Start on a Positive Note
I always begin each comment with a general statement letting the parents know how happy I am to be teaching their child, or how much their child is learning and growing:
It has truly been a pleasure getting to know your child this quarter.
Your child has made great progress across the curriculum since the beginning of the school year.
Your child has made very good academic and/or social progress this quarter.
Your child has done a very nice job this quarter, taking pride in her work and completing assignments with quality in mind.
Your child continues to have a great year in 3rd grade.
It has been a pleasure having the opportunity to work with (student) during his 3rd grade year.
Provide Specific Information Across Several Different Areas
Next, include formative evidence that lets the parents know how you view their child as a person, a classmate, and a student. You may notice several of the reading, writing, communication, and math stems come from the Common Core State Standards.
The student . . .
is an enthusiastic learner.
tackles new challenges seriously/eagerly and with a positive attitude.
arrives at school each day with a smile, ready to learn.
is an active participant in small group discussions.
puts evident effort into his work as he completes assignments with quality in mind.
shows perseverance in all he does.
has many insightful ideas to share with the class.
is kind, caring, and friendly character makes her a role model for classmates.
has a cheery demeanor that has made her a friend to many in our classroom.
uses common sense to problem solve independently and in a positive manner.
is respectful of others.
adapts easily to new situations.
The student . . .
consistently makes good choices in all parts of the school day.
demonstrates behavior that sets the standard for our class.
is able to separate work and social times.
is polite to adults and peers in and out of the classroom.
manages his feelings and emotions well in the classroom.
reacts appropriately in adverse situations.
is a role model for our class with his good behavior.
The student . . .
always completes daily assignments in a timely manner.
returns homework on time and well done.
stays focused on the task at hand.
uses class time constructively.
consistently uses personal best effort on a daily basis.
completes work with quality in mind.
is a self-motivated worker.
demonstrates hard work and produces quality results.
is an inquisitive learner who enjoys analyzing situations and making new discoveries in all parts of the school day.
actively engages in working carefully and conscientiously.
pays attention to detail in daily work.
works independently and stays on task.
uses higher level thinking strategies to apply learned skills to new situations.
has a passion for [subject area] that shows through the resolve he puts into every single assignment.
works very well with others in a group.
shows perseverance on challenging assignments.
is able to transition easily from one activity to the next.
The student . . .
is always willing to help a classmate.
values what others have to say.
treats others fairly.
gets along well with others in the classroom and/or on the playground.
is polite to peers and/or adults, in and out of the classroom.
takes the thoughts and feeling of others into account before speaking or acting.
handles disagreements with peers appropriately and diplomatically.
makes friends easily.
enjoys spending time with friends.
The student . . .
effectively participates in a range of conversations with diverse partners.
builds on other’s ideas and expresses her own clearly and persuasively.
is an active participant in small and/or large group discussions.
is an active listener and important member of group discussions.
asks and answers questions that demonstrate understanding.
asks questions or seeks clarification when needed.
listens well and shares ideas frequently.
shares appropriate and relevant information.
listens to the ideas, opinions, and comments of others without interrupting.
responds appropriately to other’s comments during partner/turn-and-talk time.
The student . . .
retells events from a story in a sequential manner.
reads closely to determine what the text says explicitly and makes logical inferences from it.
goes back to the text and cites evidence to support conclusions drawn from the text.
has a good sense of story structure. She's able to identify the setting, characters, problem, and solution.
describes characters in a story and explains how they impact the story.
analyzes how two or more texts are similar.
uses taught reading strategies well to gain meaning, especially . . .
uses strategies such as making connections, asking questions about the text, and inferencing to aid their comprehension.
has very good fluency and intonation.
reads dialogue with expression.
uses text features and search tools to efficiently locate information relevant to a given topic.
uses information gained from illustrations to demonstrate understanding of the text.
reads and comprehends informational texts, including those for science and social studies.
chooses books that are at her “just right” reading level.
has very good reading stamina. The student is able to read for ___ consecutive minutes.
works well and participates in small, guided reading groups.
The student . . .
shows strong knowledge and application of writing conventions such as capitalization and punctuation.
has shown very good/great improvement in spelling and word work over the past several weeks.
produces writing that has been a joy to read over the past few weeks. I especially liked [examples of what the student wrote that you felt was well done].
has language arts skills that continue to blossom, especially in the areas of . . .
conveys her thoughts and ideas clearly.
writes sentences that are complete thoughts.
writes opinion pieces with well thought-out, supportive reasoning.
shows a strong grasp of organization in her writing. She stays on topic and uses relevant details.
uses details to expand upon the great written thoughts she is already putting on paper.
uses strong descriptive language, allowing the audience to clearly visualize what is being described.
uses an appropriate voice in her writing that allows her personality to come through in her written pieces.
The student . . .
knows basic math facts (addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division).
uses various strategies to solve one- and two-step word problems.
identifies and extends mathematical patterns.
understands place value and uses it to round numbers to the nearest . . .
solves real-world mathematical problems involving perimeter and area.
understands the relationship between addition and subtraction, and multiplication and division.
can identify the attributes of two- and three-dimensional objects.
uses measurement tools well to determine length/volume/time/money/temperature.
uses data to create charts and graphs.
uses data from charts and graphs to solve problems.
Set a Goal
While the students may be learning and growing, there is always room for improvement. Provide at least one specific goal that you will be working on with the student the following quarter. Use all of the comments above to help you set your goals. Simply add beginnings such as:
Your child would benefit from . . .
This quarter we will be working on . . .
I would like to see your child work on . . .
Your child needs to pay closer attention to . . .
One area for improvement is . . .
I always close on a positive note, giving a boost to my students' confidence. I let them know how proud I am of what they have been doing, and how I look forward to what is to come:
I am so proud of all you have accomplished. Keep up the wonderful things you are doing!
You are an amazing student, and you truly shine!
I can hardly wait to see how you impress me during the next quarter!
You have had a terrific quarter, and I am confident the next one will be even better!
Is a good citizen
Is learning to share and listen.
Is becoming more dependable during work periods.
Is developing a better attitude toward ___ grade.
Is showing interest and enthusiasm for the things we do.
Is learning to occupy his time constructively.
Wants responsibilities and follows through.
Can be very helpful and dependable in the classroom.
Always uses her time wisely.
Has strengthened her skills in ___.
Has great potential and works toward achieving it.
Working to full capability.
Is strong in _____.
Is learning to be a better listener.
Is learning to be careful, cooperative, and fair.
Is continuing to grow in independence.
Enthusiastic about participating.
Gaining more self-confidence.
Has a pleasant personality.
Has earned a very fine report card.
Has improved steadily.
Is learning to listen to directions more carefully.
Now accepts responsiblity well.
_____’s work habits are improving.
Has been consitently progressing.
Has shown a good attitude about trying to improve in ___.
The following suggestions might improve his ____.
I am hoping this recent interest and improvement will continue.
Seems eager to improve.
Has shown strong growth in ____.
Is cooperative and happy.
Is willing to take part in all classroom activities.
Works well with her neighbors.
_____’s attitude toward school is excellent.
Has the ability to follow directions.
Hand work is beautifully done.
Learns new vocabulary quickly.
Has a sense of humor and enjoys the stories we read.
Is a steadfast, conscientious worker.
Is very helpful about clean-up work around the room.
Anxious to please.
Brings fine contributions.
Has a pleasant disposition.
Is pleasant and friendly.
Needs to increase speed and comprehension in reading.
Needs to apply skills to all written work.
Gets along well with other children.
Your constant cooperation and help are appreciated.
Has shown an encouraging desire to better herself in ___.
Making steady progress academically.
Quality of work is improving.
Is maintaining grade-level achievements.
Works well in groups, planning and carrying out activities.
Seems to be more aware of activities in the classroom.
Takes an active part in discussions pertinent to ___.
Bubbles over with enthusiasm.
Has a sense of humor we all enjoy.
Has an excellent attitude.
Work in the areas of ____ has been extremely good.
Is an enthusiastic worker during the ____ period.
Needs to work democratically with others in groups.
Possible for ___ to exceed grade expectations.
Grasps new ideas readily.
Needs to develop a better sense of responsiblity.
Enthusiasitic about work in general.
Performs well in everthing he undertakes.
Doing strong work in all areas.
Is a clear thinker.
Excels in writing original stories and poems.
Is a good student who appears to be a deep thinker.
Has good organization of thoughts.
Has a vast background knowledge of ___.
Is a very fine and serious student and excels in ___.
Rate of achievement makes it difficult for ___ to keep up with the class.
Must improve work habits if ___ is to gain the fundamentals needed for ___ grade work.
_____’s academic success leaves much to be desired.
Handwriting needs to be improved.
Cooperative, well mannered.
Is a very happy, well-adjusted child, but ___.
Makes friends quickly and is well liked by classmates.
Good worker and attentive listener.
Capable of achieving a higher average in areas of ____.
Has difficulty retaining process of addition, etc.
Is inconsistent in his efforts, especially in ___.
Sacrificing accuracy for unnecessary speed in his written work.
Needs to listen to directions.
Never completes assignments in the allotted time.
Fails to finish independent assignments.
Would improve if he developed a greater interest in ___.
Comprehends well, but needs to work more quickly.
Needs to be urged.
Can follow directions.
Enjoys listening to poetry.
Enjoys listening to stories.
Evaluates what he/she hears
Phonics – (is able to distinguish, has difficulty distinguishing) sounds in words
Now knows and is able to use _____ consonant and vowel sounds
Confuses the sounds ___ and ___
Is able to blend short words using the vowel(s) _____ with /without assistance
Is learning to attack words independently
Uses the phonics skills to attack new words
Reading is (smooth, jerky, hesitant, rapid, irregular, or fluent)
Comprehends what he/she reads
Is interested in books and reading
Can read to follow directions
Can now recognize ____ sight words
Reads for pleasure
Needs lots of repetition and practice in order to retain reading vocabulary
Is still confusing words which look alike
Is beginning to read words in groups (phrases)
Reading is becoming (not yet becoming) automatic
Enjoys discussing the stories
Has had difficulty with learning ______ so in the coming term we will focus on ______.
Speaks in good sentences
Has difficulty using (pronouns, verbs) correctly
Enjoys participation in conversation and discussion
Expresses ideas clearly
Has a good oral vocabulary
Takes turns talking
Speaks with confidence to the group
Uses punctuation correctly
Is able to place periods and question marks correctly
Uses colorful words
Uses (complex, simple) sentences
Is now able to write a complete sentence independently
Participates in group story telling (composition)
Can write an original story of (one or two sentences, of a few sentences)
Puts words in the appropriate order
Is able to read his sentences back
Shows self confidence in writing
Can compose several related sentences
Is building a good spelling vocabulary
Uses his individual dictionary to find unfamiliar words
Enjoys learning to spell new words
Is able to learn to spell words easily
Sometimes reverses letters in a word
Has difficulty remembering the spelling of non-phonetic words
Is helped by using hand or body motions to remember spelling
When printing, often reverses letters, such as __, __, etc.
Has good (poor) fine-motor skills
Is able to print on the lines
Spaces letters and words correctly
Some printing is excellent but is often untidy in daily assignments
Enjoys doing neat careful work
Can work with numbers up to ___ with understanding
Understands the signs +, -, = and uses them to make number statements