loved this little tidbit in my mailbox today
February 24, 2015, 6:50 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: ,

“We all know that our students love praise.  One of the best techniques I have used in my classroom is when I have student “A” who is not following instructions, so I praise student “B” who is following instructions.  All of a sudden student “A” straightens up in her seat and begins working.  Praise is one of the most powerful classroom management tools I have ever used.

I have learned now that I must be aware of the type of praise I am giving my students.  The most common praise children receive is intelligence praise: “Wow, that’s a really good score.  You must be smart at this.”  For decades people have been praising children for being smart in hopes to boost confidence.
What is being found, however, is that when we praise a child for being smart it sets an expectation that the child must always prove to be smart in order to receive praise.  Our children may begin focusing on the grade and being smart instead of the actual learning.  They may be more apt to not accept challenges or persevere in solving them because they risk failing.  They feel that they must always get things right in order to be smart.   This is a fixed mindset.
Rather than intelligence, we should be praising our students for their effort: “Wow, that’s a really good score.  You must have tried really hard.”  The child realizes that he or she is being praised for working hard and is likely to be more accepting of tasks that make him or her work hard again.  This does not happen overnight, but with consistent effort praise, studies have shown that children will naturally begin focusing on how hard they are trying and actually begin to love the challenges that make them try hard.  This is the growth mindset.”

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