Monday, November 28, 2016

Growth Mindset Resources

Growth mindset--it's one of the latest buzz words in education, but it's for good reason. When we have a growth mindset and we teach our students about having a growth mindset, the learning that can go on in our classroom (both socially/emotionally and academically) sky rockets! Taking the time to teach my kids about how their brains work and how we can build our strength at any skill by practicing has compeltely transformed some of my students' attitudes.

I have found some AMAZING resources for teaching about having a growth mindset, and I wanted to share them with you!


I bought this unit on TeachersPayTeachers for $12.00. Let me tell you--I RARELY spend that much money on that site. However, this is one of the best purchases I've ever made for my classroom. Here's what it includes:
  • Complete teacher's guide with step-by-step instructions for each of the ten lessons
  • Link to a page on Angela Watson's site with embedded video clips for teaching growth mindset
  • 20 page interactive student journal (all the materials you need for each activity)
  • 10 pages of a growth mindset bulletin board set, provided in full color and black and white
  • Printable posters and certificates of completion for the end of unit
This unit is DYNAMIC and FUN! I will definitely be using this each year. I'm so pumped about using this in my room. My kids are too. They love learning about how their brains work. Ideally, had I found this sooner, I would have used it a lot in the beginning of the year and then sprinkled in the last half of the lessons here and there throughout the year. However, it's working just as well using it now. I recommend finding the time to fit this in--it's fabulous!

Here's another video that I really like. I watched this and changed my thinking as a teacher, but you could show parts of this to kids too.




Are you new to the idea of a "growth mindset?" Are you teaching any of this to your students? Comment below! 

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Five For Friday


Long time no post! I think I will be posting less (probably only a few times a month) so that I can focus on putting some more stuff into my TeachersPayTeachers store. For now, here are some things that were going on in my classroom this week!


I'm super excited about this new development in my classroom. I have a student who struggles with unpacking in the morning and a few multi-step routines. I've tried a few different checklists for this student and still haven't gotten the results I wanted. I got this idea a few weeks back from watching one of Amy Harris' scopes. I am putting post-it notes on this checklist for my student when I have a task which involves many steps. I like this because it's practical and easy to use in a pinch.

A Great Way To Give Additional Support To Students For Multi-Step Tasks - A Word On Third

I also made one for unpacking in the morning on the other side. That one is laminated since it will be the same each morning! I keep it on my clipboard each morning, give it to him, and then he returns it to me when I sign his homework each morning. So far this system has been working like a charm for me!

A Great Way To Give Additional Support To Students For Multi-Step Tasks - A Word On Third


We also had a birthday in our class. I love our birthday celebrations. Every time we celebrate the birthday, our morning message becomes a giant birthday card. That child will get to take home the morning message along with our class mascot that day. The birthday kid also gets to choose the greeting and activity we do too! Here's the morning message before the kids arrived.



We've also been preparing for Thanksgiving in our room. We are having a turkey-decorating contest in our room. Well, there won't really be a winner, but we are trying to disguise our turkeys! Turkeys are due on Monday, but here's what's been returned to school so far.



Another thing I love about Thanksgiving is when I send these letters out to my students each year.


Erica Bohrer created these, and they are free!! Check them out by clicking here. I grab every chance I can to tell my students what they mean to me. :)


Finally, we've been working on improving our reading comprehension. In writing class, we're working on writing literary essays (a little mini-unit that lasts for 2 weeks), and in reading, we're doing lots of character work right now. These two units fit together so well, and I feel like they really help the kids to take off.


One of my favorite ways to get the kids to be able to identify themes is to use the prompt, "Sometimes in life." We read Be Good To Eddie Lee, which is an AMAZING book. Do you know it? If not, I highly recommend it. You can check it out here:


The kids came up with some AWESOME themes, like "Sometimes in life, people judge you by your outside instead of your inside," (that one led some incredible conversations), and "Sometimes in life, cruel people can change to be better." I love this book for all that it can do for social-emotional development in my classroom.

So, that's what has been going on in our classroom! I've also been working HARD on creating a conferring toolkit that I'd like to put onto TPT in the future. It will probably take me a long time before it's ready, but it's coming eventually!

Have a very Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!