Rigor is creating an environment in which each student is expected to learn at high levels,
each student is supported so he or she can learn at high levels,
and each student demonstrates learning at high levels (Blackburn, 2008).

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Using Symbols for Praise, Part One

We've spent the last couple of weeks discussing praise.  Praise should not be limited to verbal comments. Sometimes the nonverbal reinforcers, such as a smile or a look, are much more effective. Additionally, students react positively to a symbol.  Karl Kosko, a former math teacher at Sullivan Middle School, found that his students responded to a new “member” of his classroom:

I introduced Pythagorus the Goose [a stuffed animal who] loves math. He likes to watch people who are really working hard on math. So, if a group of students is working hard he might land
and watch them a while. However, if they stop working hard then he might get bored and fly off somewhere else. The reaction today was something one could see. A number of students decided they wanted the goose to come over at their table. Also, the table that ended up with the goose had some of the members encouraging others to keep working so the goose wouldn’t “get bored.”

What a great motivator for his students!

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