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.
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.