It’s circle time and all the students are sitting excitedly waiting for the color game. Every student is waiting to hop toward the color that is being called out. The teacher says “everyone stand up and hop to the Red table.” All of the students except two, hop over to the Red table. The other two students hop to the Blue table. Do you tell the two students they are wrong? I don’t , I never really tell a student that their answers are wrong. I say “try again,” depending on the students, I might not say anything at all.
Instead, I make a quick note, and continue with the game. I work on those colors again so that all the students master color recognition. Sometimes it is not important that all the students get each and every color correct, some things should be about the fun and enjoyment of the game.
I don’t want students to ever feel like being wrong is not okay, and I want them to be confident with what they know. So I tell my students that if they don’t know something, don’t be afraid to say “I don’t know.” That’s why I try to approach wrong answers with a different approach, instead of just saying “wrong.” I also try to find out why a student gave a particular answer. This can be a great learning tool in understanding how students are interpreting instructions and or directions. I think that it is important to help students feel comfortable and confident with what they know or don’t know. It’s about building self assurance so that a student is never a afraid of giving a wrong answer.
Asking a student to try again, or providing them with the correct answer during small group can provide them with a comfortable and confident learning experience.
I believe that encouraging students to feel good about what they do and don’t know, starts at a young age. If we build their self-esteem while they are young, they would be more open to speak up in class when they are older, without the fear of being wrong.
What’s your thoughts? How do you build self-confidence in your classroom?