Correcting Children's Work

Here is the blog post, this Montessori Nugget responds to:
Absorbent Mind - Reading Group - from 2009

I know this blog is older, but it poses an enduring question.

If the adult truly "behaves as though the child doesn't exist" once his concentration has set in, the blog post author estimates that 75% of errors were taken care of by the child. This leaves 25% of "what to do?"

For the 25% that doesn't work itself out, decide how much is "necessary" to get right. The brown stair should be properly put away at the end of the "day" (or end of the last work cycle for the day). These are the times to do a general clean-up. The children walk around the room with me and I ask them, "Does this look neat and beautiful?" (I try not to use "right" or "correct" except when it IS the most appropriate word to say). I will ask this about things that ARE correct, as well as those that are not, so the children have to truly think, analyze, judge.

In classroom situations, it works great. The kids immediately jump in and clear things up.

At home, with one child, not so much. He thinks it all looks neat and beautiful if it is lined up against the wall or furniture (think magazines and books and papers). So adjust the question as a parent: "Is this how I showed you? Is this how I expect it?"

Something like the pouring and not lining up the spout; or the wrong direction with the sandpaper letters: that's just a re-presentation on another day. He doesn't have to know the new presentation is because he was doing it wrong. Just do it again and bring lots of exaggeration to lining up that spout with the middle of the glass; or moving those fingers in the proper direction. He'll get it.

In elementary, there is a lot less "specifically correct answers" and a lot more going ahead and letting them know, "Hey, something's not right here. Give it another try and let me know if you need help figuring out what to do."

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