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Preschool Report Card Comments

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  • 0:01 Purpose of Report Cards
  • 1:06 The Two Cs
  • 2:53 Milestones
  • 4:13 Putting It All Together
  • 5:10 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Sharon Linde
Early childhood educators keep track of children's development in many ways, report cards being one of them. Adding quality comments to report cards is a necessary communication tool for all educators to master.

Purpose of Preschool Report Cards

Preschool programs are a time for young children to interact with their peers in a social setting and learn basic academic skills. It may also be a time for professionals to monitor fine and gross motor development as well as emerging language and emotional growth. Four standards - social/emotional, cognitive, physical and language - provide a foundation for curricula in preschool.

While informal assessments of these areas are completed daily, weekly or monthly, formal report cards are typically completed four times a year and should be developed with the previously mentioned milestones in mind. This reporting time has two purposes: to communicate the child's growth and development to their caregivers and to create a record for professionals to use in future curricula.

The comments on preschoolers' report cards help the family to understand the goals of your program and where their child is in relation to these objectives. The more personal you make the comments, the better your families understand the program, their child's growth, and how much you care and know about their child.

The Two Cs

When formulating comments for preschool report cards, focus on communicating to the parents and showing them how much you care for their child. This is your chance to explain developmental milestones to them in a way they will understand and show what a special person their child is. By doing this, they can support their child's growth at home and mirror your program there.

Show you care

Each child is unique, so demonstrate how you know and understand this specialness by including comments about the specific child. Take a few moments and think about her, then write the comments in friendly, fun ways that highlight uniqueness and how this is a great thing. For example:

  • Susie loves the kitchen area! She pays special attention to details in her 'cooking' and makes us a great meal almost every day. Yum!
  • Susie is a budding artist! We love her imagination and how she uses colors to express herself. Our room is made bright with her work!

A few sentences about what the child succeeds at and how much this means to you and your program tell the parents that she is (almost) as important to you as she is to them.

Communicate by Being Objective

You'll also need to support your 'grading' with comments about what the child is specifically achieving. This evidence tells parents what the goal is, where their child is, and where she should be. Communicate program expectations and how their child is developing in relation to the standards by being objective. State the milestone and how the child is progressing in a clear fashion, without emotion. For example:

  • Susie is able to rote count to 20.
  • Susie draws or copies two lines that cross.
  • Susie can count to 11, but has not yet shown evidence of rote counting to 20.
  • Susie is able to draw two lines, but has not yet mastered drawing lines that cross.

In this way, you've highlighted the progress the child has made and communicated that she has or has not met the standard for her age group.

Milestones

Now that parents understand their child's progress and that you love their little one, it's time to let them know what you'll be looking for next. Preschool years are a time of rapid development in children, and milestones come quickly. If their child has not reached the milestone, take this opportunity to reassure them about the wide berth of child development; all children develop along the same continuum with predictable timelines, but at the same time every child is unique. Parents will be reassured that their child is making progress even if she is at a 'not yet' point.

Let parents know what's on the horizon by making general statements about milestones, much like this:

  • Soon Susie will begin recognizing geometric shapes by name, hopping on one foot and pouring from one container to another.

While it is important to name specific skills you'll be focusing on, make sure parents understand it is not necessary to drill this skill at home, and there is no pressure for any young child to achieve these milestones. Reassure them they will all come naturally with the correct support and scaffolding. Offer them ways to reinforce concepts in a natural way, like easy conversations about shapes at the grocery store.

Finally, end the comments section with a sentence or two about how you will support this next step in the child's life:

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