Snack Picnic and a Visit to the Outdoor Classroom

We enjoyed the lovely spring day and our beautiful Earth by having our snack outside at our outdoor classroom.

We made sure to pick up all our trash and took a few minutes to frolic amongst the wild flowers. We checked on our garden beds and walked by the pond.

20140502-135334.jpg

20140502-135402.jpg

20140502-135410.jpg

20140502-135418.jpg

Andy Warhol Inspired Art Project for Ms. B

20140429-195217.jpg

Whenever a birthday or special event rolls around I take it as an opportunity to digress from the usual curriculum objectives. I like to expose the children to something that is just interesting for interesting’s sake. In honor of Ms. B.’s birthday we explored the fun and funky world of pop art,particularly Andy Warhol’s pop art portraits. We made our own pop art inspired portraits in which each child drew a realistic portrait and then added one or two elements of crazy color. After viewing some artwork online (Thank you Google Images) and a little modeling from me the kids were able to execute the style really well. I love the kindergarten whimsy their artwork has by nature. Super cool project! Happy birthday Ms. B!

20140429-195026.jpg

20140429-195036.jpg

20140429-195059.jpg

20140429-195151.jpg

Monthly Learning Updates

Last week I sent home the last monthly learning updates of the year. I will not be sending those home for May or June because the grade cards will be coming home around that time with that information plus additional information on your child’s progress. As always, feel free to email me if you have questions about your child.

Fixed vs Growth Mindset

There are so many factors that play a role in student learning and academic success. Carol Dweck’s research teaches us that what children believe about learning and their own intelligence is a very important factor in their success. Some children have a “fixed mindset” meaning they believe that people are born with a certain intelligence or ability level that doesn’t change. Some children have a “growth mindset” meaning they believe that intelligence and ability level can change with hard work and effort. Children with a growth mindset have more academic success.
Throughout the school year, I have modeled and promoted the growth mindset in hopes of helping the children be empowered. However, Dr. Dweck’s research also shows that directly teaching children about how the brain works and how practice and effort can “pump up” your brain, increases academic success. In fact, her research compares students who received extra math instruction vs students who received instruction on the growth mindset. The students who learned about the growth mindset did better on the mathematics assessment than those who received the extra math instruction.
In our class we have been learning about how our brains work by watching video clips about the brain. We have learned about the neurons that make up our brain as well how the neurons connect and fire. We also have discussed the growth mindset. We know if we keep trying and believe we can do it we can change our brains and learn more.