I teach Bible Drill to a great group of 4th-6th graders every Wednesday Night. This past Wednesday, I gave them a little fill-in-the-blank sheet about Paul's Letters while they were taking turns saying their verses to the other teacher. After they filled in the missing books of the Bible, I checked their papers and helped them with anything they were missing. I then gave them a big smiley face on their paper with a magic marker.
A little while later a few of the kids came up to me (after we had moved on to our next activity) and said, "Mrs. Letha, I'm finished now, can I have my smiley face?" Of course, I checked over their paper and gave them all smiley faces! This is not the type of activity we do very often, so they were not used to me "checking" their papers or giving them smiley faces for that matter. I thought it was so wonderful and interesting that pre-teens still want their smiley face!
A few months ago, a college student I know posted a paper his professor had graded. On it was an A+ and a smiley face. He said something like, "Hey, look, you can still get these in college!" I think he was very excited and proud that his professor had thought enough of his work to give him a simple smiley face!
The moral of the story? I'm no philosopher or psychologist, but I think there may be a lesson here:
1.Children love/need to be affirmed for hard work.
2.There are still children out there today who will work for smiley faces.
3.It is fun to give smiley faces to children.
4.Children appreciate smiley faces for a long, long time.
***My personal preference: If at all possible, smiley faces should be drawn using a brighly colored, thick magic marker...more drama. :)