24 March, 2011

100 Useful Words & Phrases When Writing Report Card Comments For Elementary Students

In writing report card comments for elementary school students, the words and phrases that are used can have a significant impact on the child, and on the family. The purpose of a report card is not only to enlighten the parent and student about the student's progress in school. Report cards can also show parents where room for improvement lies, as long as the report card keeps a positive spin even during negative situations. In order to be most effective when it comes to writing report card comments down for these young students, teachers should make use of the most useful and effective words and phrases in order to better drive their points across.

The best way to write report card comments for elementary school students is to form the comments in a way that is constructive rather than focusing on negative aspects of each child's academic career. An effective report card is one that focuses on areas of improvement rather than dwelling on the negative nature of a child's past performance. Even if a student has received a failing grade in a particular subject or class, there is no reason to turn that experience into a negative one. This is especially true when it comes to report cards, which are an innovative way to get the parent involved with whatever needs the child has.

Using the right modifiers and descriptors when referring to the strengths and weaknesses of the student will allow you to relate report card comments to the achievement of certain expectations. Rather than focusing on the negative aspects of a failing grade for example, an effective instructor will turn poor performance into an opportunity for additional learning and growth.

F grade, failing grade or equivalent: When there are areas for improvement, rather than focusing on the negative aspect, instructors can positively spin the needs of students by using the right descriptors and modifiers for each area. There is no reason to be directly negative, and nothing good or productive will come of being that way.
- Not using or seldom using
- Seldom, Seldom meeting
- Experiencing Difficulty
- Insufficiently, insufficient
- Lacking, Lacks in - Unclear or Unfocused
- Inaccurate or Weak
- Inactive
- Inadequate
- Very Limited
- None Evident, No Evidence
- Very limited
- Delayed or Gradual

D grade, just above a failing grade or equivalent: Rather than looking at a D grade as a negative grade, instructors can use these phrases to describe making an attempt, beginning to show progress, or simply needing assistance.
- Using Only
- With Assistance, With Help
- Inconsistent, Inconsistently
- Rare, Rarely - Makes Attempts
- Varied or Incomplete
- Unclear or Not Quite Clear
- Limited or Limited Accuracy
- Beginning, Starting to
- Slow, Slow-Going
- Little, Minor

C grade, average grade or equivalent: Although a C grade is an average grade, a positive spin can be placed on it by explaining how the student is showing improvement, is gaining clarity or is developing or improving in certain aspects of his or her schoolwork.
- Sometimes - Satisfactory
- Using More, Nearly Most
- With limited assistance
- With some assistance - Almost complete
- With some clarity
- Some
- Developing or Improving - Approaching or Accelerating
- Partial
- Emerging
- Accuracy

B grade, above average grade or equivalent: B grades are above average, and the descriptors and modifiers that are used should reflect that.
- Independently
- Using Most
- Consistently
- Appropriate
- Complete
- Effective
- Often or Regularly
- Coherent or Clear, Concise
- Full
- Quick - Prompt
- Meeting
- General
- Accurate
- Capable, Capability

A grade, near perfect grade or equivalent:
- Systematically
- Using All
- Outstanding
- Independently
- Always
-Competently, With Competence
- Comprehensive
- Precise
- Rapid, Extensive
- Consistently and Accurately
- Thorough and In Depth
- Surpassing, or Exceeding

Using simple verbs will allow you to describe the strengths of each student in his or her report card. Recognizing a student's strengths, even when the student is having difficulty in class, is a great way to allow development of strong, positive characteristics in addition to improving upon weaker characteristics.
- Applies
- Builds
- Compares
- Completes
- Constructs
- Continues To
- Creates
- Demonstrates
- Describes
- Develops
- Evaluates
- Experiments
- Explains
- Expresses
- Extends
- Has Learned
- Illustrates
- Interprets
- Is Able To
- Knows
- Organizes
- Operates
- Participates
- Performs
- Produces
- Recognizes
- Shows
- Solves
- Understands
- Uses
- Works Well

Teachers should make a point to avoid judgmental or negative phrases that are worded strongly, in addition to describing weaknesses. Even when a need is present to describe a particular weakness, there are ways to create a positive spin by turning what a student lacks into what a student simply needs assistance with. The following phrases are generally suggested to meet these needs:
-Attempts to, Makes attempts
- Continues to Need Help with
- Encouragement with
- Experiences Difficulty with
- Is being encouraged to
- Is benefiting from practice with
- Is learning to
- Is receiving additional help with
- Is working at
- Needs more opportunities to
- Needs ongoing help with, Needs ongoing assistance with
- Needs support
- Needs to develop
- Needs to improve, Needs improvement in
- Requires adult support for
- Requires more time
- Tries to, Makes attempts to

The purpose behind filling comments out on a report card for elementary students is simple, especially when this space is used to create a positive summary of a student's achievements and their needs. Rather than focus on negative characteristics or issues that a student is dealing with, an instructor can focus on points of improvement, putting a positive spin on a child's needs to help foster growth in those areas. Obviously there are specific phrases and words that are more powerful than others for this purpose, and using the aforementioned modifiers, descriptors and simple verbs will greatly simplify the process in order to create better results.

Source: www.worksheetlibrary.com

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