Monday, November 23, 2009

On a Positive Note

All children respond well to positive feedback. The key is to teach your point in a positive way, even when you feel like saying something negative. Here are a few tips:
  • State your expectations before beginning the activity. Let the children know if this is a time when they should talk, listen, raise their hands before speaking, sit, stand, or whatever you expect them to do.
  • Give complete instructions before they start the game or activity. Then ask a child to repeat the instructions. Finally, ask for questions.
  • Give positive feedback when deserved, but only as a result of student behavior. This tells children that you are aware of their performance individually and in a group. Children will begin to see that you give feedback to the best performance of every individual.
  • Give feedback to student groups whenever possible. Frequent group praise helps establish a sense of cooperation and community among your students.
  • Positive feedback should be given matter-of-factly. Flowery, emotional praise can embarrass children. Positive feedback should not imply that you are treating children any differently from the way you would treat an adult.
  • After giving positive feedback, continue your lesson or explanation without pausing for the children to comment. For example, “Thanks for reading in a loud, clear voice, Hannah. Does anyone know why King Herod wanted to find baby Jesus?”
  • Use descriptive statements that briefly tell students what was worthy of comment.
  • Positive feedback to individual students should be relatively private. Children can be embarrassed by comments that single them out as the “teacher’s pet.”
  • Be persistent. Some children 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 your time together by praying with and for the student.

1 comment:

Amy Tate said...

Great post! Those little positives go such a long way in building up their self esteem. I've seen the most shy children blossom under this sort of encouragement.