Saturday, February 17, 2018

Mindset Melodies - Simple Songs for Growing Mindsets

Growth Mindset in the Primary Classroom
Growth Mindset is a hot teaching topic and one our school sent us off last summer encouraging us to learn more about. As a psychology major back in college, I knew this was right up my alley. I'd heard about the book Mindset, by Carol S. Dweck, Ph. D. many times, but I'd never found the time to actually sit and read it. Confession...I never did find the time to sit and actually read it last summer, but I did discover how amazing Audible.com is for this busy mom who spends hours in her car schlepping teens around town. I had that 8-hour 34-minute book "read" in 1 week thankyouverymuch!


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Growth Mindset Books
It was a great place to start and gave me all the information I needed to wrap my own mind around the growth mindset personally and professionally.
Growth Mindset Books for Teachers
I continued my learning with some great professional development books for Growth Mindset. Click the book titles to link to our Flutter Girl Goodies Amazon shop. 
All of these were great resources for gathering ideas on implementation, but I still felt like it just wasn't quite kid-friendly enough for us. I was searching for a way to reach our young learners who unfortunately were displaying signs of being in the fixed mindset from the first day of school. 

We realized early on that our class was fixed and we needed to work hard to change their mindsets. 

"Do you like my work?"
"Is this perfect?"
"That's too hard for me. I don't want to do it."

We struggled with what we could do about it but knew two things...This particular class was at their absolute best when we were reading stories aloud to them and they would pretty much eat pudding out of your hands if you teach them to sing songs. 
So, stories and songs it was!
Growth Mindset Books for the Primary Classroom
 There are so many great books out there for teaching and sharing the growth mindset with young children. We find reading stories provides a great platform for fostering class discussions. When we can't quite find the words ourselves, these books help us set the stage to foster the discussion. 
Here a few of our favorites:

Now when it came to the songs, we couldn't find anything to fit the bill. 
So, we're the crazy ladies who decided to just write them themselves! 
Growth Mindset Songs for the Primary Classroom
We came up with 20 simple songs for growing class mindsets. Each song is set to a familiar children's tune. Our class loves singing songs and our Mindset Melodies bring our brains and voices together for class sing-alongs that we hope they’ll be humming for years to come. 
Growth Mindset Songs for the Primary Classroom
We really wanted these songs to become integrated into our weekly lesson plans, so we created several activities to help our class learn and practice our Mindset Melodies.
20 Growth Mindset Melodies Color Class Song Posters
Growth Mindset Songs for the Primary Classroom
20 Growth Mindset Melodies Black and White Class Song Posters
Growth Mindset Songs for the Primary Classroom
20 Growth Mindset Melodies Pocket Chart Song Lyric Cards
Growth Mindset Songs for the Primary Classroom
20 Growth Mindset Melodies Build a Song Activity Work Mats
Growth Mindset Songs for the Primary Classroom
20 Growth Mindset Melodies Song Fill-In Activity Sheet Printables 
Growth Mindset Songs for the Primary Classroom


Growth Mindset Songs for the Primary Classroom


Growth Mindset Songs


Growth Mindset in the Primary Classroom


Growth Mindset Songs


Growth Mindset in the Primary Classroom
Mindset Melodies have been a great addition to our classroom culture and daily routine. We know enough tunes now that we choose one or two of them to practice each morning as part of our morning routine. We integrate the activities into our centers time and guided reading lessons. We overhear them singing our Mindset Melodies quietly while they're working at their desks and we don't hear many pleas for teacher reassurance because they have a better understanding of how their mindsets are growing. 

Mindsets are growing in a fun, friendly way in our classroom and our hearts are fluttering!

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Raising Responsible Learners


Creating a classroom culture with responsible students. Ideas for building the character trait responsibility into daily classroom tasks.
Running a responsible classroom is something we've worked hard to accomplish each year for over 20 years. It seems as time has gone by, there is a greater need to teach these small humans to care, share, and be aware of themselves, others, their surroundings, and their belongings. Truth be told, these lessons (on being responsible) were once presumed to be home parenting lessons. Truth be told, they are not always assumed to be home parenting lessons nowadays. So we do what we do best...We teach...Reading, writing, math, science, social studies, art, PE, music, and responsibility. That's a lot of responsibility for all of us! 
Creating a classroom culture with responsible students. Ideas for building the character trait responsibility into daily classroom tasks.
 We have learned as teachers that we cannot simply teach responsibility. It is a year-long process in our classroom. It's an experience that ebbs and flows through our classroom each day, every week, all year long. It is a marathon, not a sprint. As we look around at the end of each school year, we are amazed at how far they've come, how independent they now are, and how responsible they've proved they could really be just by being given a chance...No. Loads of chances all year long!

As we work our way through another school year,  here are a few successful ways we integrate opportunities to practice responsibility in our classroom.
Creating a classroom culture with responsible students. Ideas for building the character trait responsibility into daily classroom tasks.
From the time they hit the halls, our school greets them with a hearty HELLO which tells them exactly how to start their school day the responsible way. Visual reminders are a fantastic way to take yourself out of the teacher reminder equation and give the power to them. Teach them where to look and what to do and they can do it!
Creating a classroom culture with responsible students. Ideas for building the character trait responsibility into daily classroom tasks.
Our backpack hooks outside of our classroom have number labels over each hook. Each student in our class is assigned a number as part of our organization system. We don't use their numbers often because we prefer to use their names, but when we do use them we find it gets our class organized and showing responsibility quickly.  Our students are responsible for hanging their backpacks on their numbered hook each day. It makes it simple for us too if the office calls them to leave early for the day and we have to find their stuff for them. We just printed labels in our word program. We highly recommend covering labels with clear packaging tape so they last many years.
Creating a classroom culture with responsible students. Ideas for building the character trait responsibility into daily classroom tasks.
Lunch count is a daily chore, but not for us anymore! We set this clipboard outside each morning and our lunch buyers are responsible for signing themselves up. Then, we simply gather the clipboard when the school day starts and enter our hot lunch total for the day into our school attendance system. We keep a school lunch menu clipped behind the daily lunch count and tie a pencil to the clipboard for obvious 'pencils grow legs' reasons. 😉
Creating a classroom culture with responsible students. Ideas for building the character trait responsibility into daily classroom tasks.
We've trained our class to turn everything into the "Black Tray"...Not to be confused with the Black Hole. Things don't typically disappear if they're placed there. It's our catch-all for collecting anything and everything from their little hands as they walk in the classroom door. It is their responsibility to turn things into the Black Tray and we never allow them to hand anything to us...Put it in the black tray!
Creating a classroom culture with responsible students. Ideas for building the character trait responsibility into daily classroom tasks.
Our weekly reading program, Buddy Books, gives students several ways to practice responsibility. From taking care of their classroom borrowed books to reading them at home and remembering to return them on their assigned day (we only collect 5 per day which coincide with their Sharing Days each week).
Creating a classroom culture with responsible students. Ideas for building the character trait responsibility into daily classroom tasks.
All class work is taken home on Fridays in their Friday Folders. This is a predictable, weekly opportunity to show responsibility. If they bring their Friday Folders back on time, showing responsibility, they earn a sticker for their Sticker Boards.
Creating a classroom culture with responsible students. Ideas for building the character trait responsibility into daily classroom tasks.
Taking attendance is easy and puts the task in their hands. We created this attendance board for our Promethean Board. As students enter, they dive into learning by moving their fish into the sea.
Creating a classroom culture with responsible students. Ideas for building the character trait responsibility into daily classroom tasks.
We adore the idea of numerous class helpers, but honestly, it just hasn't worked for us in first grade over the years. Instead, we have a Person of the Day each day who is our handy helper for the entire day. Some of their classroom responsibilities include being the line leader, office runner, lunch tub taker, and any other task we can summon them for to give them an opportunity to show responsibility.
Creating a classroom culture with responsible students. Ideas for building the character trait responsibility into daily classroom tasks.
Kids love checklists...Like pizza, mac and cheese level love, love checklists! Come about January, we like to mix things up a little and give our Person of the Day a checklist for classroom jobs they need to read and complete on their day. Give them a clipboard to go with that checklist and they squeal with joy. Seriously.
Creating a classroom culture with responsible students. Ideas for building the character trait responsibility into daily classroom tasks.
Okay, this is our favorite way to set the tone and start each day ready to be responsible for ourselves. We posted the video on our Instagram and Facebook page, so head over there to watch, but what can we say, this is the best thing we've started in our classroom. Love, love our Daily Pledge! We're sharing it with you.
Creating a classroom culture with responsible students. Ideas for building the character trait responsibility into daily classroom tasks.
A huge part of responsibility in our classroom is accountability. While we understand they are just learning, we also hold them accountable when they make mistakes. Our philosophy - Little people, little mistakes. So, we treat it as such. I mean, is an "Oopsy Daisy Note" the end of the world. With a name like that, absolutely not! :) But, they get the message loud and clear. If you forget to bring something in in our classroom, you'll need to complete an oopsy daisy and bring it back tomorrow. The End.
PASTE IMG CODE HERE
Creating a classroom culture with responsible students. Ideas for building the character trait responsibility into daily classroom tasks.
Homework passes are great motivators for showing responsibility in our classroom. We like to reward responsibility with rest! You can download our Homework Passes for Responsible Classes for free.
CHAMPS classrooms for responsible learning. Creating a classroom culture with responsible students. Ideas for building the character trait responsibility into daily classroom tasks.
We are a CHAMPS school and we use it in our classroom to hold students accountable and keep them responsible each and every day. When we begin an activity we, "CHAMP it out". When we come to the rug we, "CHAMP it out". You get the picture. We are a CHAMPS classroom and CHAMPS are responsible for themselves and their own learning. 
CHAMPS classrooms for responsible learning. Creating a classroom culture with responsible students. Ideas for building the character trait responsibility into daily classroom tasks.
Have a few CHAMPS in training? We give those kids who need a little extra, differentiated practice with responsibility their own CHAMPS boards and help them set goals for ways they can CHAMP up their game in our classroom.
CHAMPS classrooms for responsible learning. Creating a classroom culture with responsible students. Ideas for building the character trait responsibility into daily classroom tasks.
We love rewarding responsibility with our Super CHAMPS awards. It's amazing what a little piece of bright yellow paper will do to the self-esteem. We love sharing with parents how their children displayed responsibility. Who knows...Maybe it will rub off at home too! 😉
Listening activities for responsible learning. Creating a classroom culture with responsible students. Ideas for building the character trait responsibility into daily classroom tasks.
If you've been fluttering along with our blog for a while you know we hold listening to the highest standard in our classroom. If they aren't listening, they aren't learning! Listen Up is our favorite way to build responsible learners fast in our classroom. We practice these daily, then weekly, then in centers, then for homework. The listening practice never ends and before we know it, we can hear the responsible learning day in and day out in our class.
Listening activities for responsible learning. Creating a classroom culture with responsible students. Ideas for building the character trait responsibility into daily classroom tasks.
Classroom dismissal procedures made simple! Creating a classroom culture with responsible students. Ideas for building the character trait responsibility into daily classroom tasks.
Do you dread dismissal time? We did too! But, not anymore. We literally just say BYE and they are responsible for Belongings, Your mail, Every chair up. Get it? BYE!
Shoe tying take home. Help families bridge the gap between home and school by sending home helpful tips, tricks and practice reminders for teaching kids how to tie their own shoes.
Sometimes our responsibility lessons get sent home. Shoe tying is a home responsibility, we hope. If possible (given the students have support at home, otherwise we carve out time during our day to sit with them ourselves), we send home our Shoe Tying Take Home Freebie to learn this life skill.Classroom newsletters to build responsibility in the classroom and at home.
The last tip is a secret, so come in real close. Do parents in your classroom need some responsibility reminders from time to time too? These two moms say, WE DO! We tend to slip secret notes into our class newsletters just to see which parents are taking the responsibility of reading. Shhhh...Now you know. 

Responsibility in the classroom is a year-long goal with loads of opportunities for our students to practice taking the reigns for themselves, their surroundings and their own learning. 

Sunday, September 17, 2017

26 Ways to Use Dry Erase Markers in the Classroom

26 ways to use dry erase markers in the classroom
Very few school supplies get used in our classroom as much as dry erase markers do. So we were excited to start the school year off with our new favorite EXPO Dry Erase Ink Indicator markers this year. 
EXPO Dry Erase Markers with Ink Indicator...A Teacher Win!
To say the kids love them is an understatement! If you know anything about teaching or classrooms, you can probably imagine the level of excitement that comes along with a marker where, "I CAN SEE THE INK!" (shouted in our best 'outside voice').


You can learn more about the EXPO Ink Indicator Markers here and see our initial review here

We make a big deal about responsibility and taking care of our dry erase markers so we can help them last as long as possible. From how to click the pen caps closed to how to store them properly in their desks, we teach them everything they need to know about how to manage their dry erase markers in the classroom. You can read all about our organization, storage and other Dry Erase Ideas for the Classroom here
Dry erase ideas for the classroom
We ask each student to bring 4 dry erase markers as part of their supply list to start off the school year. From time to time we run out of dry erase markers, so we ask families for donations if they are able and willing to help us out. We love the EXPO Ink Indicator pens because we know exactly how close we are to needing more. We just have them hold up their pens every once in awhile and do a quick class visual check of their ink levels. If we need some more, we send a quick note home for class donations.
Classroom supply request note

Our school went 'green' a few years ago, so saving paper is at the top of our planbooks. Dry erase markers and whiteboards are the perfect substitute for all those sheets of paper. We find tons of uses for them across the curriculum each day. 
Dry erase board ideas for math
We believe it is so important for students today to think deeply and have the ability to adjust their thinking as they learn. Dry erase activities during math help them see their problems, erase and adjust as needed.
Dry erase board ideas for science
During science, our class loves planning their STEM activities. We have them use dry erase boards to draw their plans. If Plan A doesn't work out, they just erase and move onto Plans B, C, D, and so on. They've learned that plans need to be flexible and EXPO dry erase markers allow them to be just that. 
Classroom management for substitute teachers
 Got a sub? We ask them to keep track of their Sub Superstars while we're away from the classroom. Nothing fancy, but the impact is huge! The kids want their names on that board. 😃
Classroom donations wish list idea
Table signs don't always have to be cute, color printed, laminated classroom storage items! Whiteboards and dry erase markers make the perfect, temporary table signs for whatever we need to announce! 
Sharing books. Class writes books each week. Raffle them off at the end of the school year. Such a great way to practice writing, reading, and public speaking skills. LOVE this program!
We find uses for dry erase markers and whiteboards every day in our classroom. Here are 26 ways from A to Z that we use EXPO Dry Erase with Ink Indicator pens in our classroom.
26 ways to use dry erase markers and whiteboards in the classroom
How do you use dry erase markers in your classroom? 
We'd love to know!
26 ways to use dry erase markers and whiteboards in the classroom
You can learn more about the EXPO Ink Indicator Markers here.  

*Please Note: This post was written in exchange for free product and/or compensation, but all opinions, ideas, and beliefs expressed in this post are my own.
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