Boy, is it ever difficult to get back into the groove after summer vacation! No, I’m not complaining – I’m thankful for the time I get off! It was a rude awakening when my alarm went off on Tuesday morning but it was great to see my colleagues/friends; some of whom I hadn’t seen since the end of June. And my little nuggets from last year? (You should have heard the outburst of laughter the time I called them my little chicken nuggets) Well, they didn’t seem so little anymore. I was greeted with hugs and “I missed you” from several of them. Students were only there for 40 minutes and we spent the time reconnecting and sharing about our summers.
Meetings and preparations for the week followed. This year we decided to do something a little different for our opening week. We took all the grade 3, 4 and 5 students and organized them into five groups. Each morning we would do five rotations so each group would spend 30 minutes with each of the five teachers. We each chose lessons that were meaningful to us. My colleagues chose aspects of social responsbility, art and self-regulation. I chose Growth Mindset.
A couple years ago, a presenter and a Professional Development Day session I was attending mentioned Growth Mindset. I had never heard of it before but it intrigued me. I looked into it a little bit and have explored it with my students, although not to a great extent.
The best resource I’ve found to introduce students to Growth Mindset is found on the Class Dojo website. There are five short videos (“chapters”), in which Mojo (a monster) finds out all about Growth Mindset. There are discussion questions that accompany each video as well as a set of questions to send home if you choose.
Over the course of the three days I had the chance to go through the videos and discussion questions for the first three chapters. I also showed them the last two videos. Unfortunately we didn’t have time for discussion. Students who end up in my grade 2/3 class this year will explore it more!
Like most teachers, I spend a lot of time on Pinterest and I’ve got a board dedicated to Growth Mindset. I came across several pins of picture books to use so I recently purchased What Do You Do With an Idea? and What Do You Do With a Problem? I am looking forward to using these two books!
By Friday I was exhausted, even though it was a short week. I’m sure fellow teachers can relate! On Monday morning I’ll meet my new class and, although I still have some of those beginning of the year anxieties bubbling around inside me, I’m looking forward to the new year!