How often do you give your students feedback? Today, as I was reading some poems that my students had hung up in their writing spaces, I decided that I would post a comment on each one with a post-it. Each post-it named a specific thing that I enjoyed about their writing. It wasn’t just a “way to go” comment, but a genuine comment about something that they had done well as a writer. It was a little thing. I was surprised at how many students lingered to read their comments again and again. The mood was light, everyone got right down to work during writing time. They saw that someone was reading their work and it made all the difference.
It made me realize that while I give students feedback on their assignments perhaps there are things that they are doing worth celebrating that I’ve missed. Acknowledging students’ successes doesn’t have to be fancy. Take a stack of post-it’s and write one student’s name on each one. Organize them on a clip board. Now you have a simple tool that you can use during the week to jot a note to students about the great work they are doing.