Top report card writing tips

I know it’s not the most… fun… topic, but I have to say something because it’s that time. Communication of Learning time. And as much as I would like to pretend this time of year doesn’t exist, it does. So I am coming to you with my top report card writing tips for stress-free kindergarten COLs.

Not an Ontario educator? COL stands for Communication of Learning and it’s essentially up to 4 pages of written commentary per student in your class divided into the four frames of the Ontario FDK program.

They are asset based, observation driven and supposed to include quotes and anecdotes for each frame. If this sounds like a lot to you, that’s because IT IS!

 And this is exactly why I wanted to share my top report card writing tips for stress-free kindergarten COLs. 

To start things off, I want you to remember that writing 100% unique and brand new comments for every single student in your class is not the goal, nor is it reasonable or a good use of your capacity.

And with that I bring you:


>> Use skeleton comments BUT have very specific examples and anecdotes for every single student so you can ensure they are accurate and personal

>> Make this ^ easier by having an idea for the comment you want to write, and then sitting down for an entire play-block (or two) and collecting evidence to fill in that blank. You’ll be surprised how many solid examples you can find when you have a specific focus and are actively looking.

>> Go through your documentation at least a week before you sit to write your reports. Notice which students you are lacking data from and focus on collecting some that week. 

>> Don’t reinvent the wheel for each student. Pick a way of phrasing the expectations you are focusing on for that frame and use it over and over. You will personalize using concrete examples, not changing your verbiage for the expectation and introduction for no reason.

>> Have your students describe themselves to you. You can make this a circle activity! I love using this for belonging and contributing. You can then use their own words in their comment, and add your own. Simply change up the adjectives and you have a lovely, warm personal note for every student in your class. 

Seriously, these tips changed the game for me when I realized I didn’t want to spend 40+ hours writing reports every term. Tune in to this episode to learn more about how I sped up my report card writing process so significantly and stopped using MULTIPLE weekends to write my reports each term.

And I can help you even more! My comment builder is my best selling product on TpT and educators LOVE using it to help make their report writing significantly easier and faster. This product was created to help you start a solid framework for your reports in no-time at all. 

You will get:

  • A non-editable PDF of 50 pages containing skeleton comment builders for Ontario Kindergarten Report Card Comments!
  • You will notice that there are blanks in this document where you will fill in specific examples that further support your comments for each student.
  • Thorough and thoughtful COL comments include specific anecdotal evidence, so, the best practice would be to include at least one concrete example in each frame.
  • It also contains advice and information on how to document throughout the year in order to prep for and support report writing.

Let’s get your reports done and off your list!

Want to hear more about my top report card writing tips?

Tune into this episode of Kindergarten Kept Simple.

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Kindergarten specialist turned curriculum writer. Mom, wannabe baker and lover of early 2000s Disney Channel (hello, Lizzie McGuire and HSM). Enthusiast of ponytails, pancakes and helping Canadian kindergarten teachers stress less by simplifying their planning and re-igniting their love of play-based learning. Here to help you take back your weekends and love teaching on week days.

Or, send me an email at mariah@aplayfulpurpose.com