Praise vs. Encouragement EDU-144

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Typical Praise Situations

Introduction:

Learning to use praise less often with the children you work with is easier if the alternatives to praise are clear. Praise focuses on what the adult thinks or feels, and often includes a judgment whereas encouraging statements point out specific facts but do not evaluate them and focus on the child. Below are several examples of typical situations in which adults use praise inappropriately in early childhood programs. Under each excerpt, write why the dialogue is inappropriate and then re-write the excerpt into encouraging statements.

Assignment:

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1. It’s cleanup time and Mrs. A. notices that Allison is putting away most of the pine cones she was hauling around in a truck. Mrs. A. says, “good job Allison, I really like the way you’re putting those pine cones away.”

a. Why is this inappropriate –

b. Correction –

2. It’s time to start circle time. Mrs. F. says, “I’m looking for good listeners…….Ah, I see Molly is ready.”

a. Why is this inappropriate –

b. Correction –

3. Mrs. T is working with several children in the art area. Ben has made an elaborate picture by gluing many strips of colored paper on a big sheet of construction paper. Mrs. T. says, “Why, Ben, that’s terrific. How many strips did you use on your picture?” Ben looks puzzled and does not reply.

a. Why is this inappropriate –

b. Correction –

4. During group time, Johnny is not following directions and continues to interrupt the group by talking without raising his hand. Mrs. B. tries to correct Johnny’s behavior by saying, “Thank you for remembering to raise your hand Mandy. I like it when you follow the rules.”

a. Why is this inappropriate –

b. Correction –

5. During centers, Marcus is building with the blocks and comes to the teacher to show her his block tower. The teacher responds by saying, “That is a great looking tower Marcus. “

a. Why is this inappropriate –

b. Correction –

6. During centers, Brian is working on a picture at the easel. Mrs. G. comes over to Brian and says, “Your painting is so beautiful. I really like the colorful rainbow.”

a. Why is this inappropriate –

b. Correction –

7. During centers, Bobby is in the library center looking at a book. While looking at the pictures he is making up a story and telling it aloud. The teacher walks by and says, “Good reading Bobby. I am proud of the story you made to go with the pictures.”

a. Why is this inappropriate –

b. Correction –

8. While playing on the playground, a group of boys are throwing the football to each other and pretending to score touchdowns. Mr. P. observes the children for a while and then says, “wow, Darrell, you are the best player on the team. “

a. Why is this inappropriate –

b. Correction –

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