Shout Outs

Affirmations, Positive Praise, Acknowledgement of Growth

Shout Outs are verbal acknowledgements that can be made by either teachers or students to recognize an individual student’s actions. Shout Outs can be shared with the explicit purpose of honoring all students’ strengths and celebrating individual growth. This strategy can be used to highlight either academic or social emotional growth. It can also be a form of mastery-oriented feedback, focused on a student’s effort and strategy use rather than on an attribute of the person (e.g. "I am proud of how persistent you were to complete the project" vs. "You are so smart"). Shout Outs are an opportunity for teachers to recognize actions related to multiple identities inside and outside of the classroom (e.g. learner, volunteer, singer, or big sister). Using Shout Outs as part of a regular routine can positively impact students' growth mindset, self-concept, self-confidence, and self-awareness of his or her strengths.

Implementation Tips

Be specific
Detail why you are giving praise when making a Shout Out. Rather than praising someone for being smart, praise something specific related to their effort or process. Examples of how to be specific are shared in Scholastic's article, [[|Motivating Student Learning Through Praise]]
Class Poster
Create a Shout Out sentence starter poster based on [[| Carol Dweck's Growth Mindset]]. A great example of growth mindset sentence starters is [[|Mindset Work's Growth Mindset Feedback]].
Shout Out Collection Box
Instead of sharing shout outs verbally, students can write a shout out and place the written shout out in a box or their peer’s jar. Teachers can preview shout outs before having students share them. There could be one box for the whole class or one jar for each student. To increase student investment, students can decorate their own jar.


Teacher Shout Out & Student Self-Affirmation
Create a daily routine in which there is a time and space for a teacher shout out. Students can respond to a teacher shout out by self-affirming the strengths shared in the shout out. Here is a YouTube example from Chris Ulmer's classroom, [[|Florida Teacher Starts Each Day by Complimenting Students One by One]]
Shout Out Bulletin Board
Teachers create space on a bulletin board or whiteboard for students to add shout outs about their peers. A set time can be designated time when students can be encouraged to add shout outs about their peers.
Student Group-Work Shout Outs
After completing a group project, students can detail the strengths and contributions their partners’ brought to the project. As a closing activity, students can verbally share shout outs with each member of their group.
Social Emotional Learning Student Shout Outs
Students can write and detail how a classmate demonstrated one of the Tribes’ character education values: Respect, responsibility, honesty, trustworthiness, compassion, empathy, justice, fairness, civic participation/service, kindness, integrity, work ethic, caring social skills. Students can refer to what they wrote, to verbally share their shout out with the entire class or grade level.

Related Strategies