From early childhood to retirement, keeping engaged with tasks is a universal problem and in schools, poor engagement has been linked to weak academic performance.1However, helping children to recognise their achievements and build a sense of progress can alleviate those engagement challenges early in their life.2 So the specialists at Graduation Attire have highlighted 3 key ways to help children recognise and celebrate their big and small achievements.
Get Them To Look At Old Work
A simple yet clear method of showing progress is comparing their current work to their older outputs. For example, comparing their ability to write the alphabet at the start of the school year to the end, or the books they were reading two years prior.
Whilst they may find the current work difficult, they would have felt the same with older tasks and were able to overcome the challenges then as well.
Another suggestion in this area, is allocating time in the lesson for children to review and understand the teacher’s feedback on the work. Children can even act on the feedback straight away by editing their work with a green pen to ensure they have understood how to implement these changes in future.
Mark The Moment
As well as keeping a record of their work, recording a child’s achievements on a ‘WOW Moment’ chart is a nice, visual way of keeping track of their progress. You can also differentiate between the little rewards that acknowledge their efforts and completed tasks and the awards for the big moments such as completion of big projects.
Marking their achievement in the moment is a great way to immediately provide positive reinforcement of their efforts, making the link between hard work and happy experiences. Reflecting on how well they have done on special occasions such as graduations is a brilliant way to show from an early age how rewarding hard work is.
We’ve seen an increase in graduations in nurseries and primary schools over the year, with every child in their own graduation gown and cap as they acknowledge how recognising their achievement has on the child’s self-esteem.
Get Them Talking
You can never be entirely sure of whether children are recognising their progress unless they show it. By getting them to talk about their progress they can learn to recognise why they are being rewarded and build that link between hard work and achievement. Having others celebrate their achievements is great positive reinforcement but having children identify their progress is a great way for them to develop their self-esteem going forward.
Those are our 3 key ways to helping children recognise their achievements and keep themselves engaged throughout their education, though there are many other examples out there.