When teachers talk about the joys of teaching, I’m pretty sure they aren’t talking about report card writing. It may just rank right up there with indoor recess, yard duty, and staff meetings. But report cards don’t have to be such a pain. Here are a few report card general principles, followed by my handy dandy list of editable go-to phrases!
Three Report Card Principles
1. Be Truthful, but Kind
A report card’s main purpose is to inform parents about their child’s progress. While there should be no major surprises (BIG issues should have already been discussed with the child’s parents), the report card should be an honest reflection of that child’s performance. Of course, we want to word things in a way that is as positive as we can be and in a way that is encouraging and provides suggestions for improvement, rather than discourage.
2. Follow the Magical Format
If the child is doing well overall, you are golden!! An easy report card is one that I LOVE to do. Unfortunately, not all kids are Einsteins or angels, and we have to mention some areas that need improvement. That’s when we use the magical format, which is:
A. Start with a compliment. You might have to dig deep but get creative, while still being genuine. (Okay, you might have to really reach for one sometimes, not going to lie). Seriously though, every child has attributes we can praise, even the most challenging kids.
B. Next, add a line or two about what is challenging the child, how he/she struggles in a certain area, and do make sure to offer a solution or suggestion that is practical and helpful.
C. End on a positive note. Again, a compliment is a nice touch any time of the year and for the end-of-the-year report card, something like this works well: “best wishes for ____ grade” or “have a wonderful summer,” or “I’m so glad to have been ______’s teacher this year.”
3. Proofread and Check and Proofread Again
Report card time is crunch time and when we’re trying to speed through things and get them done, those nasty little typos pop up where we least expect them. Do make sure to double check everything before you hit print and send them home. All communication to parents is seen as a reflection of ourselves as teachers, and should be as perfect as we can make it.
100 Report Card Comments
Now that we’ve got the principles out of the way, here is my list of 100 report card comments. I’ve tried to include a wide variety of comments for the wide variety of ability levels and behavioral issues of the kids that we teach in our classrooms.
1. I have truly enjoyed being __________’s teacher and will miss him/her next year.
2. _______ is making good/excellent/outstanding progress in _______ grade.
3. _______ has done a(n)/fantastic/exemplary/wonderful job this year in ______ grade and has worked so very hard.
4. I appreciate ____________’s quality work/motivation to do well/attitude and have enjoyed being his/her teacher.
5. _______ is intelligent but works below his/her capacity/potential due to a lack of motivation/attention to quality work.
6. _______ succeeds at whatever task he/she puts his/her mind to.
7. I am so proud of ________ and wish him/her well for _______ grade and beyond.
8. _______ has worked very hard this year and I am proud of all of his/her accomplishments.
9. _______ has strengthened his/her skills in _________.
10. _______ is respectful to his/her classmates and is very well liked.
11. I am concerned about _________’s organizational skills and his/her responsibility related to turning in assignments on time.
12. _______ sets high standards for himself/herself and reaches them.
13. _______ is helpful and kind and is a pleasure to be around.
14. _______ has done well in many areas but I am concerned that his/her lack of listening/focus/motivation and following directions/working independently/working quietly has contributed to his lower grade in ______________.
15. ________ has made good/excellent/outstanding progress in all academic areas.
16. ________ is bright, motivated, and hard working and can be proud of his/her accomplishments this year.
17. Unfortunately, _________’s grades have suffered from missing assignments.
18. ________ is gaining confidence in _____________ but would benefit from __________________.
19.________ follows classroom rules consistently and is a good role model.
20. Please encourage ________ to ______________ each day to help him/her improve in _____________.
21. ________ has a positive attitude and is a joy to teach.
22. ________ seems to find __________ challenging and would benefit from reading nightly/practicing math facts/working online.
23. ________ is a(n) awesome/wonderful/fabulous ________ grader and I have enjoyed getting to know him/her this year.
24. ________ is capable of achieving a higher grade in ________ but needs to ______________ in order to make progress.
25. ________ excels in creative/narrative/opinion writing.
26. ________ produces stories/essays/paragraphs that are well organized/well developed.
27. ________ has strong reading comprehension skills.
28. ________ seems to have difficulty at times with reading comprehension and would benefit from __________.
29. ________ has made great improvement in the area of ______________.
30. ________ works well with other students.
31. ________ not only works well with his/her classmates, but also is a natural leader.
32. ________ is intrinsically motivated and strives to please.
33. ________ is doing an excellent/outstanding/wonderful/fantastic/great job overall this year.
34. ________ enjoys participating in class lessons and his/her background knowledge adds a great deal to our discussions.
35. ________ is very compassionate and is always kind to others.
36. ________ is a creative student and I have enjoyed seeing the wonderful writing/art projects/drawings he/she has created/written.
37. ________ is on task regardless of the activity.
38. ________ seems to enjoy school and his/her positive attitude brightens up our classroom.
39. ________ listens attentively to directions, and I appreciate his/her ability to start work right away.
40. ________ is a very polite student, and is a joy to teach.
41. ________ struggles with following classroom rules, and needs to focus on working quietly/staying in his/her seat…
42. ________ is very talkative during quiet working periods and distracts others around him/her.
43. Working quietly is very difficult for ______, and I would like him/her to focus on his/her work, so that he/she, as well as others around him/her is able to attend to the task at hand/learn more effectively.
44. _______ has an excellent attitude and is always willing to lend a hand.
45. _______ is a wonderful helper and a classroom leader.
46. _______ shows interest and enthusiasm for classroom activities and seems to enjoy learning.
47. _______ is polite to classmates and to all adults on staff at school.
48. _______ is a problem solver and shows a great deal of persistence.
49. _______ enjoys being challenged and would benefit from __________________________________.
50. _______ completes his/her work carefully and completely.
51. I appreciate _________’s neat work that is carefully done.
52. _______ needs to slow down, in order to produce quality/carefully done work.
53. _______ struggles with organizational skills in the classroom and needs to keep his/her desk neater, in order to make his/her day run more smoothly.
54. _______ struggles to find needed papers/materials and would benefit from using a folder/a binder/keeping a neater desk.
55. _______ is very organized and finds needed materials easily.
56. _______ displays good citizenship in our classroom.
57. _______ has worked hard to raise his/her grade in __________ and I appreciate his/her effort.
58. _______ has a strong work ethic and never completes any assignment halfway.
59. _______ has learned a great deal this year and has shown particular improvement in ___________.
60. _______ needs to memorize his/her basic math facts in order to complete complex math problems more easily.
61. _______ would benefit from __________________________ to fully memorize basic math facts.
62. Memorizing basic addition/multiplication math facts would be very helpful to ___________.
63. ________ shows special strengths in the area of social studies/science and has done very well this trimester/year.
64. Science/social studies tests have been very difficult for ______, and he/she would benefit from increasing the time spent studying the material.
65. _______ seems to enjoy science/social studies and has done an excellent job this year.
66. _______ needs to listen and follow directions carefully during class time.
67. _______ pays attention to detail in his/her assignments and I appreciate the high quality of his/her work.
68. _______ is very responsible and turns assignments/homework in on time.
69. _______ uses higher level thinking skills to complete challenging assignments.
70. _______ is an active participant in small group, as well as whole class discussions.
71. _______ is truly eager to learn and asks questions appropriately when needed.
72. _______ has a good sense of theme/the main idea/characters/plot/inferences, which strengthens his/her reading ability.
73. _______ reads smoothly and with good expression.
74. _______ is able to use data from graphs and charts/use a compass successfully/convert measurements correctly.
75. This trimester, I would like _________ to work on __________________________.
76. _______ uses reading strategies such as __________ effectively, which increases his/her reading comprehension.
77. _______ has a large vocabulary, which adds to his/her ability to write effectively.
78. _______ shows strong knowledge in the area of ______________.
79. _______ is able to share appropriate and relevant information, which adds to classroom discussions.
80. _______ consistently puts forth his/her best effort in ____________, which is wonderful to see.
81. _______ arrives at school each day with a happy attitude, ready to learn.
82. _______ has exceeded expectations in the area of __________.
83. _______ works independently and is able to complete enrichment activities when he/she is finished with required assignments.
84. _______ is able to focus and stays on task during independent working times.
85. I have enjoyed ________’s sense of humor in our classroom.
86. _______ has a wonderful personality and his/her sense of humor makes me smile.
87. _______ is an excellent ______ grader, and he/she has made our classroom a better place.
88. _______ uses class time constructively.
89. _______ is a flexible learner and adapts easily to new challenges.
90. This trimester, I would like ________to focus on ___________________ in order to______________________.
91. _______ always uses his/her time wisely.
92. _______ turns in work that is beautifully done.
93. _______ needs lots of repetition and practice in order to retain_________________.
94. _______ enjoys poetry/reading/music/science/art… and excels in it.
95. _______ is an attentive student and is working well in all subject areas.
96. I would like to see _______ pay closer attention to __________________ in order to _______________________.
97. _______ is a very talented artist, and I truly enjoy the passion he/she puts into his/her artwork.
98. I have truly enjoyed getting to know ______ and wish him/her the very best in _____ grade and beyond.
99. I have enjoyed having _____ in our class this year and will truly miss him/her as he/she moves on to ______ grade.
100. ______ is a very special student and one that I will never forget. I will miss him/her next year.
If you’d like to have a free PDF of this list, please click here:
I do hope that this list was helpful. Did you find any new ones here that you might try? Let me know too, if you have a favorite comment that I missed.
Jenn Larson has been a teacher for 20 years and has taught grades K–5 at least once but has enjoyed teaching 4th/5th for the last nine years. Jenn loves to create curriculum that is engaging and meaningful for the busy teacher as The Teacher Next Door. Jenn is also the mother of two children and lives in Northern California.