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Showing posts from September, 2012

10 Ways to Help Students Cope with Making Mistakes

One of the most valuable things we can teach children is how to cope with making mistakes. Making mistakes is a human quality that all students need be comfortable with. They need to know that if we didn’t make mistakes, there would be nothing to learn.  However, most all students strive for the recognition of a perfect score on assignments and tests. Even a single mistake can create anxiety and disappointment. Unfortunately, perfect scores continue to be rewarded and mistakes frowned upon.
So what can we all do to help? Here are ten suggestions:

1) Be comfortable admitting when you make a mistake. Show students that it is okay to be wrong and that you can use it as an opportunity to learn.

2) Make sure to point out what a student has done right on an assignment as well as what was incorrect.

3) Always give your students the opportunity to fix mistakes so that they can learn from them and correct any misconceptions.

4) Communicate to your students that their mistakes can help …

Careless, Lazy and Unmotivated are Three Labels that Should be Banned from Education

Kids never strive to be careless, lazy or unmotivated and referring to a student in this way never helps a situation. In fact, many kids that hear these labels again and again can develop a sense of learned helplessness.  I’ll never forget a student of mine coming into one of our sessions in a terrible frame exclaimed, “I’m careless and unmotivated!” He slid a graded assignment across the table in front of me. Red marks cut across his work and in bold, scarring letters and exclamation points the teacher had told Jake that he had made many careless errors. 
Even though Jake’s grade was an 88, it took me almost an hour to convince him that he was not careless and unmotivated. Jake had learning disabilities as well as ADHD and I knew the errors that he had made had nothing to do with care or effort. The poor guy was so detached and dejected, he hadn’t even evaluated the mishaps, and when he finally looked at them, he could see that they were all unintentional.

At the end of our session…