By Jennifer Phillips
I love praising process, not just outcome. I love the reflection. I love using L@B habits in lessons. I love that all pupils can achieve them and obviously that they are ‘Marvel’ themed. They are specific praise and really get the kids talking about learning. It gives a clear specific language which enables me to praise behaviours that lead to progress. I think it has changed how many of the pupils view themselves as learners as they are not only being judged on progress and outcomes. I think it has made them more resilient as the focus is not always on what band they achieved, it’s about how well they are learning (Which is what will lead to progress anyway). I think that they have helped with behaviour for learning as I can remind/question pupils about “being a responsible learner” which is positive and specific, rather than tell them off for being naughty or disruptive.
I think my favourite is “Determined learner”. I have used this especially for those pupils who always have a go, but generally get it wrong. It is heart-breaking to say that they have got it wrong, this has given me a way of praising their effort and enthusiasm so that they don’t lose it. I find these pupils can become embarrassed, ridiculed and in turn disaffected. Being a “lead learner” has meant that they have had specific meaningful praise. This has meant they haven’t been discouraged. Because of the modelling the class become more resilient as the pupil’s behaviour has been rewarded. It has created a lovely culture of being brave enough to ask questions and ‘have a go’.
However with so many things to do, and being a forgetful person they can get forgotten, so I ask pupils to lead giving them out, which has also been useful reflection for the whole class. So that pupils are involved I will ask them to tell me which L@B merit the person in question deserves, which has meant that they are using them, but is also lovely peer praise. They are on every table so that this is easy (however they could have their organisers open on that page).
Carl made me A4 copies of the L@B poster and laminated them so that they are durable. I have cut up the posters so that I can give out; the pupils seem to see this as more of a tangible reward than just saying that they have a merit. Also when they hand them in at the end I can say well done again as they leave.
Lead learner Lanyards
On the second merit they can have a lead learner lanyard. There are just the merit slips, but I hole punched it to put a lanyard through. These can be used in all units for all years, so was well worth making. (Even though Carl did most of it!)
Resource pouches and dictionaries
I have pouches of resources with the resourceful logo on them to highlight the skill and give them a clear understanding of what it means to be resourceful. I also have dictionaries on every table and encourage them to use them rather than ask me for spellings. This also helps with DIRTY time, they are being reflective and responsible.