Giving students constructive criticism is one of the most important tasks a teacher faces. It can be difficult to know how to best communicate with a student about their progress, especially when it comes to report card comments. This guide will help you write effective report card comments that are clear, concise, and accurate. So let’s get started!
What Makes a Good Report Card Comment?
There are a few key things to keep in mind when writing report card comments. Here is what makes a good report card comment:
1. Positive and solution-focused
It’s important to focus on the positive when writing report card comments. For every negative comment, there should be at least two positive comments. This report card comment strategy is a great way to make sure you’re including both positive and negative feedback in your comments.
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2. Clear and concise
Report card comments should be clear and concise. This means avoiding generalities and using specific, concrete examples. This will help the student (and their parents) understand what they need to work on.
Report card comments should be accurate. This means making sure your comments align with the grades the student has earned. There’s no point in sugar-coating a bad grade – it will only confuse the student and their parents.
Now that we’ve gone over what makes a good report card comment, let’s look at some tips for writing effective report card comments.
Tips for Writing Effective Report Card Comments
1. Use specific, concrete examples
One of the most important things to do when writing report card comments is to use specific, concrete examples. This will help the student understand what they need to work on. For example, instead of saying, “______ needs to work on his behavior,” you could say, “_____ needs to work on staying seated during class.”
2. Avoid generalities
When writing comments on a report card, it’s important to avoid generalities. For example, instead of writing “Your child is a joy to have in class,” try something more specific, such as “Your child is always willing to help out other students.” This will give the student and their family a better idea of what they’re doing well and what areas they can continue to improve in.
3. Use positive language
It’s essential to use positive language when writing report card comments. This means avoiding negative words like “doesn’t,” “won’t,” and “can’t.” For example, instead of writing “_____ doesn’t pay attention in class,” try “_____ is working on paying attention in class.” This small change can make a big difference in how students and their families perceive their progress.
4. Employ sandwich technique
The sandwich technique is a great way to deliver both positive and negative feedback in a report card comment. This means starting with a positive comment, followed by constructive criticism, and ending with another positive comment. This gives the student a sense of their progress while still providing areas for improvement.
5. Proofread your comments
When writing report card comments, it’s important to be clear and accurate. However, it’s also important to make sure that your comments are free of typos and grammatical errors. After all, you don’t want to give a student or their family the wrong impression about their academic progress! Make sure to proofread your comments before sending them home.
Now that we’ve gone over some tips for writing effective report card comments let’s take a look at some examples.
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Example Report Card Comments
1. Academic Achievement
This is for students who have performed well academically. These comments assess a student’s progress and encourage future academic success.
1. ______ is an excellent student who always comes prepared for class. He is a joy to have in class and is always willing to help out other students.
2. _______ is a smart and inquisitive student who loves to learn. She is a pleasure to have in class and is always asking questions.
3. _______ is a hard-working student who is always trying his best. This year, he has made great progress, and I’m excited to see what he does next year.
4. _______ is a gifted student who excels in all her subjects. She has a bright future ahead of her, and I’m excited to see what she accomplishes.
5. _______ is a talented student who has a real passion for learning. He is always asking questions and is eager to get his hands on new material.
2. Partially Meeting Expectations
This is for students who are partially meeting expectations academically.
1. _______ is an intelligent student who has great potential. He needs to work on staying focused in class and following directions.
2. _______ is a hard-working student who is making progress. She need to work on ___________ and ___________.
3. _______ has moments of greatness, but he needs to be more consistent with his effort and focus.
4. _______ is a bright student, but she needs to learn to apply herself more consistently.
5. _______ is a hard worker, but he needs to improve his organizational skills.
3. Social/Emotional Development
This is for students who are developing well socially and emotionally.
1. _______ is a kind and caring student who always looks out for others. He is a good friend to all and is always willing to help.
2. _______ has made great strides in his/her social development this year. She is more confident and able to express herself well.
3. _______ works well with others and is able to take turns and share.
4. _______ is a leader among his/her peers and is often looked up to by other students.
5. _______ is an independent thinker who is not afraid to express his/her opinions.
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4. General Development
This is for students who are developing well academically, socially, and emotionally.
1. _______ has made great strides in his/her development this year. He is more confident and independent and is doing well academically.
2. _______ is a happy and thriving student who loves school. She is making friends and doing well academically.
3. _______ is a well-rounded student who is doing well in all areas. He is a good friend, does his best in school, and loves to learn.
4. _______ is a joy to have in class. She is polite, hard-working, and always has a smile on her face.
5. _______ is a model student who always puts his best foot forward. He is a role model to others and sets a good example for all to follow.
Now that we have gone over some tips for writing effective report card comments and examples of what to write, it’s time to get started on those report cards! We hope this guide has been helpful and wish you the best of luck in the new school year.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What should I do if I’m having trouble coming up with something to write?
If you’re struggling to come up with something to write, try focusing on the positive. Instead of starting with what the student needs to work on, start with what the student is doing well. This will help you brainstorm some ideas of things to say. You can also ask other teachers or the student’s parents for input.
Can I use report card comments from other sources?
While you can use comments from other sources as inspiration, you must take the time to personalize each comment. This way, the student and their family will know that you took the time to write something specifically for them.
What if I need to give a student negative feedback?
If you need to give a student negative feedback, it’s essential to be clear, concise, and constructive. For example, instead of writing “________ is lazy and doesn’t do his work,” try “________ needs to work on being more diligent with his schoolwork.” It’s also important to balance any negative comments with positive ones. This way, the student and their family will know that you still see potential and are invested in their success.
Do I need to write a comment for every subject?
While you don’t need to write a comment for every subject, it’s generally a good idea to do so. This way, the student and their family will have a complete picture of their progress. If you’re short on time, try focusing on the subjects that the student is struggling in or that you feel are most important.
What is the best way to end a report card comment?
The best way to end a report card comment is with a statement of hope or encouragement. For example, you could write, “I’m looking forward to seeing ________ progress in the second half of the year” or “I know that ________ can reach his/her goals if he/she continues to work hard.”