Teaching Prompts: Speak Lightly and Specifically, Words of Encouragement

As we begin a new school year, both as parents or guardians and teachers, let’s focus on what children can do. Strive to be a careful observer and attentive listener as we observe what they can do and in turn, use their strengths as a springboard to connect (link) to what they cannot accomplish yet. Notice the yet. What will they need to be able to do, what steps, what skills, in order to reach their goal, whatever that may be. Speaking lightly and specifically or providing words of encouragement and specific prompts, may be used to make that bridge a little easier for children to cross.

I like how you tried to help yourself read the word — by using meaning [be specific in your praise – what did he/she do well?] and:
(a) Another way to help yourself is to look at the first letter.
Demonstrate specifically another way to problem-solve and when to use that strategy if you do not know what other strategies the child may have in their “toolbox.” As a teacher, your analysis from the beginning-of-the-year assessments [noting what the child can do and what he/she needs to learn to do], will guide your teaching.

(b) What else can you try that may help?
Prompt children to think for themselves to take action IF you know they have other strategies in their “toolbox.”

It’s important to be encouraging and specific AND to show students how they can apply what they can do or learn to do, to other situations [books] and not just that one application.

Flexible problem-solvers take risks,

become independent,

and use multiple strategies.