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An Encouraging Technique


Date: Fri Oct 03 2003 - 15:07:30 PDT

This is similiar to the "Proximity Praise Approach". You know, when table
two is noisey and table one is quiet, you praise table one instead of scolding
table two.

 Sometimes when I notice that a child is following directions, working up to
his/her potential, and showing effort, I hold up his or her art for all to
see, ask the class to stop for a moment and to look at it. Then, I point out
what makes the work successful, how this student had accomplished the goals of
the lesson, or just simply how beautifully this student had followed
directions (Such as, "I like the way John used his whole paper for drawing.") I might
even bring it to each table for an example for all to see. The benefits are
two-fold: Those in the class who need to improve discover what they need to
do without direct criticism from me. And the child whose art I'm showing feels
like a million bucks!

I didn't realize what an impact this had until last year. Under the photo of
each graduating 5th grader was his or her most memorable moment . One very
quiet, shy boy wrote,"When the art teacher held up my art as an example for the
class." That response was even better than the six kids who said they wanted
to be art teachers when responding to "Future Profession"!
Susan on Long Island