Reinforcing Language

SceneInstead of...Try...
A student uses a new writing skill."Good job!""I notice you used a simile here that helps the reader feel how tense the scene was."
A class is quiet and focused for a whole science period."I love how quiet the room was and how busily everyone was working.""Did you notice how quiet the room was and how busily everyone was working?"
Some students are remembering their task while others aren't."Reid and Tran followed the directions. Let's see, who else?""I see some names on the sign-up board. Who can remind us of the sign-up procedure?"
A student has been doing research for a history project."Nice job with your note-taking.""I see you wrote the main ideas in our own words and carefully noted where you got the information."
Students are gathering supplies needed for science class."Let's see which tables can get their supplies together the fastest.""I see lots of supplies being gathered. We'll begin when every table is ready."
A student has built a model of the solar system."This is A+ work!""You paid attention to every detail in this model."
To make your teacher language more helpful in fostering learning and growth, try using more specific, informative reinforcing language in situations like these. [Examples adapted from The Power of Our Words: Teacher Language That Helps Children Learn, by Paula Denton.]