Effective report card comments for students and parents should start by focusing on the student's positive attributes. It is most helpful to provide specific rather than general comments and examples. In addition to addressing learning needs and concerns related to specific school subjects, comments may cover student characteristics such as attitude, behavior, participation, time management skills, work habits and social skills.
When writing report card comments, About.com Elementary Education states that putting a positive spin on a negative comment can make parents and students more receptive. One way of doing this is to address any negative attributes in a "Goals to Work On" section. For instance, the comment "John does not do his best work because he rushes to complete it" can be turned into a more positive goal. Written as a goal, this comment might state: "Remember to take your time on tests and assignments, and to turn in your best work."
Many specific words are helpful in describing student behaviors on report cards, such as "active," "ambitious," "attentive," "capable," "cheerful," "confident," "cooperative," "conscientious," "dependable," "energetic," "friendly," "imaginative," "helpful," "prompt," "quiet," "observant," "orderly" and "studious." Terms with negative connotations, such as "unmotivated," "rude," "hyper" and "shy" should be avoided.