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.

Favorite Quotes of the Week

“On my cereal it said Captain Cruncccchhhh! Just like we’ve been learning!- Jaylin on the “ch” sound

“Just because people do bad things doesn’t mean they are bad”- Joseph

“Be careful of your shoes. Don’t fall!” – Alexis warning me of the dangers of wedge heels

Our Class Herb Garden

We are growing basil and mint! Today we planted pots of herbs for our class. We are hoping to be able to taste the herbs and use them in recipes at school or send cuttings home for families to enjoy.
The children helped prepare the pots, plant the seed and water them. It was fun for the children to look at the seeds and compare them. More pictures and updates to come as our garden grows!

20140418-124845.jpg

20140418-124130.jpg

Composing and Decomposing Teen Numbers

All year long we have been working on conceptualizing what numbers really mean. The kids have played games and completed activities that have given the opportunity to experience numbers as physical quantities and to discover the smaller numbers “hidden” inside larger ones. Lately we have been breaking down teen numbers to discover that each teen number is actually one group of ten with some left over. We used pony beads and pipe cleaners to build and then break down teen numbers.

20140417-134547.jpg

20140417-134633.jpg

20140417-134649.jpg

Mother Singers

Today we had a great enrichment activity, a performance by the Mother Singers! The Mother Singers are a group of retired teachers who are also mothers and grandmothers. These ladies performed a nice mix of old fashioned songs the kids had probably never heard before, as well as new favorites the kids could sing along to.
This performance also gave us an opportunity to practice concert manners!

20140417-133758.jpg

20140417-133806.jpg