Remarks for Report Cards 2: Guidelines

Brightwoods Preschool Teachers

TIPS FOR WRITING REMARKS

Introduction

Remarks are invaluable tools that teachers use for parents to have an idea of what their children can do or can’t do. For many years, teachers utilize this means to supplement the grading part of report cards.

A lot of resources are available on the internet. However, make sure that the remark really fit the student you are referring to. These internet resources are guides. Modify some terms if necessary. Most early childhood education books are also good references. In most instances, it is better to refer to these books to see developmental milestones in student achievement.

How to write remarks

When writing remarks, the following are immensely important:

1) Basic knowledge on subject verb agreement. Of course, this is so important because this is something that is readily evident. Mistakes made that are of this nature create a negative impression since it is assumed that as teachers, we are already well aware of this. Hence, always scan your remarks for subject-verb errors. Ask if uncertain or refer to this site: http://grammar.ccc.commnet.edu.

2) Do a spell-check. Check out spellings of tricky words. If unsure, ask somebody. Keep a dictionary handy.

3) Familiarity with ‘teacher jargon’. Remarks made should somehow sound professional. Being teachers, it is a must that we are attuned with the vocabulary being used to refer to many aspects of childhood development and learning. It is also imperative that the term we will be using matches the level or age group we are handling.

4) Minimize hitting many birds in one stone. Remember, we have 3 areas of development X 3 semesters to comment on that’s why it is always wise to leave some remark to expound on for the next semester. However, if some behavior really requires attending to, or if the grade may elicit a reaction from the parents, then we can say something about it.

5) Enrich your vocabulary. A thesaurus is a remark-writer’s best friend. Aside from helping you with the spelling, it can provide you with alternatives that would minimize the usage of same terms over and over again. However, in some instances, it is advisable that we stick with words that we are familiar with. When experimenting with new words, try writing the sentence down and read it out aloud to somebody else. If it is understood, then it is likely that you have correctly chosen the most appropriate word.

5) Go beyond rote learning. Ideal remarks go beyond narrating the numerals, letters, or words that a student can recognize. Remember, the way a remark is written actually reflects the method or strategy that the teacher uses in the classroom. Sticking to these types of remarks suggests that the teacher is focused on lower level skills, hence, it is possible that important skills such as critical thinking or comprehension might be sacrificed.

Instead of sticking with one format, try out new strategies in writing remarks. The possibilities are endless. Some suggestions are as follows:

* Comment on ability- This is the most common way of writing remarks- stating what the child can do, can identify, what he is good at, etc. Examples below:

1. Jenny exhibits increased numeracy skills.
2. Bogart manifests a budding sense of orderliness.
3. Jaime possesses high logical thinking skills.
4. Carmen demonstrates satisfactory understanding of patterns and sequence.
5. Coco can identify most letter sounds.

* Behavior manifested- Usually, we include this kind of remark to supplement what we have mentioned about their ability. Such as this example- Jenny exhibits increased numeracy skills. She is receptive when it comes to activities involving numbers and quantity. Instead of using it as a support, try making it your opening salvo such as the examples below:

1. Sho is able to count sets of objects with increasing accuracy.
2. Matti interacts comfortably with other children during play settings.
3. Yoj performs many locomotor activities with fervor and competence.
4. Nate appears to be especially good in activities requiring logical thinking skills.
5. Colin is gradually becoming more expressive during informal conversations.

* Comment on capacity to learn- Instead of stating what the child can do, try commenting on the student’s potentials.

1. Jenny can grasp concepts presented in class at a fast pace.
2. Bless finds creative writing as an important medium for expressing her ideas.
3. Martin is at his best when involved in reading activities.

* Comment on the learning style

1. Dominic appears to be a kinesthetic learner.
2. Amber is more receptive to lessons discussed when presented in the context of games.

* Tell the truth

1. Though Jenny can now associate most letters with their frequent sounds, intervention is still required for her to utilize this skill in reading.

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