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Loving Gilder Lehrman!

Shout it from the rooftops:  

I love Gilder Lehrman!

Hamilton Gilder Lehrman

         History is an important topic to teach and Gilder Lehrman makes it wonderful and authentic.  Do you love Hamilton?   I'm obsessed.  GLI makes it accessible by providing Hamilton Read alouds this summer.  Historical texts read aloud by Hamilton actors.  It's amazing.  You can sign up here!  This picture is from "Hamilton Cast Read Along Session 5 - The Escape of Robert Smalls: A Daring Voyage Out of Slavery", read by Christopher Jackson aka George Washington.  It was amazing.  The read alouds are every Wednesday and Fridays.  There are no replays.  You must sign up in advance and watch it live.  They also offer EduHam where students study primary documents from the Founding Era and create their own performance pieces.

     I've been lucky enough to attend many professional development activities offered by them: AMPU-A More Perfect Union, a joint venture with my district LAUSD, TCTH-Teaching Civics through History and I've attended various week-long Teacher Seminars to deepen my understanding of history to be a better teacher for my students.  I was even nominated for their National History Teacher of the Year award.  Such an honor.  If you are interested in history or want to deepen your knowledge base, check in to GLI.  They are really supporting families and teachers in this time of distance learning.  Serio!!

Gilder Lehrman logo

You can find me on these platforms (as well as my blog!)

How can I make your job easier this year?  Let me know in the comments.  If I use your ideas for a blog post, you will win $10 to Teachers Pay Teachers.  Even better, if I use your ideas to make a resource in my store, LisaTeachR's Classroom, I'll send you a free copy of that resource! 


Must Have Back to School Picture Books for your Library

Must Have 

Back to School Picture Books 

for your Library

Even with all the uncertainty of what school will look like when we return in the fall, we need to have the best books at our disposal.  If we are in person or doing distance learning, we need the best, uplifting, most inclusive picture books available.  Here are my top picks:

  • All Are Welcome by Alexandra Penfold. This is an amazing book for your first day of school. It's a diverse read that celebrates inclusivity! 
    Back to school picture book
  • The Day You Begin by Jacqueline Woodsen.  Have you read this amazing book celebrating diversity and encouraging kids to be brave? The text is lyrical and the illustrations just beautiful!
    Back to school picture book
  • Each Kindness by Jacqueline Woodsen.  Read aloud this beautiful book on the importance of kindness.
    Back to school picture book
  • Happy Dreamer by Peter Reynolds. What kind of Dreamer are you? Read this book and discover the dreamer in you!  
    Back to school picture book
  • If You Take a Mouse to School by Laura Numeroff.  Are you anxious about the first day of school? Read about the mouse and his adventures on the first day of school!  
    Back to school picture book

If you're looking for fantastic books for that first day of school when you go back, these are the books I suggest.  I also have Interactive Read Aloud lesson plans available for you, if you need them.  Enjoy!

You can find me on these platforms (as well as my blog!)

How can I make your job easier this year?  Let me know in the comments.  If I use your ideas for a blog post, you will win $10 to Teachers Pay Teachers.  Even better, if I use your ideas to make a resource in my store, LisaTeachR's Classroom, I'll send you a free copy of that resource! 

It's time to get your TpT wish list in order!

It's time to get your TpT wish list 

in order!

Start putting your wish list on TpT ready.  

Then when the sale starts, you'll know 

exactly what to purchase!

A close reading guide for the novel, Wonder
by RJ Palacios.

It's a wonderful book chronicling Auggie's, a young boy born with facial damage, journey through school and the adjustments he, his family and his classmates have to make. Close reading is an integral part of teaching with the Common Core. Students need to know how to be analytic when reading texts and poems. I have outlined the components of authentic literacy and what it looks like in the classroom. I formatted the unit as follows. It begins with an explanation of close reading and how to format a lesson. Then, there is a story summary, themes listed and character descriptions. After that, I created focus questions for each chapter. There are explicit gradual release formatted lessons sprinkled throughout. I included a close reading sheet for each of the explicit lessons. You could use the focus questions to create more close reading lessons using the blank templates or for class discussions. At the end, there is a blank sheet for planning and to use with close reading of different chapters. I hope your students enjoy it as much as my students did. This isn't a bunch of worksheets as I don't teach that way. This is for going deep with the literature!

Another close reading guide is for the novel, 

Inside Out and Back Again 
by Thanhha Lai.

This is a guide to a close reading of Inside Out and Back Again by Thanhha Lai. It's a wonderful book written in free verse chronicling Ha's, a ten year old girl, journey from war-torn Vietnam to Alabama and her problems as a second language learner and with bullying.

Famous Failures is an activity for students to see what successful people have overcome to become successful!

Researching famous failures! Even the most famous people had to overcome obstacles. Here are a couple activities I did with my students in working with Mindset. First we worked in pairs to rewrite fixed mindset phrases into growth mindset phrases. Then we researched famous people who struggled at some point in their lives and how they overcame those obstacles. What struggles and successes did they have in their lives? I also made sheets that can be blown up to poster size with famous faces and quotes. I hope these activities help your students come to a better understanding of mindset.

Head on over to my store, LisaTeachR's Classroom.
Keep your eyes peeled for a sale soon!


It's all about a Growth Mindset!

What's a Growth Mindset and 

how do I teach it?

Growth Mindset

So first, let's start with some background.  It's an idea founded by Dr. Carol Dweck from Stanford University.  A fixed mindset is the idea that things are the way they are.  You're born good at something or not.  There's no room for growth.  A growth mindset is the idea that you can develop ability through hard work and effort.  You can become good at anything, if you work hard enough.  If a student has a growth mindset, they build confidence, perseverance and ultimately success.

So I've been doing some work with my kids on changing from a fixed mindset to a growth mindset.  I thought I'd share some of the things I've done.

So in my class I started with quotes.   I found a lot on Practical Savvy.  I put up quotes like:

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you did not do than by the ones you did.   Mark Twain
It does not matter how slowly you go so long as you do not stop.   Confucius
It’s kind of fun to do the impossible.   Walt Disney
It’s not that I’m so smart, it’s just that I stay with problems longer.   Albert Einstein
I gave each group of four kids one quote and had them discuss it.  Then they separated and formed new groups.  They shared their quotes, their groups thinking and what it has in common with the other quotes.

After that, I explained the difference between a fixed and a growth mindset.  I then gave them an activity where they took fixed mindset thinking and turned them into growth mindset.  You can find that activity here.  

I then put up posters showing how to change fixed mindset thinking into growth mindset.  I made them with nice frames.

Another activity is to have them research successful people who had to overcome obstacles to get where they were.  People like Walt Disney, Michael Jordan and Steve Jobs.  You can find that activity here on TeachersPayTeachers. 

Best of all I created a Growth Mindset Fun set of lessons!  If you want this:
Research, Quick pre-assessment- pick a side, Read aloud possibilities, The Most Magnificent Thing, Neuroplasticity, Activity: Your Brain!, Activity: Let’s make a neuron!, Successful People and Their Struggles, For the teacher: Moving from Person Praise to Process Praise, and the Change Your Mindset posters- 11 separate png’s  (This bundle includes my previous products:  Fixed vs. Growth Mindset Activities and Change Your Mindset: From a fixed to a growth mindset posters)

I've created lots of growth mindset lessons and activities to be the most successful with my kids. I hope you find them useful too!  

Here's the Big Bundle (save $$) for everything growth mindsetGrowth Mindset posters, activities, research project and digital tool!  Are you looking for some digital writing prompts that explore growth mindset?  Here is the easiest way to do this with the kids:  Growth Mindset Writing Prompts: Google Activity You get 40 inspiring quotes that support growth mindset. These are all quotes by famous people. This is a Google Drive activity or you can just print and use them.  Build a strong mathematical mindset with my Mathematical Growth Mindsets and Cognitively Guided Instruction (CGI Math) activities.  That's so important.  We want our kids to love math.

One more thing!  As a teacher, I want to be sure I'm framing my feedback using growth mindset. Am I using process praise (praising the effort) such as "You must have worked hard on that!" or person praise (praising the student) such as "You're so smart."? 

Process Praise & Process Feedback
Things to do everyday, often, or as applicable

Think about whether or not you did these things...
  • Process Praise-Praising the work or effort of the student, which led to the result/outcome e.g. “You really studied hard for your math test and your improvement it.” 
  • Provided feedback when students struggled despite strong effort 
  • Provided feedback when they struggle and need help with strategies
  • Provided feedback when students made progress toward a learning goal
  • Provide feedback when students succeeded with strong effort 
So that's where we are right now.  Funny, the other day, a student said," Miss, E--- has a fixed mindset!  He said he can't do it and he hasn't even tried!"  So I asked, "What would be a better way to say it?"  She said, "He could have said, I'm worried I won't do well but I'll try my best."  Something is sticking!!

How can I make your job easier this year?  Let me know in the comments.  If I use your ideas for a blog post, you will win $10 to Teachers Pay Teachers.  Even better, if I use your ideas to make a resource in my store, LisaTeachR's Classroom, I'll send you a free copy of that resource! 

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