How to Teach So Students Remember

By Marilee Sprenger | Go to book overview

STEP 4 Reinforce

Feedback is vital to learning.

One of the most effective means to cultivate a goal-oriented culture
is to regularly reinforce and recognize improvement efforts,
both privately and publicly.

—Mike Schmoker, Results: The Key to Continuous School Improvement

I am observing a prekindergarten classroom as part of my job for the state board of education. Although I started my teaching career at this level, it has been many years since I worked with this age group. The teacher, Mrs. Keene, is playing a familiar game with them that I remember from my childhood:"Hot and Cold.] One child is [it] and is asked to leave the room. The class chooses an object. When the child returns, the class sings a song, getting louder when the child is [hot,] or close to the object, or singing softly when the child is [cold,] or far from the object.

As I watch the class, I think of the possible purposes of the game. Certainly the children must be making decisions about when to get louder or softer Self-control is challenged as the little ones want to point or give other clues as to the selected article. What I find particularly interesting is the feedback that the singing provides. This reinforcement is offered continually. The children do not get frustrated as they search for the target. Through the continuous feedback, every child is successful.

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