Promote Recognition of Progress During a Lesson

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Leave a Trail of Incriminating Evidence

CHALKOne way to help students recognize the skills they are acquiring is to build the recognition into your daily lessons. With a little effort at the beginning and end of a lesson, you can help your students appreciate what they have learned and increase their self-efficacy. You want your students to be aware of the progress they have made.

Review the Past
Begin each lesson by listing on the board the skills your students mastered from the previous lesson. You can make such statements as, “Look how much we have already learned about how a bill becomes a law.” This serves three purposes: It reviews previously learned material, it draws attention to what students learned, and it helps set the stage for the new material you are about to cover.

Set the Stage
Prior to beginning a lesson, post the skills the students will learn during the lesson. Briefly discuss how the new skills build upon what the students already know. This also serves three purposes. First, it draws attention to what you want the students to learn. Second, it provides a goal to measure once the lesson is complete. Lastly, it makes the material less threatening by showing the students how it connects to what they already know. If you are working individually with a student, help the student record what she wishes to learn or accomplish.

Acknowledge Accomplishments
As the lesson progresses, physically place a check by each skill as you cover it. At the end of the lesson, review the skills or goals that were achieved. Because the skills are already listed on the board, it is easy to draw attention to the ones that were accomplished. By physically placing a check next to each skill, you draw additional attention to their accomplishment.

Check Your Knowledge:

  • Taking time to draw student attention to your lesson objectives is too time consuming and has little impact on their self-efficacy.
    True   False

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