Friday, November 6, 2009

10 Ways to Help Kids Feel Productive, Not Pressured

Do you want to encourage kids to feel productive without feeling pressured? Do you want to create a classroom or family climate that focuses not on being right, or being successful, but on the pleasure of doing?

Try these guidelines:
  1. Discover kids passions. Watch what they are most eager to do. Ask them what they love to do, what they would like to learn, what makes them happy. Use this information to direct them to projects and activities that somehow relate to what they love.
  2. Find ways to integrate their passions into the things they need to do. (For example, when my bicycle loving son needed to present information as a classroom assignment, he got an old bike wheel, and placed a card with one piece of info on every spoke.)
  3. Try to provide challenges without conveying expectations of perfection.
  4. Create opportunities for kids to help and share with other students.
  5. Teach and encourage research skills so that kids know how and where to find information about topics that interest them, as well as topics they need to know more about.
  6. Encourage questions, discussion and disagreement.
  7. Encourage independent work on projects and create opportunities for kids to share the learning and their products that reflect their interests and talents.
  8. Encourage follow-through and completion. This is a great way to teach commitment.
  9. Be positive. Appreciate every kid at his or her own level. This is how you help kids gain self-esteem.
  10. Design open-ended activities which can be completed at many levels. (Some kids confidently view a complete story as six sentences and a picture, others, may fill entire notebooks before they are done.
And one more ... remind kids, as often as needed, that mistakes offer opportunities to learn, and to discover new and different ways to do things.

How do YOU help kids feel productive? What makes YOUR kids feel pressured? Use the Comment box below to share your thoughts.
  1. And one more