I try to make the report card comments as specific as possible, provide good wishes for the next school year, and for those who need extra help in a certain area, remind parents to work with their child on this skill(s). If a child has made outstanding progress in a certain area, I will list that, or if there has been good improvement in behavior, I will write about that as well.
These are just examples off the top of my head (school has been out for a month here!) and they are rather general.
For a good student:
______ has made wonderful progress this year in first grade! I have especially enjoyed watching ____ 's reading (math/writing,etc.) skills develop. I am sure that _____ will do very well in second grade! Keep reading over the summer!
For an average student:
________ has made progress in all subject areas this year in first grade! Keep working on reading and writing skills at home during the summer. Best of luck in second grade!
For a student needing extra help:
I have enjoyed working with __________ this year. As we have discussed _________ needs to practice reading and math skills over the summer in order to be ready for second grade! I will send home some ideas/materials/books (etc.) in order to help you work with ____ this summer. Good luck in second grade!
For a retained student:
I have enjoyed working with ___________ this year. As we have discussed, although _______ has made progress this year, he/she is reading below grade level and has not yet mastered the skills needed for second grade. Another year in first grade will provide ______ the opportunity to develop his/her skills in order to be successful in second grade and beyond. Have a great summer and don't forget to practice reading, writing, and math!
There are some good books out there that have ideas for report cards (Teacher's Message for Report Cards - ISBN:086653-997-2 - it's in Spanish too! and also "Comments for Report Cards & Notes Home - Carson Dellosa - ISBN: 0-88724-271-5)
Hope this helps!