I love this simple strategy that I read about a few weeks ago and I have been experimenting with it in my classroom and my home … and now I can’t seem to find where I got it from, so if it was on your blog – please let me know so I can acknowledge you here.
When students give wrong answers we tend to say things along the lines of, “Can you try that again…” or “Nope” or “Nearly” or “Not Quite” or, “What makes you say that?” and you think something like “Oh please try and remember…we covered this yesterday…”
In the last few weeks I have been focusing instead on saying, “That’s a good answer – can you try and give me an even better one.” I might even say, “That is the best answer you have given me so far.”
I am amazed at how well this worked with children with learned helplessness and children with language difficulties who do not naturally contribute to discussions. It has been an effective strategy in making students think about what they are going to say- thereby decreasing impulsivity; it encourages them to reflect on their own thinking as well as build-on to their thoughts and it challenges them to constantly improve their ideas, rather than simply producing and exiting.
I tried this strategy too with Junior Son when he was completing his homework this week, even though his first answer was good enough.
Not one child has refused or questioned the opportunity to provide a better answer. Surprised?
Try it – it works!