279.  A) How should teachers acknowledge responses to students?


I strongly suggest that you investigate the theory behind the concept of REINFORCEMENT.  -- 
POSITIVE REINFORCEMENT is the ONLY way to increase the chances that a behavior (desirable or undesirable) occurs again.   That is exactly what "LEARNING" is:  a behavior that was not present in a student before, now occurs repeatedly because that behavior "has been learned."  The only way that "learning" happens is when a behavior (desirable or undesirable) is positively reinforced immediately after it happens.   If the reinforcement continues, at first massively or AFTER EVERY RESPONSE, and then intermittently or RANDOMLY AFTER SOME RESPONSES, the behavior is "learned" literally forever.   That is, the behavior will occur and re-occur time and time again.
So, teachers MUST acknowledge every DESIRABLE student response with something positive.   You MUST be willing, as a teacher, to constantly praise --sincerely and adequately-- every single desirable student response.   If you do NOT acknowledge every student response, then there will be very little learning --or worse, classmates will take over the task of acknowledging other classmates' responses which you, as the teacher, probably do not desire.    

B)  How do you respond to incorrect responses?

You have two choices:

FIRST -- SIMPLY IGNORE the incorrect response.  Just move on, call on another student.   OR
SECOND -- rephrase your question so that YOU ELICIT the correct response FROM EVERY STUDENT, and then YOU CAN positively reinforce the correct student response. 
IT IS IMPERATIVE that, as a teacher, you understand that students MUST respond correctly or in a desirable fashion and that IT IS THE MOST IMPORTANT job of a teacher to INSURE that every student responds correctly or in a desirable fashion.   How?  Rephrase the question -- IT IS THE QUESTION that is wrong, NOT the student!!!
If you ask --
and you get the wrong answer, you may call on another student, ignoring the wrong response. 
THEN --- ALWAYS GO BACK to the student who did not answer correctly and rephrase your questions:
Ask --
2. --- TODAY is __________(whichever day it is today)________, right? 
Positively Reinforce student if s(he) nods h(is/er) head.
Ask again --
3. --- So, what day is today, (give choices with CORRECT choice last), is it __________, or ___________, or _____(whichever day it is today) __________ ? 
Positively Reinforce student if s(he) gives correct answer.
(The number of choices does NOT matter, any number from 2 to 7 is fine)
Ask again --
4. --- So, what day is today, (give choices with CORRECT choice any place except LAST). is it __________, or _____(whichever day is today)___________, or _______________, or ______________?
Positively Reinforce student if s(he) gives correct answer. 
(The number of choices does NOT matter, any number from 2 to 7 is fine)
Finally ask --
Positively Reinforce student for the RIGHT answer!!!!! 

C)  How do you respond to correct responses?


Please, CELEBRATE, congratulate, admire, get excited about the CORRECT response or behavior!!!!! Those moments are the true JOY of teaching!!!!!!!!

D)  How do you respond to responses with silence and "i dont know" responses?


Then, do as I showed you above in Question Number 2 --



For more in-depth information, classroom demonstrations, and "coaching" of new and/or experienced teachers, Dr. CARMEN SANCHEZ SADEK offers:

1. Cognitive - Academic Language and Vocabulary Development
2. Cross Cultural Diversity - Multicultural Strategies
3. Effective Instruction for English Learners (L.E.P. students) Parts 1, 2, 3, 4
4. Promoting Academic Success in Language Minority Students
5. Cognitive - Academic Language and Vocabulary Development
6. Oral Language / Literacy Skills / Higher Order Thinking Skills
7. 50/50 Dual Language Programs: design, planning and implementation
8. The Structure of English / The Structure of Spanish
9. Transition: Introduction to English Reading

Web Site Programs for Teachers: Numbers 1, 5, 7, 8, and 9.
Web Site Programs for
Paraprofessionals: Number 3.
Web Site Programs for
New Teachers:
Enhanced Cultural Sensitivity - The Challenge of Students Diversity
Identifying / Responding to Students' Language Needs
Phonemic Awareness: Teaching English phonics to L.E.P. students
Relationship Between Reading, Writing and Spelling
Improving Reading Performance -- Building Oral Language Skills)

Write and e-mail any additional questions you may have, and Dr. CARMEN SANCHEZ SADEK will establish with you, your school or district a Technical Assistance Service Contract. Dr. CARMEN SANCHEZ SADEK will answer all your questions promptly and to your satisfaction.


For information and credentials please click on the link below or contact directly:


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