I'm sure I was smiling as this little guy was sort of "stuck" in that beginning reader, 1-2 sentence per page,Fountas and Pinnell Level C/D range just 2 months ago. Now, he was working hard, but independently reading a text with 3-8 lines per page, like those found on a Fountas and Pinnell Level G! I quickly computed his accuracy and realized his accuracy was 96%!
"You really did a good job wrestling those words to the floor," I responded. "I loved when you said going here (cue pointing to the miscued word) and then after you read ahead, it didn't make sense so you went back and fixed that misread word to glasses. You self corrected there, buddy. You also self corrected over on this page, when you realized the word really was eye. You are really using your reading strategies. Kiss that thinking brain of yours!"
I've made an effort to use a child friendly form of retrospective, miscue analysis for many years (thanks to Yetta Goodman who popularized this strategy in the '80s).
I've made a focused effort to give specific praise with examples after doing a running record for many, many years (thanks to Peter Johnston and his Words Matter).
In the past few years, however, I've added another very specific, child-friendly way to acknowledge good thinking, "Kiss your brain." I did not attend a workshop nor did I read to learn about this strategy. I was on a visit to observe a teacher in a neighboring school district when I observed this phrase and the specific impact on students. It was clearly a cue to say, "Good thinking." I never got a chance to specifically acknowledge that learning and how it impacted my teaching, but I did do a little research and it may come from the work of Dr. Jean Feldman's song, Kiss Your Brain.
I'm not sure where the "knock my socks off" words came from, but I make it clear that it is a silly way of saying "Wow!" To be honest, most students don't really cue into it and very few use it. But "B" really likes that expression and frequently asks about how my socks are holding up as he reads!
So this morning, I thank Yetta, Peter, Jean (and of course Irene and Gay Sue) for making sure that "show off reading" session was more than just a test or assessment for progress monitoring. "B" left my room with a smile on his face and very specific feedback for his teacher when he returned to his room. "I self corrected two times and knocked her socks off!"