Friday, May 15, 2009

Hints and Tips for Teaching Grades 5-6

More Teaching tips can be found on our website.

Positive Feedback for Preteens
All students respond well to positive feedback. The key is to teach your point in a positive way, even when you feel like saying something negative. Following are a few tips:
  • Positive feedback must be a result of student behavior. This tells students that you are aware of their performance individually and in a group. Students will begin to see that you give feedback to the best performance of every individual.
  • Positive feedback should be given matter-of-factly. Flowery, emotional praise can embarrass preteens. Positive feedback should not imply that you are treating students any differently from the way you would treat an adult.
  • Use descriptive statements that briefly tell students what was worthy of comment.
  • Positive feedback to individual students should be relatively private. Preteens can be embarrassed by comments that single them out as the "teacher's pet."
  • Give feedback to student groups whenever possible. Frequent group praise helps establish a sense of cooperation and community among your student group.
  • Eliminate pauses after giving positive feedback. For preteens this can be very uncomfortable. Instead say, (Julie), good job on reading that Scripture, now let's turn to…
  • Be persistent. Some students feel uncomfortable with praise because they have had so little. But every student needs to learn that he or she has enough self-worth to accept recognition from someone else.
  • Give negative feedback in private. Conclude in prayer.
A Record of FaithEven though God's work is incredible, we often forget about experiences not long after they happen. Keep spiral notebooks on hand and let your preteens write their names on the outside. Encourage them each week to keep journals of their faith journey. They might write prayers or record answered prayers, describe how they saw God at work in the previous week, jot down thanksgivings, or write what this week's Bible memory verse means in their life. Keep the journals in a special place and allow the children to write in them once they have finished any class projects.

Bible Verse Word Search
For your students who enjoy word-search puzzles, prepare this simple Bible memory verse review activity. Write the week's Bible memory verse on the bottom third of a sheet of paper. Underline ten or more key words in the verse. Above the verse, create a word-search puzzle that includes the underlined words. Make a copy of the page for each preteen. Hand out a piece of candy or a sticker to each student who completes the word search and brings it back to you the following week. Follow up by having the children take turns creating a similar word-search puzzle for each memory verse of this quarter. Have them create a corresponding answer key too. Each week, have the child say his verse for the class. Then duplicate that puzzle for the entire class.

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