The comments section on a report card is just as important as the grades. Teachers should set aside time to think about each student individually and evaluate what they are going to write on the report cards. Generic statements such as "a pleasure to have in class!" are not helpful to the students, parents or other teachers or educators who may be reviewing their report card. Use phrases and words that are specific and help the students and parents better understand their grades, strengths and weaknesses.
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Before sitting down to fill out the remarks on each student, review each child individually. Take notes and collect your thoughts before you begin writing. This will help you include everything you want to discuss and keep you from getting off track.
Discuss the student's academic performance in the classroom. Use the comments box to explain any high or low grades and give the parents and students some insight into how they are doing in the classroom. If the child is failing math because of missing homework assignments even though he is passing all his tests, state this in the comments section. If a child seems to have a gift for a specific subject, mention that too.
Discuss other characteristics and learning styles. If a child seems particularly eager to learn, their parents would like to know about it. Use words like cheerful, pleasant, confident and determined to describe students who are developing well in the classroom setting.
Encourage children who are trying to improve. If you have a child who began the year badly and have seen progress, use the comment section to highlight her changed behaviour. By adding "learning to" in front of share, listen, work independently, you let students and parents know that you appreciate the effort they are making.
Try and come up with something positive. Even if a child is unmotivated or disruptive in class, tell parents and the child that you see potential if he really works at it. Remember that your students are likely see these comments and it's important to encourage them.
Use a spell checker and write neatly. Most schools still fill out report cards by hand. Type comments ahead of time on the computer so you can use a grammar and spelling checker. Proofread the comments for any grammatical errors, and only then write your report cards out by hand.
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