Each progress report and report card provides an opportunity for you to give parents insight into their child’s performance beyond a letter or numerical grade for conduct or academics. Parents want to know how their child is doing, but they also want to know that you get their child. Report cards also help students understand what they are doing well … as well as areas where they could improve. The best way to get these points across is via meaningful comments. Need help? We’ve got dozens of sample report card comments below that are sorted for students at every level: emerging, developing, proficient, and extending standards, plus comments that address behavior, social skills, and more.
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Tips for report card comments
Before using the list below, it’s important to know that teacher comments should be accurate, specific, and personal. The comments below are structured to allow you to fill in the blank for a particular subject or behavior, and then expand the comment. Sometimes you might require an action like a meeting with the parent. Other times you may be encouraging the student to do something in school or at home to improve on a skill or get more practice. Either way, these sample report card comments will establish the how that attaches to the what of any number or letter grade you are documenting.
Sample report card comments for students with emerging skills
It’s often difficult to know the cause of why a student’s skills are still emerging. In these situations, parents can often help you get to the bottom of it. Be specific about areas of difficulty in these comments, and don’t be afraid to ask for a parent’s help. Here are some ideas:
- Your student could use some extra practice in [subject]. Please have them study [skill] for [time] each night.
- Your student hasn’t yet had the chance to master [specific skill]. Review sessions are available [time frame].
- Your student may need additional assistance with [skill/subject]. Completing classwork and homework is the first step to improving.
- Your student needs more practice with [specific skill]. Please check that they have completed their homework each evening.
- We will continue focusing on reinforcing your student’s positive efforts.
- Your student should put more effort into [subject area] to avoid incorrect or incomplete assignments.
- Your student would benefit from more active participation in small-group activities.
- This semester/trimester, I would like your student to work on …
Sample report card comments to encourage a follow-up phone call
We can think of many situations where a report card comment can be the first step in scheduling a phone call or meeting to discuss a concern. Write something positive about the child’s personality while requesting a parent meeting or phone call. Some examples are:
- Your student is always respectful, but I am concerned about their work. When can we meet?
- Your child is inquisitive and engaged in class, but they have quite a bit of missing work. Please call me to discuss some strategies.
- Your child has a wonderful sense of humor/is helpful/is kind but fails to turn in their assignments. Let’s meet to come up with a plan to move forward.
- Let’s work on strategies that will help your student follow through on their assignments.
Sample report card comments about (negative) behavior
Parents want to know how their child has behaved, even if they are not surprised by the behavior. Behavior can be even more difficult to write about than academics. Be careful to avoid personal attacks or statements that can make the parent or child feel judged. For difficult behaviors, stick to statistics and/or basic descriptions. Try things like:
- Your student struggles with [DESIRED behavior]. We will continue to work on this behavior at school.
- Your child struggles with [UNDESIRABLE behavior] and needs to focus on [DESIRED behavior].
- When your student is focused, they are a pleasure to have in class. Let’s meet to discuss strategies to keep them on track.
- Your student often struggles to focus in class, which harms their ability to engage well with class activities and assignments.
- [Student] is working on independent work production and staying on task.
- [Student] often struggles to focus in class, which impacts their ability to engage in class activities.
- I encourage [student] to use time wisely to finish tasks in a timely manner.
- I encourage [student] to be more responsible in completing tasks without frequent reminders.
- I encourage [student] to show that they are properly engaged in learning by improving quality of work and use of class time. Please support this at home by [idea here].
- Your student needs to slow down in order to produce quality/carefully done work.
- Your student needs to follow classroom rules more closely throughout the school day.
- Your student has exhibited [UNDESIRABLE behavior]. We will continue to reinforce appropriate behaviors.
- Your student exhibited [UNDESIRABLE behavior] [this many] times this quarter. Let’s work to reduce the incidence of this behavior to [goal] times.
- [Student] is encouraged to demonstrate more responsible attitudes and behaviors in the classroom.
- [Student] is working on using appropriate language at all times.
- [Student] requires encouragement to listen attentively during group instruction.
- [Student] requires frequent reminders to remain attentive during instruction.
- [Student] is working on voicing feelings and opinions and listening to others.
Sample report card comments for students with developing skills
For students who are still developing, focus on any improvement while also providing suggestions to keep the momentum going. Try these comments:
- Your student has come so far in [subject]! Focusing on [important skill] is the next step.
- Your student has made so much progress! They still struggle with [important skill], so that should be our next focus.
- Your child has done well, but I am concerned that their lack of [listening/focus/motivation] has contributed to a lower grade than I know they could achieve.
- Let’s work on motivating your student to reach their potential.
- I would like to see your student pay closer attention to [subject/topic] in order to get a better grade.
- If your student works as hard on [important skill] as they have worked on [improved subject], then they will be caught up in no time!
- Your child is very engaged during whole-group [subject instruction] but struggles to work independently.
- Your student’s persistence is exemplary.
- When motivated, your child does well on class assignments. We need to extend that motivation further.
- Your child has improved significantly but still needs to slow down and check their work to make sure that all answers are correct.
- Your student is struggling to understand new concepts in [subject]. Paying closer attention to the assigned reading and class lecture would be beneficial.
- The hard work is paying off! Let’s keep it up when we start working on [next skill].
- Your child is enthusiastic but still doesn’t understand [topic]. Additional work on this topic would be incredibly helpful.
- Your child requests a great deal of adult assistance when completing school work. Let’s work on encouraging independent work.
Sample report card comments for students with proficient skills
Let the parent know all the positives about their child and perhaps encourage students to dig just a little bit deeper.
- Your student comes to school each day prepared to work hard.
- I appreciate that your student does their best every single day.
- Your student is an enthusiastic member of the class and shows a willingness to learn.
- I enjoy how invested your child is in their learning.
- I appreciate your child’s dedication to their studies in my class.
- Not only is your student strong academically, but they are also a leader in the classroom.
- I appreciate that your student is always committed to doing their best.
- Your student understands the material well. Let’s find a way to help them shine.
- Your child has the potential to be at the top of the class.
- With a little more effort, your child could move up to the advanced group in [the subject where effort is lacking].
- Your child puts in great work in [preferred subject]! If they apply those skills to [non-preferred subject], there’s no stopping them.
- Your child excels at applying what they learn in the classroom to real-world and real-life situations. With a little more work, they could really go far!
Sample report card comments for students with advanced skills
Positive behaviors deserve just as much (if not more) attention as negative behaviors. These comments can be the most fun to write. Begin with a simple stem and then fill in the personal details that will make the parent smile. Example sentence starters are:
- Your child exhibits exceptional focus and diligence in their work.
- Your student is excellent at taking ownership of their learning.
- I appreciate that your child is committed to doing their best.
- Your student seeks new challenges.
- Your child has a fantastic work ethic.
- Your child exceeds expectations on a regular basis.
- Your student avoids careless errors through attention to detail.
- Your child sets high standards for themself and achieves them.
- Teaching your child is always an adventure! I love it when they …
- Your child conducts themself with maturity.
- Your child is able to focus and stays on task during independent work times.
- Your student uses instincts to deal with matters independently and in a positive way.
- I have enjoyed your child’s sense of humor in our classroom, as well as …
- Your child has an impressive understanding and knowledge about their interests.
Sample report card comments to showcase students’ strengths
Students who excel at helping out others deserve to have their skills mentioned in comments!
- [Student] is confident, positive, and a great role model for their classmates.
- [Student] is a valuable part of class. They are among the first to help and mentor classmates.
- [Student] has shown an ability to set goals and work to achieve them.
- [Student] is engaged and able to set their own learning targets.
- [Student] is an active participant. They listen attentively and make an effort to avoid distractions that could disrupt their learning.
- [Student] is accountable for their actions and takes opportunities to improve.
- [Student] relates well to classmates and appreciates peers’ perspectives.
- [Student] demonstrates emotional maturity and responds appropriately to feedback.
- [Student] always looks for ways to be helpful in the classroom.
- [Student] is dependable and reliable and follows through on commitments.
- Your student relates well to classmates and is appreciative of different perspectives and experiences.
- It is a joy teaching your student! I can always count on them to …
- Your child makes the classroom a brighter place. They often …
- Your student’s conduct is exemplary. They …
- Your student works well with classmates and often takes a leadership role.
- Not only is your child a strong student, but they are also a wonderful human being.
- Your student displays good citizenship by assisting other students.
- Your child demonstrates responsibility daily by caring for the materials in our classroom conscientiously.
- Your child is exceptionally organized and takes care of their things.
- Your child is thoughtful and kind in their interactions with others.
- Your student plans and carries out group activities carefully.
- Your child is a very special student and one that I will never forget. I will miss them next year!
While all of these comments can supplement the grades on a report card, you don’t have to wait to use them. Sending notes home between progress reports and report cards with little comments like these can bolster the parent-teacher relationship. Write them in communication folders or on postcards for that extra school-home connection.
Sample report card comments to highlight positive behavior
Sometimes you’ll have a lot to say about a student’s positive behaviors. Parents love to hear that their kids are model citizens. Here are comments that communicate all the good behaviors you see in class.
- [Student] works well with classmates on group work and often takes a leadership role.
- [Student] shows a positive attitude when working with peers. They take and give suggestions and directions effectively.
- [Student] excels at applying what they learn to real-world situations.
- It is a pleasure to have [student]’s enthusiasm and maturity in class.
- [Student] is an enthusiastic member of class and shows a willingness to learn.
- [Student] shows responsible behavior, works well in a group, and shows appreciation for classmates’ efforts.
- [Student] is focused during class activities and participates in discussions.
- [Student] works on independent work with focus and confidence.
- [Student] has overcome big challenges this year.
- [Student] follows directions promptly and accurately.
- [Student] transitions easily between classroom activities without distraction.
- [Student] is polite and uses good manners in the classroom.
- [Student] responds appropriately when corrected.
- [Student] takes classroom jobs seriously and demonstrates responsibility when completing them.
Sample report card comments for math
Providing specific information about how a child is doing in core subjects helps parents know exactly what to expect on the grades portion of the report card. And providing a positive statement about a subject can help you lead into a statement about what the child needs to work on.
- [Student] has a good understanding of math concepts taught this year. They continue to complete work correctly and enjoy math activities.
- [Student] has a positive attitude toward math but has trouble in a few key areas [list here]. Practicing every night at home will help them improve in these areas.
- [Student] demonstrates a good understanding of math concepts and communicates clearly and with strong justification.
- [Student] seems to need continuous encouragement in math. They continue to struggle with foundational math concepts for [grade level].
- [Student] is having a difficult time with certain concepts in math. Areas in need of extra work include [list here].
- [Student] is struggling to maintain pace in math. They could benefit from [practice activity here].
- [Student] is easily distracted during math and this impacts their learning.
- [Student] does well on math assignments but struggles with tests. Please make sure they study and prepare for tests as they approach.
Sample report card comments for reading and writing
Just like with math, it’s good to comment on the specific aspects of academics that students are doing well and those that they can work on. Use these comments to explain where a student is in their reading and writing progress.
- [Student] has made great improvements in [spelling, comprehension, reading] and could use support in [spelling, comprehension, reading]. Please reach out if you need supplemental learning materials to use for practice at home.
- [Student] always puts effort into their writing work.
- [Student] is able to take new skills and apply them to writing assignments.
- [Student] is able to offer responses to text and supports ideas with sound reasoning and examples.
- [Student] reads with fluency and comprehension.
- [Student] is working on reading fluency. They would benefit from reading aloud at home.
- [Student] is able to understand and discuss text read aloud.
- [Student] consistently reads grade-level material.
- [Student] is able to choose books to read that they really enjoy.
- [Student] uses editing skills to edit writing to improve grammar and punctuation.
- [Student] organizes writing well and organizes thoughts into complete paragraphs.
- [Student] is able to analyze character actions and story plots and make inferences from what they read.
- [Student] is thoughtful and insightful in class discussion and written work. They express their ideas clearly.
Sample report card comments about social skills
As much as school is about academics, parents also worry about social skills and how their child is doing in terms of fitting in, making friends, and managing social situations. For some kids, this will be a strength and for some it will be an area of focus, but make sure to include whatever information parents need to know.
- [Student] has made many friends in the classroom.
- [Student] is well liked by classmates.
- [Student] treats other students with empathy and fairness.
- [Student] handles disagreements with peers appropriately.
- [Student] appears comfortable in new situations.
- [Student] chooses to spend free time with friends.
Sample report card comments about communication
Communication is another important skill that students are learning and honing in school that you can report on. Particularly for kids whose communication skills are either a strength or something they need help with, a comment about this can be very helpful to parents.
- [Student] has a well-developed vocabulary.
- [Student] expresses their ideas clearly.
- [Student] has a vibrant imagination and uses their imagination in storytelling and writing.
- [Student] always participates in whole-group discussions.
- [Student] can make a logical and persuasive argument in oral discussion or in writing.
- [Student] listens to the comments and ideas of others without interrupting.
- [Student] is working on participating in class. Please encourage them to raise their hand or engage in group discussion.
- I would love to hear from [student] more. Please encourage them to participate in class.
- [Student] is working on using their words to solve problems/communicate well with peers.
Sample report card comments about group work
Group work gets at a child’s ability to work with peers, solve problems, and communicate. It’s also often a barometer for social skills. Giving comments about group work can tell parents a lot about how their child is able to succeed in teamwork and if there are any red flags.
- [Student] offers constructive suggestions to peers.
- [Student] accepts recommendations of peers and acts on them when appropriate.
- [Student] takes various roles in group work as assigned or as needed.
- [Student] welcomes leadership roles in groups.
- [Student] shows fairness in distributing group tasks.
- [Student] plans and carries out group activities carefully.
- [Student] works democratically with peers.
- [Student] encourages peers during group work.
- [Student] is working on accepting their share of the work during group assignments.
Sample report card comments about time management
Managing time is a skill that gets more and more important as kids move through school, and it is something that all parents can help with at home. Help parents know how their child is doing managing time with these comments.
- [Student] approaches classroom assignments, tasks, and group work in an organized way.
- [Student] is on time and prepared for class each day.
- [Student] works at an appropriate pace.
- [Student] is able to pace their work for long-term assignments.
- [Student] completes makeup work in a timely fashion.
- [Student] is working on using time wisely.
- [Student] is working on managing time, especially when there are multiple tasks to complete during a work period.
- [Student] is working on organizing their materials and using organization to support work completion.
Sample report card comments about work habits
Same as time management, comments about work habits are helpful for parents because they explain how a student is approaching their work and how their academics are impacted because of these habits.
- [Student] is self-motivated.
- [Student] exceeds expectations with the quality of their work.
- [Student] readily grasps new concepts or ideas.
- [Student] produces neat and careful work.
- [Student] checks work thoroughly before submitting it.
- [Student] pays attention to work and submits work that does not have errors.
- [Student] is working on producing neat work.
- [Student] is working on checking work thoroughly before submitting it.
- [Student] is working on submitting work that does not have errors. They frequently require additional review to ensure that all errors are corrected.