101 Powerful Report Card Comments for Struggling Students

Creating report card comments for struggling students or report card comments for weak students can be challenging.

How do you say what you need to say without seeming insensitive or negative? And how do you communicate the facts and your observations clearly?

This post provides meaningful, clear, and specific report card comments for struggling students.

Along with these report card comments for struggling students you will find report card comments for weak students that focus on offering solutions in those areas that need improvement.

Tweak these report card comments for weak students to make them your own or use verbatim.

Related: See more report card comments for students below grade level.

Report Card Comments for Weak Students

Use the following report card comments for weak students to communicate areas that need improvement but also consider writing some positive report card comments for struggling students.

Report Card Comments for Struggling Students (Reading)

Use the following report card comments for struggling students to communicate weaknesses plus offer solutions in the areas of reading comprehension, vocabulary, fluency, and phonics.

  • _____ has significant trouble responding logically to higher-order thinking comprehension questions. Choosing books on her reading level would help with this.
  • Even with accommodations and/or modifications, _____ experiences difficulty with (insert any reading skill or strategy). Let’s meet soon to discuss changes that would help solve this issue.
  • _____ has a hard time using context clues to figure out the meaning of new words. We are working on this using the Rivet reading strategy.
  • When summarizing, ______ regularly omits key information essential for understanding the main idea. Practicing main idea activities would help with this.
  • _____ limited prior knowledge and experiences with different text genres hinders reading comprehension of more challenging texts. Reading a wider variety of books would help with this.
  • _____ rarely uses nonfiction text features to aid in reading comprehension.
  • According to Fountas and Pinnell, _______ reads at a “Frustrational Level”. This means that grade level books are difficult for ______ , and he/she reads them with less than 90% word accuracy.
  • According to Fountas and Pinnell, _______ reads at an “Instructional Level”. This means that grade level books are challenging but manageable for _______. He/she reads them around a 90% word accuracy.
  • _____ reading level has decreased over the past two quarters. I recommend that she reads every day for at least 20 minutes.
  • _____ shows difficulty skimming/scanning text to locate a key piece of information. Implementing study skills practice at home would be helpful.
  • _____ struggles with (insert any reading comprehension skill/strategy). Additional instruction focused on this skill would serve him well.
  • _____ rarely makes an attempt to ask for help when he or she does not understand a concept. We will continue to encourage him to seek assistance when understanding breaks down.
  • _____ is working below grade level in (insert specific reading skill or strategy). Additional instruction focused on this strategy would serve him well. 
  • Though _____ is making gradual steps to improve (insert reading skill or strategy) progress is delayed due to…
  • _____ limited vocabulary impedes his reading comprehension. The Rivet reading strategy is helpful for this.
  • _____ has a hard time decoding grade-level multi-syllabic words. Practicing at home would be beneficial.

Report Card Comments for Struggling Students (Writing)

Use the following report card comments for weak students to communicate weaknesses plus offer solutions in the areas of spelling, handwriting, and the writing process.

  • _____ often speeds to complete writing assignment without proper revising and editing.
  • _____ demonstrates difficulty revising writing pieces even using a checklist.
  • Frequently, _____ handwriting is illegible. Needs to slow down when writing.
  • Poor fine motor skills hinders writing performance for _____.
  • _____ demonstrates difficulty applying new writing skills.
  • _____ written pieces lack clear and vivid details that help the reader understand and visualize the main idea.
  • _____ writing frequently lacks a clear idea or main message.
  • _____ ideas are hardly ever fully developed.
  • _____ has a hard time using a variety of sentence structures in his/her writing.
  • _____ sentences very often lack semantics making them difficult to comprehend.
  • _____ would greatly benefit from using a thesaurus to assist in using stronger verbs and adjectives within her writing.
  • _____ writing pieces lack an interesting lead that grabs the reader’s attention.
  • _____ lacks a clear understanding of how to apply grammar and/or punctuation rules appropriately.
  • A clear conclusion is frequently missing from _____ writing pieces.  
  • _____ has difficulty writing across a variety of genres.
  • _____ exhibits minimal confidence in his writing skills.
  • _____ needs to devote more time to learning cursive writing strokes.

Report Card Comments for Struggling Students (Math)

Use the following report card comments for struggling students to communicate weaknesses plus offer solutions in the areas of problem solving and general mathematics.

  • _____ is experiencing difficulty memorizing basic math facts. Practicing at home would be beneficial.
  • _____ struggles with responding to higher-order thinking word problems. He needs to use sentence stems for math to improve.
  • _____ shows difficulty in applying math skills in project-based learning activities. We are working in small groups to improve upon this.
  • _____ is struggling to maintain grade-level math expectations. Let’s meet soon to discuss solutions.
  • _____ frequently forgets math processes, strategies, and/or basic facts.
  • _____ shows difficulty with multi-step math problems.
  • _____ math progress in the area of (insert specific math skill) is moving slowly due to a weak basic math foundation. Additional work in these areas would be helpful.
  • _____ struggles with new math concepts because her math foundation is weak.
  • Needs to practice her multiplication facts daily.

Report Card Comments for Struggling Students (Science/Social Studies)

Use the following report card comments for struggling students to communicate weaknesses plus offer solutions in the areas of science.

  • Has a hard time grasping science concepts.
  • Doesn’t actively participate in social studies discussions.
  • _____ lacks understanding of the steps of the scientific method.
  • _____ is unclear how to apply steps of the scientific method to complete an experiment.
  • _____ rarely uses nonfiction text features to aid in reading comprehension of science or social studies text.
  • _____ is performing below grade level in (insert specific science/social studies skill or strategy).
  •  _____ indifferent and/or unmotivated to maintain grade-level expectations in the areas of science or social studies.

Report Card Comments for Struggling Students (General)

Use the following report card comments for weak students to communicate weaknesses plus offer solutions in any area.

  • It’s challenging for _____ to complete a task if he isn’t supervised constantly.
  • _____ distracts others often.
  • _____ has a difficult time working independently.
  • _____ puts forth much effort. However, (insert any skill, strategy, or behavior) is often difficult for him/her.
  • _____ has significant trouble sitting still long enough to complete an assignment.
  • _____ very often interrupts and/or disrupts others.
  • _____ is frequently unprepared for lessons.
  • _____ often loses materials and supplies needed to complete activities.
  • _____ exhibits poor time management and consequently has trouble completing assignments on time.
  • _____ hardly ever participates in discussions and/or whole class activities.
  • _____ reacts negatively and/or becomes highly discouraged when given constructive feedback.
  • _____ constantly asks questions that have been answered repeatedly and in detail.
  • _____ is very slow to comprehend instructions and requires multiple repetitions of detailed directions.
  • Even with accommodations and/or modifications, _____ struggles with (insert any behavior).
  • _____ frequently rushes to complete work as if in competition with classmates.
  • Unnecessarily sacrificing accuracy for speed causes _____to have lots of careless errors.
  • _____ has to be told continuously to be respectful towards others and things.
  • _____ fails to complete assignments even when given extended time.
  • _____ lacks confidence in himself and his abilities.
  • _____ assignments and/or homework is often or always late.
  • Excessive absences and tardiness are having a less-than-positive effect on _____ work performance.
  • _____ doesn’t work to his/her full potential.
  • _____ makes careless mistakes due to not revising work carefully.
  • _____ is easily angered.
  • _____ is overly aggressive with peers who he feels has wronged him.
  • _____ consistently shows work that is disorganized, illegible, and/or not neat.
  • _____ has a very difficult time staying focused on the assignment or activity at hand.
  • _____ struggles with keeping hands to herself.
  • _____ requires a high level of encouragement in order to complete a task.
  • _____ significantly lacks self-discipline.
  • Instead of listening to others, _____ chooses to talk over them.
  • _____ is inconsistent with his efforts.

Report Card Comments for Weak Students (Needs Improvement)

Use the following report card comments for struggling students to communicate practical solutions.

  • For the next quarter, let’s try these accommodations and/or modifications for ______ : (insert any appropriate strategies).
  • I’ll continue one-on-one or small group instruction support with ______ at least twice per week in (insert subject area), focusing on (insert student targeted learning objective).
  • After-school tutoring x number of times per week might be beneficial for ______ .
  • It would be helpful to review at home with _______ …
  • _____ would benefit from…
  • I strongly encourage _____ to (insert any action that will help to improve situation + how often) in order to improve (insert issue).
  • During the summer, ______ should continue to… (insert any action that will help to improve situation + how often) in order to improve (insert issue).
  • It’s recommended for ______ to ….
  • I suggest having _____ continue studying…
  • _____ needs more opportunities to…
  • Review with ______ x number of times each week…
  • In order to increase academic skills, _____ requires assistance such as…
  • To stay on top of _____ progress, let’s schedule a follow-up meeting for…

Wrapping Up: Report Card Comments for Weak Students

Drafting comments for students below grade level or report card comments for weak students can be frustrating.

This resource alleviates some of that stress by saving you time, mental energy, and overwhelm.

If you found these report card comments for weak students helpful, you might like next steps report card comments.