When Students Mess Up – Teacher’s Corner


Teacher’s Corner
Two ways to explain “mess ups” to your students:
  1. Explain to your students that they can always be stars – even if they make mistakes.  Real stars can seem to be gone in the daytime or on a cloudy night, but they are just hidden. On the next clear night, the stars come out again and again. The star within people is like that, too.
  1. Your students have stars within them. Those stars can also be hidden when they mess up and do something wrong.  But, their stars within them can shine again because they can always do better and be better from one day to the next.
Writing Prompts and Discussion Topics 
The following are based on the blog, “Your Child Is a Star!”
  1. Most people mess up sometimes. They hurt other people with their actions or their words. Do you think saying you are sorry in these cases is sufficient for making up for the mistake that was made? Why or why not?
  2. What does it mean to make amends? What are the advantages to making amends – for the person harmed and the person who did the harm?
Teachers, you can use this blog in classrooms. Here are two ideas about how.
  1. For middle or high school parenting or child development courses:
  • Use the blog for discussion topics
  • Require students to research the topics and agree or disagree with what the blog is suggesting.
2.  For all courses, especially English Language Arts:
  • Use the blog for writing prompts for paragraphs, theme papers, journal entries, class starters, etc. Have students read the blog and respond to:
    • Do you agree with what is being said about kids? Do kids really act, think or feel that way?
    • Do you agree with what is being said about parents, grandparents, teachers and child caregivers? Do or should they act, think or feel that way?
    • What would be your advice on this topic?
    • What was left out of this article?
    • If you were a parent, would you use any of this information? How?
Why can this blog be a useful teaching tool?
  • Students that see connections between their coursework and their lives do better in school.
  • Most students will either be parents one day or have children in their lives that they care about, so the topical information can help them build their knowledge about children and parenting and develop a positive image of the type of parenting they want to do.
  • The new core literacy standards adopted by most states call for frequent writing in all courses.
  • Newly developed end-of-course assessments to be used by many states will require that students demonstrate that they can think critically. These prompts help students practice critical thinking.
  • Newly developed end-of-course assessments to be used by many states will require that students demonstrate that they can analyze what they read. These prompts help students practice analysis.

What do you think?

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