name) often relies on me or other students to help him/her complete his/her work.
  9. (Student Name) struggles with working memory and retention of skills.
  10. (Student Name) lacks confidence in his/her abilities which keeps him/her from giving her best effort.

Feeling Better about writing Report Card Comments?

I hope that these ideas, examples, and comments help you feel better about writing comments on your own Report Cards.  Over the years, it does seem to get a bit easier with more practice. 
Simply keep in mind that the purpose of Report Card comments is to help students and parents understand the child’s strengths, and areas that need improvement, and give suggestions for how to help them grow.  Providing constructive feedback keeps everyone on the same page as you work together for the benefit of their student.  After all, that’s what it is all about!
Constructive and meaningful report card comments are beneficial for parents and students.

Pin these Report Card Comments!

Save this post to your favorite Pinterest teaching board so that when Report Card time rolls around, you’ll be ready! 
Writing meaningful report card comments for every one of your students doesn't have to repetitive or impersonal with these 25 helpful suggestions. Parents and students alike will appreciate helpful comments that show you know and care about each of your students as individual human beings. From compliments, areas of needed improvement, or making parents aware of academic or social issues, report card comments can help you have a smooth and successful year. #elementaryisland #reportcard #reportcardcomments #meaningfulreportcardcomments #writingreportcards #writingreportcardcomments


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