Creating report card comments for struggling students or weaker learners 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 you with meaningful, clear, and specific remarks for weak students.

Tweak to make them your own or use verbatim.

Related: For more great comments, see our colossal collection of report card comments, created especially with the elementary teacher in mind.

Report Card Comments for Struggling Students (Reading)

Reading Comprehension

  • _____ puts forth much effort. However, (Insert any reading skill or strategy such as sequencing, finding the main idea, visualizing, etc.) is still difficult for him/her.
  • _____ is not able to retell significant details of what he/she just read.
  • _____ has significant trouble responding logically to higher-order thinking comprehension questions (see QAR reference).
  • Even with accommodations and/or modifications, _____ experiences difficulty with (insert any reading skill or strategy).
  • _____ has a hard time using context clues to figure out the meaning of new words.
  • ______ is rarely able to distinguish between fiction and nonfiction texts.
  • When summarizing, ______ regularly omits key information essential for understanding the main idea.
  • _____ limited prior knowledge and experiences with different text genres hinders reading comprehension of more challenging texts.
  • _____ progress is slow in understanding and applying the comprehension skill of (insert specific reading skill or strategy).
  • _____ isn’t able to justify responses using evidence from the text or by using prior knowledge.
  • _____ depends heavily on scaffolding (highlighters, post its, graphic organizers, etc.) to comprehend text.
  • _____ rarely uses nonfiction text features to aid in reading comprehension.
  • Lack of reading stamina causes _____ to not see or understand the big idea(s) of longer reading passages.   
  • Referencing the Developmental Reading Assessment (DRA), ______ is reading at level ______ . This means….
  • 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.
  • _____ shows difficulty skimming/scanning text to locate a key piece of information.
  • _____ struggles with (insert any reading comprehension skill/strategy).
  • _____ reading stamina is limited to (insert appropriate time frame) which may affect work performance.
  • _____ rarely makes an attempt to ask for help when he or she does not understand a concept.
  • _____ is working below grade level in (insert specific reading skill or strategy).  
  • _____ seldomly uses anchor charts to assist with learning.
  • _____ has a difficult time applying comprehension skills and strategies within context.
  • Though _____ is making gradual steps to improve (insert reading skill or strategy) progress is delayed due to…

Fluency

  • _____ has difficulty reading fluently within context.
  • Fluency is very labored.
  • _____ fluency is smooth but lacks expression.
  • _____ reading fluency is appropriate for grade level standards but accuracy is low.
  • _____ reads primarily word-by-word.
  • Speech development hinders _____ fluency, accuracy, and expression.

Vocabulary

  • _____ limited vocabulary impedes his reading comprehension.
  • _____ has a difficult time making connections among words with similar patterns (e.g. prefixes, suffixes, roots, etc.)
  • _____ struggles with using context clues to figure out homophones and homographs.
  • _____ seldomly pronounces grade-level, high frequency words with ease.
  • _____ pronounces grade-level high frequency words and/or sight words with difficulty.

Phonemic Awareness/Phonics

  • _____ has a hard time decoding grade-level multi-syllabic words.
  • _____ frequently reverses words and phrases when reading.
  • _____ has trouble recognizing blends, digraphs, and grade-appropriate word patterns.
  • _____ requires regular assistance from teacher in order to decode multi-syllabic words.

Comments for Students Below Grade Level (Writing)

  • _____ puts forth much effort. However, (insert any skill, strategy, or behavior) is still difficult for him/her.
  • _____ does not ask for help when he or she does not understand a concept.
  • Though _____ is making gradual steps to improve (insert skill or strategy) progress is delayed due to…
  • _____ frequently misspells grade-level high frequency words and/or sight words.
  • _____ has a hard time editing written work using a checklist.
  • _____ often speeds to complete writing assignment without proper revising and editing.
  • _____ demonstrates difficulty revising writing pieces even using a checklist.
  • Even with accommodations and/or modifications, _____struggles with (insert any writing skill or strategy).
  • _____ seldomly uses anchor charts to assist with learning.
  • On a regular basis, _____ handwriting is illegible.
  • _____ rarely forms letters legibly.
  • 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.
  • _____ hardly uses standard grammar and punctuation within context.
  • 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.
  • _____ performs below grade level in (insert specific writing skill or strategy).  
  • _____ is making minimal process in (insert specific writing skill/strategy).
  • _____ is unfocused in maintaining grade-level writing expectations.
copy and paste report card comments

Math Remarks for Struggling Learners

  • _____ puts forth much effort. However, (insert any math skill or strategy) is still difficult for him/her.
  • _____ is experiencing difficulty memorizing basic math facts.
  • _____ does not ask for help when he or she does not understand a concept.
  • Though _____ is making gradual steps to improve (insert skill or strategy) progress is delayed due to…
  • _____ struggles with higher-order thinking word problems.
  • Even though she has a hard time understanding harder concepts, _____ refuses to use manipulatives.
  • _____ shows difficulty in applying math skills in project-based learning activities.
  • _____ is struggling to maintain grade-level math expectations.
  • _____ frequently forgets math processes, strategies, and/or basic facts.
  • Even with accommodations and/or modifications, _____ struggles with (insert any math skill or strategy).
  • _____ is working below grade level in (insert any math skill or strategy).
  • _____ seldomly uses anchor charts to assist with learning.
  • _____ shows difficulty with multi-step math problems.
  • Even after repeated modeling by the teacher, _____ is unclear on how to solve multi-step word problems.
  • _____ math progress in the area of (insert specific math skill) is moving slowly due to a weak basic math foundation.

Comments for Science/S.S. Report Card

  • _____ puts forth much effort. However, (insert any skill, strategy, or behavior) is still difficult for him/her.
  • _____ does not ask for help when he or she does not understand a concept.
  • _____ lacks understanding of the steps of the scientific method.
  • _____ is unclear how to apply steps of the scientific method to complete an experiment.
  • Even with accommodations and/or modifications, _____ struggles with (insert any science/s.s. skill or strategy).
  • _____ rarely uses nonfiction text features to aid in reading comprehension of science or social studies text.
  • _____ seldomly uses anchor charts to assist with learning.
  • _____ 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.
  • Though _____ is making gradual steps to improve (insert skill or strategy) progress is delayed due to…

General Report Card Comments for Struggling Students

  • 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.
  • _____ frequently demonstrates poor work ethic.
  • _____ fails to complete assignments even when given extended time.
  • _____ lacks confidence in himself and his abilities.
  • _____ shows signs of low self-esteem which has affected work performance.
  • _____ 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.
  • _____ participates fully during discussions but often talks excessively.
  • _____ 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.

Next Steps Report Card Comments for Improvement

If children are performing below grade level, remarks must include effective solutions such as the following…

  • 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 abreast (or on top ) of _____ progress, let’s schedule a follow-up meeting/conference for…

Comments for Struggling Learners Made Easy

Writing report card comments for students who are having a difficult experience at school or progressing slowly is sometimes difficult.

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

Keep in mind to spin these negative comments into more positive ones by pairing them with “next step” actions.

Best