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Showing posts with label honest praise. Show all posts
Showing posts with label honest praise. Show all posts

How am I Doing?

Every "report card" time, kids will undoubtedly ask, "how am I doing?"

Kids often ask, "How am I doing," especially around report card time. Here are some suggestions for making sure the children KNOW how they're doing!

Of course, it's great that they care about their achievement, but seriously, they're in school every day doing the work. They're in class, participating and engaging in work all the time. So, shouldn't they already know how they're doing?

Kids often ask, "How am I doing," especially around report card time. Here are some suggestions for making sure the children KNOW how they're doing!


What do you think? Yes, report cards are all about reporting to their parents. They have a right to know how their child is doing. They see the children through homework, encourage them to do well, and want to know about their child's successes! 

This post isn't about report cards and reporting to parents.

It's about giving feedback to the children every single day!

Brain research tells us that frequent feedback is essential to learning. 

A good place to start is making sure every child knows their strengths!

Kids often ask, "How am I doing," especially around report card time. Here are some suggestions for making sure the children KNOW how they're doing!
 
I believe in encouraging children every time you see them doing something right. It could be ANYTHING they do well. Here are some examples:
  • staying organized
  • smiling at classmates
  • participating in group discussions
  • greeting classmates when they arrive
  • positive attitude
  • listening
  • following directions
  • getting to work right away
  • following rules
  • working independently
  • staying focused
  • helping classmates
  • helping teacher 
  • putting forth effort
  • showing growth

Kids often ask, "How am I doing," especially around report card time. Here are some suggestions for making sure the children KNOW how they're doing!

In fact, this information should be made public. Everyone in the class should know who is good at knowing math facts, and who is good at following directions. All students should know who they can turn to for figuring out an unknown word, solving a math problem, where to find extra supplies, or sketching a cat for their journal. This is all part of the teamwork. And I'm sure you'll agree, all children have strengths!

Kids often ask, "How am I doing," especially around report card time. Here are some suggestions for making sure the children KNOW how they're doing!

All children also have areas that need improvement, don't they? The only way they will improve in these areas is if they are aware of their weaknesses and put in the effort to improve them. I prefer to think of these as "skills the child is working on," rather than weaknesses. It's just a bit kinder!

Kids often ask, "How am I doing," especially around report card time. Here are some suggestions for making sure the children KNOW how they're doing!

Although the whole world should know the strengths of your students, the opposite is most definitely NOT true!

Kids often ask, "How am I doing," especially around report card time. Here are some suggestions for making sure the children KNOW how they're doing!

 

I schedule meetings with individuals every so often. How do I find the time? I meet with individuals instead of reading groups for a couple of days. (See THIS POST to see how I organize this!) I spend a few minutes with each child, and honestly, those few minutes make a world of difference and are totally worth missing a reading group or two!

Kids often ask, "How am I doing," especially around report card time. Here are some suggestions for making sure the children KNOW how they're doing!

I use a 2-1-1 strategy! I start with 2 statements about what the child is doing well. These can be about ANYTHING the child is doing in school, as long as it's honest praise. (See THIS POST about giving honest feedback!) 

After the happy celebration, I mention (carefully) one thing the child needs to work on. They usually know, and agree they need to work on this. 

Wanting to leave the conversation with a positive note, I'll mention one more thing the child does well. This doesn't have to be academic, just a little something to keep the conversation upbeat. Quite often, it's something like, "I'm glad you're in my class!"

Kids often ask, "How am I doing," especially around report card time. Here are some suggestions for making sure the children KNOW how they're doing!

You've probably already spent a lot of time building relationships with your students, and these personal conversations should simply amplify these relationships. Of course, make sure it ends with a smile!

How do you keep the children informed about their progress?

Kids often ask, "How am I doing," especially around report card time. Here are some suggestions for making sure the children KNOW how they're doing!



Seven Way to Be the Teacher They'll Remember

I'll bet you have a teacher you remember from your own education. If you're anything like me, you want to be that teacher for your own students. Here are some suggestions!

Seven Ways to Be the Teacher They'll Remember: Remember that special teacher from your childhood? Here are some ideas to help you be that special teacher for your students!

Get to know them individually!

Seven Ways to Be the Teacher They'll Remember: Remember that special teacher from your childhood? Here are some ideas to help you be that special teacher for your students!
Each child has a special personality, special interests, and special families that love them. Getting to know all those parts to each child is no easy task. I find having a Morning Meeting sharing time helps getting to know them. I also have an end-of-the-day "High-Low" meeting (See THIS post and THIS post.) I also find that having private conversations, when possible, is also a great way to know them as individuals.
 

Let them get to know you!

Seven Ways to Be the Teacher They'll Remember: Remember that special teacher from your childhood? Here are some ideas to help you be that special teacher for your students!
Tell stories about yourself and your loved ones when you can fit it in. I always share at Morning Meeting as well as High-Low. I also share connections that I have with books we read and things we are learning. They particularly love when I tell about my cat!

Let them know you care!

Seven Ways to Be the Teacher They'll Remember: Remember that special teacher from your childhood? Here are some ideas to help you be that special teacher for your students!

I never miss an opportunity to let them know that I care. If someone is absent, that's my low of the day. If someone arrives late for class, I'll stop everything and let them know how glad I am to have them there. If someone is upset or hurt, I make it clear that it upsets and hurts me as well.

You may have heard it said before: they won't learn anything from you unless they know you care!
 

Be their biggest cheerleader!

Seven Ways to Be the Teacher They'll Remember: Remember that special teacher from your childhood? Here are some ideas to help you be that special teacher for your students!
Feedback is always important in the classroom. Most of the time, it should be positive. For some struggling students, that's not always easy, but I've found there's always something the child is doing well. Find that thing, and celebrate it! It doesn't even have to be academically related, but I'm sure there are plenty of those! Just a warning: not everyone wants to be singled out. Know these students, and be a private cheerleader for them. (Most students love getting notes celebrating their accomplishments!) This all reflects back to #1: Get to Know Each Child Individually!
 

Do fun things!

Seven Ways to Be the Teacher They'll Remember: Remember that special teacher from your childhood? Here are some ideas to help you be that special teacher for your students!

I'm sure you're already doing this one, along with most of the others! (Teachers who read educational blogs are always trying to make themselves better, agreed?) You probably already have a lot of tricks up your sleeve, but here are a few suggestions. 

  • Do STEM/ STEAM projects!
  • Play educational games!
  • Bring "Team Building" games into Morning Meeting. (Some ideas HERE!)
  • Include art projects and crafts!
  • Find a super fun way to present research projects!
  • Have them create puppets and put on shows!
  • Have an "Author's Night!"
  • Record and videotape educational activities! (Be careful who has access to this, of course!)
  • Do a class play!
This last suggestion is near and dear to my heart. Why? Well, not only because I enjoy performing in regional theatre myself, but also because of the excitement! Brain research tells us that memories are very much connected to emotions! (See THIS post for more information!) Whenever students come back to visit, they always mention the plays and performances we shared. Such a shared experience is also great for building teamwork and community! (Want some scripts? Try THESE, or if you want something curriculum related, try THIS!)

Keep a safe classroom!

Seven Ways to Be the Teacher They'll Remember: Remember that special teacher from your childhood? Here are some ideas to help you be that special teacher for your students!
We've all heard "Maslow's Before Blooms," and I truly believe this matters.
 
 Seven Ways to Be the Teacher They'll Remember: Remember that special teacher from your childhood? Here are some ideas to help you be that special teacher for your students!
As classroom teachers, we probably won't be able to reach all these levels, but the very basic needs are essential before any learning is going to happen! If they don't feel healthy and safe (Physiological Needs and Safety Needs), we might as well just toss the curriculum out the window. That third level, Love and Belonging, is one we can work on as well! Again, Morning Meetings are great for building community and making each child feel like an important member of the classroom!

Be a role model

Seven Ways to Be the Teacher They'll Remember: Remember that special teacher from your childhood? Here are some ideas to help you be that special teacher for your students!
This is more of a responsibility as much as a suggestion. If the children remember you, you want that memory to be inspiring. Some suggestions:
  • Let them see you getting emotional when you read books.
  • Let them see you making mistakes, and responding appropriately.
  • Talk about something that bothered you, and what you did about it.
  • Let them see you showing kindness and respect to the other students as well as other adults in the school.
  • Write thank you cards for gifts they give.
  • Let them see you taking care of your health. Talk about the exercising you do and the healthy food you prepare.
  • Be a good listener.
  • Talk about how you stay organized.
  • Let them see you doing things you don't necessarily want to do... with a smile.
  • Be positive, even when times are tough.
  • Always say please, thank you, and all those other magic words!
  • Think out loud. Let them know the reasons for your actions.
  • Show extra respect to all the extra helpers in the building: secretaries, custodians, kitchen workers, and assistants. Let the children see that you appreciate what they do for your students.

 

Seven Ways to Be the Teacher They'll Remember: Remember that special teacher from your childhood? Here are some ideas to help you be that special teacher for your students!

 

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