I think "You can do better" is actually telling a student that they are not
living up to their potential. That student that is scribbling - tell him/her
that he/she can do better, which lets them know that you know they are
"slacking". I think the phrase is more in timing/situation.
With my younger students I will point out suggestions such as "can you
imagine how awesome this would look if you just colored in this shape abit
more?" Give them an exact reference about what needs more time. :-)
> I received a list of encouraging and discouraging phrases the other day
> has me discouraged. Two of the phrases that stick out in my mind the most
> as discouraging phrases are..."You can do better." and "That looks good
> the edges are ragged."
> Any recommendations as to alternatives because I don't know how to change
> those phrases into something seen as positive without losing more quality
> kid's work. When you see a kid scribble to get through an assignment,
> do you say to them or do you just let it go? I teach a lot of the younger
> kids and grades mean nothing to them at this point. Any suggestions will
> greatly appreciated.