In this post, I’ve compiled a meaningful list of math report card comments that will help you crank out those bad boys in no time!
It’s a misconception that math is a hated subject for most kids.
I’ve found this to be absolutely not true. In fact, I find that elementary children tend to really enjoy math when it’s taught in a purposeful, engaging, and meaningful way.
In saying this, elementary school is the perfect time to express to parents all of the positive experiences their child is having with math.
Elementary school is the perfect time to express to parents all of the positive experiences their child is having with math.
We all know that once our little ones get to middle and high school, something happens.
Math becomes much more complex, the teaching becomes more textbook-style, and things tend to be more cut and dry in those learning environments.
I’ll bet that writing math report card comments for high school students is a different experience all together. (Do high school teachers even have to write report card comments?)
So elementary teachers, take advantage of this precious time! Writing math report card comments for elementary kids doesn’t have to be a chore!
Just in case you don’t think so, this list of math report card comments is here to make things easier for you.
Here’s what you’ll find in this post…
Table of Contents
- Quick Tips for Writing Math Report Card Comments
- Math Problem Solving Report Card Comments
- General Math Report Card Comments
- Behavior/Conduct Math Comments
- Needs Improvement Math Comments
Quick Tips for Writing Math Report Card Comments
First, let’s chat about some tips that you should keep in mind when drafting math report card comments.
Communicate Math Concept Prerequisites.
In elementary school, math is learned more or less in a sequence.
For example, before a child learns how to multiply fractions, he or she learns how to multiply basic facts.
Before a child is taught how to convert inches to yards (or beyond), she must first know how many inches are in a foot.
So what I’m saying is this…
When a child is struggling in math, it’s really important to communicate to parents the root cause of the issue.
If I have a student struggling to reduce fractions to the simplest form, could it be that the real issue is weaknesses in knowing how to divide?
If you’re a teacher in the lower grades, emphasize to parents how important it is for students to learn those fundamental concepts.
More complex math concepts directly build on those fundamental, key concepts.
A weak foundation equals a painful math experience in the upper elementary grades.
Knowing the root causes of a math issue helps with providing specific, customized solutions.
Help Parents Visualize the Math Comprehension Spectrum.
Okay. I just made up that phrase “math comprehension spectrum” (LOL!) but let me explain what I mean…
I’ve heard parents say, “I know my kid is doing really well in math because Little Johnny knows all of his multiplication facts…, and he can quickly add really big numbers.”
And other statements similar to that. You know, that their child’s ability in such and such math skill is this and that.
While that is great, those are pretty basic skills. What we really want to know is if the child can apply those skills.
Is the child able to problem solve?
How well is she able to do project-based learning?
Application is key.
With all due respect, parents sometimes miss the mark here because they see an A+ math test from their son or daughter consisting of problems asking the child to recall facts or proceed with a list of rehearsed, set steps.
But when it comes to true problem-solving and looking at the big picture of a problem, do they see how well their child can apply those math skills to actually solve a higher-order thinking problem?
Can the child do project-based learning independently, applying those math skills?
It’s our job as educators to clearly communicate these differences with them.
Think of Bloom’s Taxonomy.
The lower level of Bloom’s has all the stuff that’s important, yes, but it’s basic information like memorization and recall.
The further up you go on the triangle, the deeper the thinking process.
So when a parent says “My child never struggled in math before”, it could be that the child hasn’t yet been challenged (or challenged enough) on those higher-order thinking processes.
If the child struggles at the basic levels, gently communicate with parents the potential consequences of not strengthening that foundation.
Help them understand the difficulties the child will have if the gaps aren’t filled because the higher level skills most often require knowledge of the lower levels (Yes, of course, there are always exceptions).
Incorporate Elements of Year-long Documentation.
As an educator, I’m sure you’ve been documenting throughout the year the progress of your students during math block, especially those kids who struggle.
So when it’s time to write your math report card comments, take all of your anecdotal notes, quizzes, tests, etc. and incorporate some of that documentation and evidence into your math report card comments.
- Demonstrates that you’re consistent with your observations. Ideally, parents will have already seen that information, so you saying it again reiterates the issues.
- Shows evidence that you can back up your statements with concrete examples. Sharing a timeline of notes and observations is powerful.
Documentation also applies to those students who are performing on and/or above grade level.
Parents of high-achieving kids love, too, to see evidence of their child consistently progressing in a subject area.
I think it goes without saying that before we send math report card comments to parents, it’s imperative that we proofread them.
Even though I consider myself a decent writer, I still sometimes make grammatical errors because well, that’s what we do as human beings. We make mistakes! 😜
Have a colleague look over your math report card comments, or just carefully look them over yourself.
At some schools, principals review report card comments before distribution, so you might be in luck if your school does this.
Additionally, pay attention to semantics and make sure that what you’re saying has a positive tone to it.
You want to convey to parents that you know their child well and are optimistic about their child’s academic success in math!
Begin with Positive Vibes.
Always begin your math report card comments with a positive note.
Though this tip applies for every child, you want to especially keep this in mind for those students who are struggling and/or performing below grade level.
Those parents are probably already on edge and anticipating bad news.
Start off by focusing on something positive.
What are the child’s strengths in math?
I’m sure they’ve got a few, even if those attributes aren’t directly related to math.
Do they work well in math centers?
Consistently place manipulatives back in the proper containers without being asked?
Are they great at actively participating?
After doting on their positive attributes, lead into your core math report card comments.
What if you have a child that’s doing well in all areas of math?
Then say so!
Of course, no one is perfect, but don’t write a “needs improvement” comment for a child just for the sake of doing so.
Let’s celebrate those kids and encourage them to keep at it!
I’m sure there are other areas in which he or she isn’t as strong. So let’s celebrate and encourage their strengths and talents in math.
That’s a great thing!
Give Yourself Ample Time.
Don’t wait until the last minute to start your math report card comments! Please give yourself enough time.
If you know your report card comments are due the first week of June, don’t wait until the first week of June to start them. (I’m guilty as charged!).
That’s a sure way for your stress level and blood pressure to go way up, and don’t nobody got time for that! (YES, a double negative!)
Give yourself a few weeks to get them done.
If you spread out the task over a few weeks, then you just do a few comments each day.
What’s also good about doing them way ahead of time is that once you complete them, you can let them sit for a few days and marinate.
After a few days, go back and reread them.
With fresh eyes and an uncluttered mind, it’ll be much easier to catch grammatical errors.
Plus, you may see some statements that you’d like to word a little differently.
This technique works wonders.
Be Transparent and Specific.
When writing math report card comments, be transparent with parents.
Honesty isn’t always easy, but it’s the best action to take.
The secret sauce is in your delivery. How you say something is just as important as what you say.
If you’ve been documenting the child’s progress throughout the school year and communicating those observations with parents regularly, being honest and transparent should be no problem because they’ve heard this stuff already, right?
In this case, to make the math report card comments more specific, note how well the child has been progressing in said areas using some type of metric if possible.
For example, if the child was reading below grade level in 2nd quarter and is still doing so in 3rd quarter, be specific about the situation.
Is the gap getting smaller?
Was the child 2 steps below grade level but now he is only 1 step below grade level?
These type of details matter, especially when a child is progressing but doing so slowly.
Whenever you’re writing math report card comments for students who are struggling or performing below grade level, always offer solutions.
Don’t just say Little Johnny is having a hard time with such and such.
Actually provide the next steps for parents and the child to follow.
Also let them know what you’re doing in class to help the child be successful.
The goal is to get the student on the path to achievement.
Collaborate with Colleagues.
Last but not least, if you departmentalize, take some time to collaborate with your teammates before sitting down to do your math report card comments.
During this time, discuss overall observations of the child across the different subjects.
Back in the day, I taught math and science to a group of students, and my partner teacher taught reading and writing to those same students.
During report card comment time, we’d come together and compare our notes and documentation about each student.
Across the different subject areas, we at times observed noticeable overlaps in strengths and weaknesses regarding study habits, higher-order thinking skills, behavior, etc.
This data clearly validated our individual observations and interactions with the child.
On another note, you could also touch base with last year’s teacher to discuss her observations of the child and what strategies worked well for the child in that particular classroom setting.
Colleagues who work (or have previously worked) with the child are often great sources of information.
Now here’s what you’ve been waiting for…those juicy math report card comments!
Let’s dig into it, shall we?
For any of these comments, easily change the qualifiers for any phrase in order to express a more positive, less positive, or improving type of action or attribute .
Math Report Card Comments
- _____ is not able to retell significant information from a word problem.
- _____ exhibits a strong math foundation.
- _____ has significant trouble following clear steps to solve higher-order thinking word problems.
- _____ experiences difficulty in strategically applying a problem solving strategy to solve a word problem.
- _____ rarely explains thinking processes using pictures, numbers, and/or words.
- Even with accommodations and/or modifications, _____experiences difficulty with (replace with any reading skill or strategy).
- _____ has a hard time using context clues to figure out the meaning of new words.
- _____ able to clearly verbalize problem-solving strategy to peers.
- _____ has a deep understanding of how to strategically apply a problem solving strategy to figure out a complex word problem.
- _____ isn’t able to justify answers using evidence and/or clues from the word problem.
- _____ produces outstanding work in applying mathematical skills in project-based learning activities.
- _____ consistently struggles with (insert any math skill/strategy).
- _____ rarely makes an attempt to ask for help when he or she does not understand a concept.
- _____ is performing below grade level in (insert any math skill or strategy).
- _____ almost always identifies and ignores irrelevant “added information” within word problems.
- _____ comprehends the importance of key vocabulary in solving word problems.
- _____ becomes easily overwhelmed with the information present in complex math word problems.
- Though_____ is making gradual steps to improve (insert math skill or strategy), progress is delayed due to…
- _____ limited vocabulary impedes his understanding of word problems.
- With assistance from the teacher, _____ accurately solves complex math problems.
General Math Report Card Comments
- _____ needs more practice in memorizing basic addition, subtraction, and/or multiplication facts.
- _____ accuracy and speed of responding to math facts is strong, fair, or weak (choose one).
- _____ puts forth much effort. However, (insert any math skill or strategy) is still difficult for him/her.
- With the use of manipulates, _____ frequently and accurately solves more complex math problems.
- _____ is experiencing difficulty memorizing basic math facts.
- _____ frequently uses manipulatives appropriately and effectively.
- _____ demonstrates a solid grasp of (insert any math skill or strategy).
- _____ converts between (insert any two metrics, e.g. inches to feet) easily.
- _____ is having trouble with (insert any math skill or strategy).
- _____ exhibits a strong foundation in (insert any math skill or strategy).
- _____ struggles with higher-order thinking word problems.
- Even though she has a hard time understand harder concepts, _____ refuses to use manipulatives.
- _____ shows difficulty in applying math skills in project-based learning activities.
- _____ is inconsistent with reading and writing numbers over 100,000 and/or 1,000,000.
- _____ progress in learning (insert any math skill or strategy) is not consistent.
- _____ is struggling to maintain mathematical grade-level expectations.
- _____ has shown strong growth in (insert any math skill or strategy).
- _____ understands place value up to…
- _____ shows difficulty in retaining math processes.
- _____ consistently and accurately sorts and classifies (insert appropriate topic, e.g. shapes, 3D figures, colors, etc.)
- _____ frequently forgets math processes, strategies, and/or basic facts.
- Even with accommodations and/or modifications, _____struggles with (replace with any math skill or strategy).
- _____ seldomly uses anchor charts to assist with learning.
- _____ effectively uses the math word wall to aid in understanding complex math terms.
- _____ shows difficulty with multi-step math problems.
- _____ demonstrates a natural knack for numbers.
- Even after repeated modeling by the teacher, _____ is unclear on how to solve multi-step word problems.
- _____ exhibits precision with analyzing various types of graphs.
- _____ applies mathematical knowledge with few errors.
- _____ math progress is moving slowly due to a weak math foundation.
Behavior/Conduct Math Report Card Comments
- _____ takes pride in her work.
- _____ has significant trouble sitting still long enough to complete an assignment.
- _____ difficulty with (insert any math skill/strategy) is caused by lack of paying attention.
- _____ very often interrupts and/or disrupts others.
- _____ demonstrates a positive attitude even when math problems get challenging.
- _____ gravitates towards more challenging word problems.
- _____ is frequently unprepared to begin math lesson.
- _____ often loses materials, manipulatives, and supplies needed to complete activities.
- _____ asks for assistance from teacher when appropriate.
- _____ exhibits poor time management and consequently has trouble completing math assignments on time.
- _____ has the potential to produce better work but puts forth minimal effort.
- _____ demonstrates a healthy attitude towards math.
- _____ hardly ever participates in discussions and/or whole class activities.
- It’s challenging for _____ to complete a task if he isn’t supervised constantly.
- _____ distracts others often.
- _____ has a difficult time working independently.
- _____ reacts negatively and/or becomes highly discouraged when given constructive feedback on math assignments.
- _____ 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 (replace with any math skill/strategy).
- _____ frequently rushes to complete work as if in competition with classmates.
More Behavior/Conduct Math Report Card Comments
- Unnecessarily sacrificing accuracy for speed causes _____to have lots of careless errors in her math work.
- _____ has to be told continuously to be respectful towards others and things (such as math manipulatives).
- _____ demonstrates a strong work ethic.
- Even when given extended time, _____ fails to complete assignments.
- _____ lacks confidence in himself and his mathematical abilities.
- _____ exhibits lack of confidence in mathematical proficiency which has affected his work performance.
- _____ math assignments and/or homework is often or always late.
- _____ eagerly approaches challenging math tasks with a positive and confident attitude.
- _____ requires frequent reminders to remain on task.
- Excessive absences and tardies 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.
- _____ consistently turns in math work that is disorganized, illegible, and/or not neat.
- _____ participates fully during math discussions but sometimes talks excessively and interrupts others.
- _____ actively participates in the math lessons most of the time.
- _____ a significant number of absences have affected work performance.
- _____ has a very difficult time staying focused on the assignment or activity at hand.
- _____ struggles with keeping hands to herself during group work and math learning centers.
- _____ requires a high level of encouragement in order to complete most higher-order thinking math tasks.
- _____ significantly lacks self-discipline.
- Instead of listening to others, _____chooses to talk over them during math group work.
- _____ is inconsistent with his efforts in math block.
Next Steps for Improvement:
- The following modifications/accommodations in the area of math will be helpful to implement:
- _____ will continue to work within small groups and one-on-one with the teacher at least two times a week.
- I suggest _____ participates in after-school tutoring x number of times per week.
- 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).
- For a (specify a timeframe), let’s implement an intrinsic/extrinsic reward system to motivate _____.
- During the summer, continue to… (insert any action that will help to improve situation + how often) in order to improve (insert issue).
- I recommend….
- I suggest having _____ continue studying…
- _____ needs more opportunities to…
- Review x number of times each week the math skill/strategy of …
- In order to increase proficiency in (insert any math skill/strategy), _____ requires assistance with learning tools such as…
- Let’s schedule a follow-up meeting/conference for the date of …. to discuss…
Wrapping Up – Math Report Card Comments
No more stressing out when it comes to writing your math report card comments!
This list serves to help you get it all done in a jiffy (Okay, maybe that’s a stretch!)
I really hope this post is a time-saver for you.
And if you find it helpful, PIN IT FOR LATER and share with your colleagues!
Until next time!
Want More Report Card Comments?
- Check out these reading and writing report card comments.
- Afterwards, take a look at this helpful list of report comment comments for students performing below grade level.