Avoid These Grading Mistakes on Student Report Cards

Posted by | August 24, 2020

The school year is just around the corner, and whether you’re teaching in class or online, it will be more important than ever to communicate feedback to your students. Report card comments are essential to helping students understand where they need to improve and what they’re already doing well at. However, old habits die hard. If you’ve never considered how you give feedback and how it impacts your students, here are some important tips. Keep reading to find out the major grading mistakes you need to avoid in your teacher report card comments.

Highlighting Weaknesses

While it is important that students get constructive criticism so they can learn what they did wrong and how to improve in the future, you should not highlight their weaknesses when grading. Offer corrections to their performance to help students reflect on how to do better. Be mindful to include comments that inspire students and acknowledge their potential.

Using Grades as a Form of Punishment

You may not intend to use grades as a form of punishment, but your grades can come off that way. If you are giving low marks to students to teach them responsibility, then you are using grades as punishment. There are no studies that show this type of discipline is effective and it can actually make students withdraw and put in less effort. Instead, stick to your grading rubric.

Only Contacting Parents at Reporting Time

Choosing to communicate with parents only at report card time can leave them shocked and embarrassed to find their child’s grades are going down. If a child is doing well throughout the term, be sure to let their parents know. Likewise, if they are struggling, contact parents to let them know their child may need extra assistance such as in the form of a tutor.

Only Providing a Grade and No Comments

It’s lazy work to give a simple grade without any comments for improvement. If your students worked on a project that isn’t a simple multiple-choice assignment, provide comments to be sure they understand why they are getting that grade. Students need feedback to grow, otherwise they might take one glance at the grade and throw their paper in the trash.

Taking Too Long to Provide Grades

Make grading assignments a priority as students are likely to be more disconnected from the feedback if you wait too long. A good rule of thumb is to have the test or assignment results back within two to three days. That way, you will have the highest chance to help them introspect and know where they stand and how they can improve.


If you’ve been making any of these mistakes or want to improve your feedback for students, we can help you with our comment ideas for report cards. TIMESAVERS for TEACHERS is a must-have resource for teachers. We offer a variety of essential time-saving tools to help teachers be more effective during report card season. These tools include The Teacher’s BinderTeacher Report Card Comments CollectionSubstitute Teacher Instructions Kit, and Classroom Awards.

All our resources, including our report card comments collection, are downloadable, so you can access these great tools from the comfort of your home to write effective and productive report card remarks. Visit our web site to download these amazing time-saving tools!