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Writing Positive Progress Notes for Elementary Students

written by: Amanda Smith • edited by: Sarah Malburg • updated: 7/12/2012

This article is designed to help elementary school teachers write the effective elementary progress reports. You will also find links to other great resources on comments for improvement reports as well as a printable elementary progress report template.

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    How to Write Unique and Effective Comments

    Once your class has met the basic goals set for them, it's time to focus on each individual student and discuss their progress, both academically and socially. Providing individualized comments for progress reports is one of the best ways to establish good communication with both students and parents. Although this may seem like a daunting task at first, it will force you to get to know each of your students better. Be sure to review the following tips to writing elementary progress comments.

    Classroom Characteristics

    If you do not already have a designated set of positive character traits, make a list of characteristics that can be used in your classroom to describe positive attributes of your students. You can then be sure to identify positive characteristics the students are expressing in your classroom. Some examples of positive character traits are kindness, thoughtfulness, integrity, responsibility, honesty, generosity, and respectfulness. You can also use these as a vocabulary lesson in your classroom.

    For Every Negative There is a Positive

    Children need positive feedback, even when they are struggling with most of the material. It is important to find something positive to say about each child and include that in the personalized feedback. You can use this article to find some specific examples or create your own.

    Put Yourself in the Parents Shoes

    If you were a parent of a child in your class, what would you like to hear from the teacher? Parents usually want to hear positive things about their child's progress in school, but it is also very important to note that parents also want to hear about the things their children are struggling with. Oftentimes, teachers feel the need to be nice and avoid conflict with parents, but there are ways you can praise a child's behavior while still commenting on what they need to continue to work on. It is also a great idea to communicate with parents through a mass newsletter on a regular basis, including information about classroom events, assignments, and any end of the year information.

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    Exciting Ideas for Reports

    Establishing effective communication with your students and their parents is one of the most important things that you can do as an elementary teacher. One of the most common ways that teachers and parents communicate is through progress report comments. It is important to highlight the positive efforts that your students are making in the classroom. Parents need to hear that their child is making progress in school.

    Here are some great examples of positive comments you can use:

    "Your child has been helpful this week by helping during clean up time."

    "Your child was kind and thoughtful this week as he/she shared with peers."

    "Your child has been making progress towards his/her academic goals by completing homework assignments."

    "Your child has been helpful in class by being a role model to others and following directions."

    Be Sure to Provide Constructive Feedback

    There are also times when you need to communicate a concern with a parent. A child in your classroom may be having trouble with social or academic skills. It can be difficult to talk with parents about these issues because you do not want to offend them or make them think that you are personally attacking their child. Make sure that your comments are constructive. You want to provide useful feedback being sure to include ways parents can help their child overcome these issues. For example, if you want to express concerns about a student not turning in homework, you could say "Your child seems to be having problems turning in homework at school. Please review your child's homework assignments with him/her nightly and let me know if there is any way that I can modify the assignments to make them more reasonable for your child in order to better meet their needs."


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