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IMWAYR: Books for Growth Mindset

Monday Linky from Teach Mentor Texts and Unleashing Readers and Kathryn from Book Date!

Books for Growth Mindset

Picture Books

Peter Reynolds, artist extraordinaire and author, knows growth mindset. Many of his books touch on this important idea. Maybe you (or anyone) don't know how to do something but it's about the "yet". You don't know how ... yet! In this book, Vashti is discouraged because she feels she can't draw. With gentle encouragement, she realizes she can be a great artist.

This book is by Ashley Spires. It's a lovely read aloud. It's about a little girl who has a great idea but it doesn't quite come out as she wants it to. After stepping back a bit, she can see it differently and ultimately succeeds. If you need a lesson plan for inferring with this book, go here. This lesson uses the gradual release model and offers stopping points throughout the story. This book discusses perseverance, innovation and friendship.

Upper Grade

The Fourteenth Goldfish by Jennifer Holm. It was first published in 2014 and immediately made it onto blogs and even the Global Read Aloud. It's about Ellie. Her parents are divorced but cordial and her biggest concern is starting middle school. Then one day, her mother brings home a boy. He's a moody teenager...but something about him is very familiar to Ellie. He's a lot like her crazy grandpa/scientist. Could it be? Some themes to consider while reading this book: science ethics, science, divorce, friendship, aging, family, intergenerational relationships, growth mindset, and stereotypes.

I Am Malala by Malala Yousafzai

So many people embody the ideas of growth mindset: Michael Jordan, Walt Disney, Oprah Winfrey etc. etc. etc.. Malala also embodies it and kids connect to her. It's a moving story with strong themes. It'll show kids how every voice matters! Never give up for what you believe in.

Lessons and posters for growth mindset can be found here!



5 Teacher Must-haves for Back to School: Working on a Budget

5 Teacher Must-haves for Back to School: Working on a Budget

and a giveaway!!

Yes, computers, printers and doc cameras are important but I'm talking cheap things that just make your teaching life easier.  They just are better quality and last longer.

My thinking:

1. Sharpie oil based paint markers.  These are awesome.  You can write with them on students' desks.  They don't wipe off!  When a students moves or you're just cleaning, just write over them with a dry erase marker and erase! Super easy.  No more name plates on their desks that look ratty after a few months.  I put their name plates in the plastic pocket in their seat sacks.  Last all year.

2.  I don't know about you but my district buys cheap pencils.  They break constantly and don't sharpen correctly.  If you're going to spend your hard earned money on pencils, get Ticonderoga #2 pencils. They last the longest.  

3.  These can get a little pricey but keep your eyes peeled for sales.  I get mine at Target during the back to school sales.  It'll pay off in the long run. Composition books last so much longer than spiral bound notebooks.  If you need smaller books, Home Depot will cut them in half (horizontally) for you. Awesome!

4.  I don't know about you but if I want a clean room I have to do it myself!  I love Mr. Clean Magic Erasers.  They clean up scuffs and even Sharpie marks, super quick!

5. A good cardigan is essential.  Sometimes it gets cold in the room.  Just leave it there and you'll never have to worry about it.  I like the ones from Ann Taylor or the Loft but I always get them on sale at the outlet.  You can find them on sale in July or August.

Extra! Extra! Do you need a lot of something or something big?  Too much for your budget?  Put in a grant on DonorsChoose.  I have gotten paper, books, a full writing center, field trips, student technology and a laptop through them!! Best match codes are at the beginning of the year.  Also BEFORE you write it, look up your states partner funding opportunities (look at the bottom of the page). Write a grant that meets their parameters to get it half funded.  It's a great organization that has helped my classroom a lot!!

It's time for the TPT sale.  It's August 1st and 2nd!  Follow my store on Teacher Pay Teachers for a chance to win a $10 TPT gift card! #bestyear

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Chandra Martin is the winner!  Congrats.  Enjoy shopping.



IMWAYR: The Kingdom of Oceana

Monday Linky from Teach Mentor Texts and Unleashing Readers and Kathryn from Book Date!

The Kingdom of Oceana by Mitchell Charles

So I was contacted by a publisher (Butterhorse Publishing) and asked if I'd like to review this new book, so here it goes!

The book is set in ancient Hawaii, long before it was Hawaii and called Oceana.  It centers on Prince Ailani and his brother Nahoa.  They are on an exploratory trek when the find an old Tiki mask.  This mask releases a curse that threatens everything and everyone.

It did take me a little while to get into it but once I did, it was thoroughly enjoyable.  Lots of action and suspense.  I mean, come one, fire walking?  Yikes!  I liked most of the characters.  I thought the mother was a little strange and Prince Nahoa a little flat- sort of one dimensional.  

I think this will really appeal to my boys in class.  There is surfing and danger abounds!  The magic and mysticism is wonderful, too.  It's obvious that a lot of research went into this book. I don't think It'll work as a read aloud but it'll be a great addition to our class library.  Try it for yourself.


Back to School Trust Building Tips

Back to School 

Trust Building Tips

It's so important to build that community feeling in your classroom.  You and the kids will be together all year and you need to build that trust from the beginning! I know conventional wisdom is about focusing on procedures and rules and Yes, that's important but I feel this is even more crucial.

My thinking:

1.  Always frame your thinking in a growth mindset.  Don't let them say:  "I'm not good at this."  It should be: "What's another way I can tackle this?"  If you'd like some posters and lessons, try my bundle.  Remember, growth mindset is about their thinking and yours.  How do you give feedback to kids?  Here'a good tool from Mindset Works for feedback you can give kids.  

2.  Have you read Wonder by R.J. Palacio. #ChooseKind?  The central premise is that we all need to be kinder than necessary.  That goes for teachers too.  I know!  Sometimes there is a kid that gets on your last nerve.  That's the kids you need to be even more kind too.  You never know what that kid is going through.  Your classroom may be the only safe place he/she has and they need to know that they will be treated kindly and fairly by you no matter what.

3. The kids need to know that they are a team.  They need to learn to trust and work together. That will be especially helpful when doing cooperative activities.  Here is a bundle with 6 team building activities you can do in the classroom.

There is my thinking on building trust with your students.  Start your year off right and it'll pay off all year.



My Top Three Read Alouds for Geometry

My Top Three Read Alouds for Geometry

Ok I know there are a ton of books out there but let's be honest. There is only so much time!  I'm going to stick to the top three (IMHO).

1. The Greedy Triangle by Marilyn Burns

It's great for introducing kids to basic shapes.  It's a cute story.  I found a YouTube video if you'd like to preview it!

2. Spaghetti and Meatballs by Marilyn Burns

Are you teaching area and perimeter?  This a great read aloud for that.  I cut large squares (tables) out of one color of construction paper and small squares (chairs) out of another color.  Then I have kids work on their own arrangements with different instructions:
-How many tables are needed if everyone wants to sit together at one table?  
-How many tables are needed if everyone wants to sit two per table?  
-How many tables are needed if every family has four members?  

3. Sir Circumference and the Great Knight of Angleland by Cindy Neuschwander

There is a whole series of these books.  Great for teaching radius, diameter and angles.  This one is great for teaching acute, right and obtuse angles.  I love the integration of history too!  Why not send your students on a quest for angles, too?

I am an NBCT in Literacy, Reading and Language Arts. I have a BCC (Bilingual Certification) and a Masters in Curriculum and Instruction with an emphasis in Instructional Technology. And I love books!
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