Good, Better, Best!

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!

This entry was posted in Homework strategies, Inspiration, Kids, Parenting Tips, Teaching Ideas. Bookmark the permalink.

15 Responses to Good, Better, Best!

  1. Pingback: Good, Better, Best! | Teacher Mum

  2. zalman says:

    Will this work with Adults/Marriage partners as well? Worth a try

    • TeacherMum says:

      I think the nature of an Adult/Marriage partner is a totally different one. I don’t think my husband would be too happy with me if I asked him for a better answer…although come to think of it, when I ask him, “How do I look in this?” etc, maybe better answers are the solution!

  3. Grace says:

    I worked with children also and I always tried to be positive an encourage them because it was easy for them to get discouraged. I loved to see them get excited about learning something they didn’t think they’d be able to understand.
    I enjoyed your post.
    I found you via the Monster Blog.

  4. Laura says:

    This would be a good strategy to use in piano lessons as well! I found you through the Tuesday hop and subscribed with my Google reader.

  5. Helen says:

    I really need to remember to use this one. Glad that you shared it.

  6. GERALD says:

    As usual, your ideas are innovative and interesting – I am going to try it in my profession – see if Assistants react positively as well – if not, THAT is an indication to me in itself that something isn’t working (maybe their intellect or insight!!)

  7. Anna says:

    I Work as a Substitute , I Need All The Help I Can Get.

  8. Princess Frog says:

    Def going to try this one out Teachermum. It makes so much sense.

  9. terri says:

    I like this strategy!

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