Years ago, I came across an excellent website that provided comments. I printed them out and have them stored in my report card folder. Since then, many sites have created comments. Cheerycakes has posted some good sites.
In addition to the lists, here is something which has helped me tremendously in communicating the strengths and challenges of my students:
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ WHAT TYPES OF WORDING SHOULD TEACHERS INCLUDE IN THEIR COMMENTS?
The use of specific comments encourages positive communication between teachers, parents, and students. Written in a positive and informative manner, comments can address a variety of issues while still maintaining the dignity of the child. This is especially important if a child has had difficulty with a particular subject area or controlling his/her behavior over an extended period of time. Shafer (1997) compiled a list of "effective" comments from a variety of teachers. The following lists of words and phrases are just a sampling from her publication "Writing Effective Report Card Comments" (p. 42-43).
WORDS THAT PROMOTE A POSITIVE VIEW OF THE STUDENT
- thorough - caring - shows commitment - improved tremendously - has a good grasp of
WORDS AND PHRASES TO USE TO CONVEY THAT A CHILD NEEDS HELP
- could profit by - requires - finds it difficult at times to - needs reinforcement in - has trouble with
WORDS AND PHRASES THAT TEACHERS SHOULD BE CAUTIOUS OF USING
When teachers write comments on report cards, they need to be cognizant of the fact that each child has a different rate of social and academic development. Therefore, comments should not portray a child's ability as fixed and permanent (Shafer, 1997). Such comments do not offer any reason to believe that the child will be successful if he/she attempts to improve. Also, teachers must be sensitive to the fact that their students will read their comments. If negative comments are made, teachers must be aware that those comments may be counterproductive. In addition to the previously mentioned positive comments, Shafer (1997) compiled a list of words and phrases that should be avoided or used with caution (p. 45).