Lesson 2: How can recognition increase student growth?


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Continue to Lesson 3: How does implementing Marzano's third instructional strategy affect student learning?

Continue to Lesson 4: What were the results of providing student recognition and reinforcing effort?

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What is this lesson about?

Recognition Slide 1.jpg

Providing timely, concise, and detailed recognition has the ability to alter student behavior and beliefs about their abilities. This lesson will guide educators through the steps to providing appropriate recognition in order to make positive changes within their students.

Focus Objective

In this lesson, learners will

  • understand the importance of providing recognition
  • learn key elements to providing effective recognition


Although this video is directed towards providing recognition for business members, the information is transferrable to students in the classroom. Click on the link to watch this short video about the power of outlining specific objectives when providing student recognition: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G2kziOj5PEw


Bullet blue.png Reinforcing Effort

Although research on learning tends to focus on instructional strategies related to subject matter, students' beliefs and attitudes have a significant effect on their success or failure in school. Students growing up amid challenges can develop an attitude that "failure is just around the corner," no matter what. Research makes clear the connection between effort and achievement—believing you can often makes it so. This research shares recommendations and techniques that encompass student recognition, beliefs, and attitudes about learning.

Key Research Findings

  • Not all students know the connection between effort and achievement (Seligman, 1990, 1994; Urdan, Migley, & Anderman, 1998).
  • Student achievement can increase when teachers show the relationship between an increase in effort to an increase in success (Craske, 1985; Van Overwalle & De Metsenaere, 1990).
  • Rewards for accomplishment can improve achievement when the rewards are directly linked to successful attainment of an understood performance standard (Cameron & Pierce, 1994; Wiersma, 1992).
  • A critical decision for teachers is how to provide recognition. Abstract or symbolic recognition has more impact than tangible things, such as gum, movie tickets, or prizes (Cameron & Pierce, 1994).

Continue reading Reinforcing Effort to learn about implementation strategies by clicking on the following link: http://www.netc.org/focus/strategies/rein.php

Bullet blue.png Classroom Practice in Providing Recognition

Read about Classroom Practice in Recognition on page 58-59 from Classroom Instruction that Works: Researched Based Strategies for Increasing Student Achievement. Click on the following link to access the text: http://books.google.com/books?id=c25kDO0adxwC&pg=PA58&lpg=PA58&dq=pause+prompt+praise+marzano&source=bl&ots=DuwShnYZV8&sig=a_VtG5YA1QtthHLmJXQaSvi4IfQ&hl=en&sa=X&ei=pU5oU8G0IaLmsATyrYCwAQ&ved=0CE0Q6AEwBA#v=onepage&q=pause%20prompt%20praise%20marzano&f=false

Activity One

Bullet blue.png Review the following examples of Providing Recognition.


Ms. Perron met individually with her fifth grade students after the first few weeks of class so they could review the student’s progress on 2-digit multiplication problems. Ms. Perron helped each student set a goal related to accuracy and speed.

Throughout the semester, students charted their progress. At the end of the semester, she sent a letter of recognition to the parents of students who met their identified goal.

Recognition Slide PPP.jpg


Teachers at South Middle School noticed that sixth grade students who began the year with reading difficulties quickly fell behind in all of their subjects, not just language arts. The school began a peer-tutoring program to help these students develop their reading skills. Older students were trained as tutors to use the “pause, prompt, and praise” technique.

Using this method, Gayle tutored Miller twice a week for the entire semester. Gayle listened as Miller read. When Miller encountered a problem, Gayle did not respond immediately (she “paused”). If Miller could not self-correct during the pause, Gayle provided a prompt that specifically addressed his error. For example, when he completely skipped over a word, she prompted him to reread the entire sentence for context. Gayle gave more feedback in the form of praise for Miller’s successes — for example, if he corrected his own mistake, responded correctly to a prompt, or read an entire paragraph without making any mistakes. From her training, Gayle knew to make specific comments, such as, “Good job, Miller. You realized that you didn’t have exactly the right word, but you reread to correct yourself.”


Students in Mr. Bjorn’s senior physics class used an electronic bulletin board to generate threaded discussions about current events related to physics. Mr. Bjorn devised a system to recognize participation as students developed the online community. After posting ten messages to the discussion board, a student earned one blue atom. Whenever that student entered the discussion again, the blue atom appeared beside her screen name, acknowledging her ten posted messages. As the students became more active on the discussion board, Mr. Bjorn added a yellow atom for 25 posted messages, a green atom for 50 posted messages, and a larger, red atom for 100 posted messages. This system rewarded students in an informal way for participating in the discussions.

Bullet blue.png Choose one of the above examples for providing recognition and think about how you could apply it or modify it to fit the needs of your classroom.

Activity Two

Bullet blue.png Study the following chart, Providing Recognition: Effective versus Ineffective Recognition

Recognition E I.jpg

Bullet blue.png Open the following link to the Effective Recognition crossword puzzle. Print the puzzle and complete it using information learned in the Providing Recognition: Effective versus Ineffective Recognition chart above.

Effective Recognition Crossword:Media:Effective_Rocognition_Crossword.pdf


Brophy, J. (1981). Teacher Praise: A Functional Analysis. Retrieved from http://www.paec.org/itrk3/files/pdfs/whatworksreinforce.pdf.

Marzano, R. Pickering, D. Pollock, J. (2001) Classroom Instruction that Works: Research-based Strategies for Increasing Student Achievement. Retrieved from http://books.google.com/books?id=c25kDO0adxwC&pg=PA58&lpg=PA58&dq=pause+prompt+praise+marzano&source=bl&ots=DuwShnYZV8&sig=a_VtG5YA1QtthHLmJXQaSvi4IfQ&hl=en&sa=X&ei=pU5oU8G0IaLmsATyrYCwAQ&ved=0CE0Q6AEwBA#v=onepage&q=pause%20prompt%20praise%20marzano&f=false.

Mendez, M. (2011, April 1). Reinforcing effort and providing recognition. Retrieved from http://www.slideshare.net/monibon10/reinforcing-effort-providing-recognition.

Reinforcing Effort. (2005). Retrieved from http://www.netc.org/focus/strategies/rein.php.


Return to Lesson 1: Why is effort important?


Continue to Lesson 3: How does implementing Marzano's third instructional strategy affect student learning?

Continue to Lesson 4: What were the results of providing student recognition and reinforcing effort?

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