How To Inspire Writing And Reading For Kids
Language Arts For Kids
Compliment positive choices with an action leaf and inspire early reading and writing for kids with Elliot and myABCdad Learning for Kids.
Often at school it was a sticker, stamp, the words ‘Well done!’ or just a big juicy check mark. I loved it and it became something I began to expect for all my efforts and actions.
Fast forward several years and I begin questioning what the rewards stood for or indeed, what I was giving them for as a teacher. Did I know why and more importantly do they? Have I expressed my meaning when giving a ‘Way to go!’ sticker. Does a check mark capture what I feel about their work, actions and decisions.
Several years ago, while teaching Grade 4 in Switzerland, the idea of a tree and written leaves of acknowledgement was adopted as a whole school. It took time to grow, but made a lasting impression. Children valued each leaf, which promoted further great effort and action. As I moved on to different schools and different parts of the world I began each year planting a tree in the classroom – a cardboard and paper variety. The idea took root and over time grew to include leaves from classmate to classmate, parent to child, child to parent. By the end of each year my classrooms became jungles.
The Action Tree Takes Root At Home
Now that my teaching and learning journey is at home and is one on one with Elliot, I want to acknowledge some of his efforts and actions and do it in a way that uses written words to express what the action is and why it is so great.
Writing him this leaf is my first go and I thought it sounded great until my wife pointed out that my last sentence needed tweaking. Originally I wrote, ‘I am very proud of you Elliot and keep it up!’ Sophie suggested I change it to ‘You can be very proud of yourself and keep it up!’ explaining that in this light, Elliot can decide whether or not to be proud of himself and not be proud of himself for my sake. It made complete sense.
I feel that the idea of an Action Tree and Action Leaves has evolved into one where the power of the reward is coming closer to matching the impact of an action and with it, a greater lasting effect on the recipient – in this case, my son Elliot.
What do you think? Please send along your thoughts, ideas and questions. Remember to click on the link to our Resources page to download Action Leaves so you too can have a go.
To learn more about how to make your own Action Tree check out our blog post:
How To Make An Action Tree Of Colors For Kids.
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