Wednesday, 28 May 2014

June - Start a Movement

Here's a great motivational video to celebrate all we've done this year.  Remember, it just takes one person to start a movement!

And another video on Integrity:

Monday, 5 May 2014

May's Character Trait - Respect

Thank you to all who participated in last month's character assembly about responsibility!

May's character trait is respect.

Thanks to Kelly for the following video links:

The Important Book by Margaret Wise Brown

Whoever You Are by Mem Fox, read by Kate Verrall

Thursday, 1 May 2014

Growth Mindset - Own It 2

Own It!

While we continue to focus on students owning their learning and mindset, we as teachers also need to take a step back to recognize all that we do.  Here's a little motivation from Taylor Mali :)

The "Favourite No" strategy is one that asks students to be okay with their mistakes.  The video linked below explains the strategy and shows it in action in Leah Alcala's Grade 8 class:

Thursday, 30 January 2014

Growth Mindset - Own It

Own It

We've been talking about using Growth Mindset in our classrooms, and about how we can both use and encourage our students to use positive self-talk.  This month, we want students to OWN IT.  This means, we want students to start accepting feedback, internalizing it, and using it.  The following video illustrates a Grade One student doing exactly that.

Something that is important for us, as teachers, to remember is that too much feedback may be overwhelming, and students may not accept it because they don't know where to start.  By focusing on one detail or success criteria item, students may be more willing to make changes that will be more permanent.

The idea of "Own It" ties nicely into self- and peer-assessment.  If students have an open, growth mindset about feedback, they're more likely to see themselves more accurately when evaluating themselves.

How do you think you might implement "Own It" in your classroom this month?

Growth Mindset - Talk It

This month's character trait of Optimism fits in with our Growth Mindset goal for March.

For our "Talk It" component of Growth Mindset, teachers can create positive, growth mindset-type anchor charts for student self-talk.  The following is a sample chart that you could use for reference when creating one for your own class:

Developed by Fieldcrest Elementary School teachers

Asking the students to think of things that "slow them down" when they're learning is a good way to get the discussion going.  What voices (and possibly, whose voices) say negative things that make them question their abilities?  What could we say to these voices?  How could we look at things a different way?

March's Character Trait - Optimism

The character trait for March is Optimism

Video (Affirmation - Maxwell House) - inspiring videos -

Thanks to Kelly for the following resources:

Optimism Resources for Teachers:

TED Talk
Shawn Achor: The Happy Secret to Better Work
Shawn Achor is the CEO of Good Think Inc., where he researches and teaches about positive psychology. In this TED Talk, he discusses the power of positive thinking in making us more productive and happier. He suggests the following strategies for fostering happiness in daily life:
- Acknowledging "3 Gratitudes" daily
- Writing in a journal
- Exercise
- Meditation
- Random Acts of Kindness

SCDSB Optimism Strategies:

Parenting Blog:
This blog post is about teaching kids optimism and has some great points about why it is important to instill a sense of optimism in our youth and how we can help.

Teachers and Optimism:
This website offers a lot of background information on optimism, but at the bottom of the page there are three lesson plans that address optimism.

Optimism Resources for Use in the Classroom:

When Pigs Fly on Tumblebooks

Me to We Website
This section of the Me to We website outlines their speakers, many of which demonstrate optimism. There are biographies and videos about each speaker.

Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Growth Mindset - See It

February 2014

Please see text resources in the library - they are located in a bucket labeled "See It"

Video clip - Wreck It Ralph -

Please visit to get a variety of free resources and ideas about how to use Growth Mindset in your classroom.
Also, has some resources available for free download, as well as text resources that are available to purchase.

This month's lesson:
- Read a "See It" resource with your class
- use the "See It" activity

Here are some links to videos that you might share with your class:
Michael Jordan and Labron James
Will Smith
Learned Helplessness (humour)
No Arms, No Legs, No Worries
Amazing People Who Failed and Didn't Quit

For our animal lovers out there (student OR staff!), here's a video worth watching - you may or may not be familiar with Lil Bub... she's an internet sensation!  She's a little tabby cat that has osteoporosis, so it makes it difficult for her to walk.  This video is of her climbing a set of stairs.  Here's her story:

(December 2013) One year ago, BUB was barely able to move at all due to the increasing deformity and growth of her bones caused by osteopetrosis. Vets and specialists said it was a matter of weeks before she couldn't move or eat at all, and that there was nothing that could be done to help. But now, thanks to a lot of work and encouragement, special treatments, and BUB's unflinching determination, BUB is not only able to stand upright and walk normally again, but she has been running and jumping for the first time since she was a kitten. 

And this week, BUB climbed 15 stairs. She did it once, then she did it again. As you can see from the video the first time was a little bit of a challenge. But over the past 6 days, she's done at least 20 times and now she can get up those things no problem.

Lil Bub climbing 15 stairs:

Here's an interesting article about Growth Mindset: