Sunday, March 15, 2015

What is your MINDSET?

This week we continued learning about MINDSET---if you aren't familiar with this, then you will want to get familiar with it.  ASCA (American School Counselor Association) has standards for Growth Mindset which really justifies me teaching it!
Okay---so here it is ...
I went to a staff professional development session on Mindset presented by Trevor Ragan.  I had heard about him and what he teaches so I begged my principal to let me go and he said YES!!!  (He knew I would come back all pumped up!)  Before I went I listened to the podcasts and blog entries from Trevor's site, Train Ugly (doesn't the name just make you curious?).  He shares research he has done as well as uses other great mindset leaders such as Carol Dweck and Seth Godin (you will find him on Trevor's blog).  I came racing back to school and started searching for something to put on the bulletin board in my hall that would spark the kids interest and make them curious and it did.  I found this great set on TpT that I used as part of my lesson---(okay, we crowded the hallway walk area for a bit but it just seemed to draw others in--it was great!).  I would like to give Traci Brown a huge shout out for her great creation on this---you can find it here and see it below.

Last week we talked about the different parts of the brain.  We used the book The Fantastic Elastic Brain  by JoAnn Deak and the kids LOVED it!  AND I loved the discussion we had about it!  I think my favorite was , "How does the brain do all this stuff?"  Great question!

This week we discussed the bulletin board and what fixed mindset and growth mindset is.  We talked about examples of each and things we see and hear at school that would show both.  This week we read the book The Most Magnificent Thing by Ashley Spires....I told the kids her name should be Ashley INSpires because her book really inspired me!  The could see examples of not giving up in the book and growth mindset.  The character in the book also gets to a point where she is so frustrated that she says, "I quit!".  I actually heard gasps from my students when I read that part---it was great!

 I closed the book and said, "The End!"----eyes got big and someone said, "NO WAY!  She can't quit!"  So I told them she decided to practice growth mindset and that sometimes that takes some help from others.  We finished the book and talked about how we have others who encourage us---teachers, parents and friends!  Next week we will dive into mindset even more!  I can't wait!
I hope you keep following to see what all we do.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

R.A.K. from your kids!

Yesterday, March 4, my sweet mother would have turned 80 years old.  I can't help but wonder about the celebrating we would have done with her.  I can imagine just how she would have looked, sweet smile and dark hair (great friends with her hair stylist).  She left us unexpectedly at the age of 65, before her time should have been up (in many minds).  The one thing I will say is she "packed it in" during those 65 years.  She taught kindergarten and loved it.  We always wished she would have written a book with all those stories she came home with.  She also started Pooh Corner Preschool when a mom in town asked her if she would after the school went to half day kindergarten.  She instilled a love of reading in all of us 6 kids---and the many grandkids who followed.  She baked cutout cookies for us to frost, made sure our birthdays were celebrated in style, helped us fill May Baskets every year to deliver to classmates and neighbors, and the list goes on.
We have done a variety of things to celebrate mom's birthday since she passed.  This year my 'baby' sister texted all of us kids and challenged us to 80 Random Acts of Kindness in honor of mom's birthday.  WOW!  80! And at least one act had to involve giving someone an apple (which mom collected).  That meant I had to act quickly! is what I came up with:
*quick run to the grocery store and picked up 10 apples to hand out to random people during the day
*paid for 3 people's breakfast who were behind me and the convenience store when I was grabbing my cup of coffee
*took a meal over to a family
*gave a co-worker a yogurt to have for a snack
*took bus duty for our band teacher who had an extra  band practice (4 degrees out and windy!)
*shared my fruit at lunch
*carried my daughter's bow in from the car after archery practice
*picked up supper for my husband and daughter while they were practicing archery so we wouldn't be late for church activities
*bought my dog an new spikey ball toy
*shared some counselor forms with a new counselor
*mailed notes to a couple of friends to encourage and thank them
*tidied up the information table at the archery club
*hung up clothes that had fallen on the floor of the clearance rack at Shopko
*money on my college daughter's bank account without being asked for it!
*ordered donuts for the last practice of 7th and 8th grade Jazz Band
*candies in mailboxes of co-workers
*notes on kids lockers encouraging growth mindset
*posters on the bathroom stall doors encouraging good character

Can't wait to see what else my day brings!  I know one thing, it sure is makes my day to do these Random Acts of Kindness!