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How Can They NOT Know?

It happens every report card day.

I talk to the kids about how the report card is written for adults, not kids.  Then I remind them that they should already know what's on the report card, since they're here every day!

We typically have a great conversation about how the report card tells what they're doing well, and what they need to work on.  Then I go on to mention that they already know what they're doing well with, and what they need to work at.

Today a little guy mentioned he didn't know what he was doing well.  (I suspect he was fishing for a compliment, so I made sure he got a few.)  I told the rest to tell him what he's good at... they came out with loads of great stuff, very appropriate for this little guy!  He was happy.  Yep, these kids know each other!  I'm never shy about mentioning what they're good at!

Then the subject of what they need to work on came up.  I'm never shy about this one either, although it's usually dealt with in a more private manner.  So I started naming things that all second graders (and people in general) need to work at.

The subject of reading came up.  It just so happens I have a group of kids who have grown leaps and bounds in their reading skills.  In fact, they're absolutely amazing.  But the truth is, I'll always expect them to continue growing as readers. Most of them seemed to understand this, and were quite excited about getting EVEN BETTER at reading.  I even admitted that I'm still growing as a reader, and hope to always get better and better.

One little girl insisted she didn't need to grow as a reader.  These are the kids that worry me even more than my lowest readers.  (I'm sure you've met these kids, too!)  These are the kids who are sure they are fine the way they are and don't need to learn anything else.

Confidence is great, but over confidence can work against these kids.  If they think they already know everything, they're not motivated to learn and grow.  How can we help these kids?


  1. I think you are doing a great job pointing out that everyone has something to work on, even people that seem to have it altogether.

  2. I found a great book in my library today that addresses this exact issue. It is "Opening Minds Using Language to Change Lives" by Peter Johnston. It talks about how we change kids perspectives on learning and change their lives just with our words. I strongly suggest every teacher read it.


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