Category Archives: YouTube Videos

Do You Teach Your Students About Having a Fixed Vs Growth Mindset?

In one of the courses that I am taking for my Master’s of Education, I came across a topic that really struck a chord with me. I am taking two courses at the moment ( my March “Break” has been pivotal in maintaining my sanity with this 2 courses at once, business). In my Differentiated Instruction course, the idea of a “Fixed Mindset” versus a “Growth Mindset” came up. To put it simply, some people (kids included) believe that we are born with a certain amount of intelligence – it’s “fixed”. In comparison, hose with a “Growth Mindset” understand that putting in effort to learn new things expands our minds, and that effort is what makes us successful and “smarter”.

I don’t know about you, but I have certain students, who constantly question themselves and do not give their full effort! Like, ever! Oh wait, unless it’s a really simple task. It is extremely frustrating, as the teacher, to sit back and see that if s/he just TRIED they would achieve the success that they wish for. What I have learned is that people with a “fixed mindset” see effort and “having to try” as threatening to their intelligence. This exertion of effort actually makes them feel stupid because they feel like they should already know the material. They think that others just “get it” while they do not. Kids with a “fixed mindset” don’t realize that other students are actually working harder than they are (exerting effort to do well) and it is the effort of these other students that causes them to gain more academic success, not intelligence that they were born with.

I teach grade 7 and I think that junior high students could really benefit from being informed about “fixed” and “growth” mindsets. Recognizing the type of mindset that they have and looking at how they can make simple changes to actually “grow their brains” and make themselves smarter? I would have to think that idea would be appealing to kids!

I found an interactive quiz to share with your kiddos if this is something that you’re interested in. Below the quiz are two videos – a Ted Talk by Carol Dweck who has researched this phenomenon, and a second video about how the brain works that would be suitable for middle school and up. I also found another quick video comparing “fixed” and “growth” mindset.

Carol Dweck’s book is titled, “Mindset” if this is a topic that interests you.

I also dug around and found “Mindsets in the Classroom” which I am adding to my Amazon wishlist. It looks fantastic and very user-friendly!

          

I think that the main thing that I got from the articles that I have read for my MSED on mindset, is that kids need to know that they have the power to “make themselves smarter”. Their effort is what matters – they haven’t been born with a certain amount of intelligence. Exerting effort to learn something new makes the neurons in their brain fire and can actually cause their brain to grow (whereby making them smarter than if they hadn’t exerted effort). Even sharing or reminding kids of that fact, and pulling the topic in when kids with “fixed mindsets” balk at challenges would be helpful with motivating and inspiring all kids to achieve.

I am excited to get back to class and share some of the things I have learned about mindset with my kiddos (the ones with clearly “fixed mindsets” especially). I would love to hear your opinions on this topic! Are you familiar with Dweck’s work? I have spoken to my kids on the topic of effort, but never in the terms of mindset and intelligence and I can’t wait to hear what they think!

Virtual Field Trip to Africa

Stuck on an Escalator – Encouraging your students to TRY!

Just found this video – (it’s not new, I saw it a while back) and I thought I’d share. Too funny and lots of applications! I’m going to show it to my math students in reference to tackling challenging problems – like word problems. They have to try, they have to take a step…and then another and they’ll get where they’re going. If they don’t try, it’s like they’re allowing themselves to remain stuck on the escalator!

jamberry nails giveaway

Pi Day is Almost Here!

I know that some math teachers make a REALLY big deal out of “Pi Day” (March 14th – 3.14). I don’t go quite so far as to make a whole day of activities. However, I did make a quick little freebie this year of an activity that I usually do at this point in the year. I let students use their creativity and create “Circle Art”!

 

If you want your copy of the freebie, just click the picture below.

Pi Day Circle Art Activity

 

I also came across a cute song on YouTube (once I got looking – I found out that there are lots) for Pi Day. It’s “Pi Pi, Mathematical Pi”!  It’s to the tune of American Pie and my grade 7’s got a kick out of it!

 

 

 

Other Pi Day Activities:

Pi Day Circle Activities

6 Math Challenges for Circles

 

 

Pi Day Circle Activities

Create a Medal Activity

 

Pi Day Circle Activities

Circles Koosh Ball Game with a St. Patrick’s Day Theme

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How do you plan to celebrate Pi Day?

 

Krystal Mills, Lessons From The Mille, Teacher Blog

 

 

 

Back to School With a Smile

My first day with students will be tomorrow. There is so much build up to the first day of school! I always look forward to it, but I am also happy when it’s over. The ice is broken, introductions have been made and I can start to get to know the young people in front of me.

I am just about ready to go, but still have a few preparations left to make. It’s an exciting year for me, for a few reasons. This will be the first year that all teachers have SMART Boards in our rooms. Also, my school is in transition. We will be coming together with our high school in the fall of 2014, and become a K-12 facility. Construction is well underway, as they are renovating the high school and it will become our new home. Lots of changes! A new administrator at our school, being another. She actually began our day on Tuesday with this funny little video and so I thought I’d share it with you!

We all know that teaching can be hard (as you’ll see in the video). You may get stressed, feel over worked and isolated… At those times, when you’re not sure if you can go on, just remember that at least you’re doing a better job than the teacher in the video! On that note, wish me luck tomorrow! I hope that they like the Banana Chocolate Chip cake that I made for their break time! (Hard not to respect someone who feeds you cake, fruit and juice on the first day – wouldn’t you agree? Wink  Well – it can’t hurt!)

 

School’s (Almost) Out Blog Hop and Giveaway

Bloghopdone.jpg

 

I know what you’re thinking! What do you mean school’s almost out? We have 2 months to go! Well, I wanted to have one more giveaway before it got too close to the end of the school year to use the awesome ideas and  resources you’ll find in this event!

So, I’ve teamed up a new blogger-friend, Joey, from Create, Teach and Share. We’ve come up with this fantastic blog hop and giveaway! The participating bloggers are below. Be sure to hop to each of their blogs this weekend, check out their posts and give them a follow. The theme of the blog hop is “year-end” and so I know that you’ll find some great ideas for the end of the school year and because of the timing – you’ll be able to use them this school year. Per-ty smart, huh?

So, for my post in this School’s (Almost) Out Blog Hop, I’ve got three “End of Year” inspired ideas!

1) I am a reflective person by nature and so I made a little Student Reflection freebie for students to think back on the year that was. You can have them fill it out, decorate it and then laminate the reflections and give them back with report cards, or use them as a display for “closing ceremonies”. I know that I would love to have a little memento from my school year and so I hope that they will as well.

 student reflection for end of year

 

2) In my school, the students “graduate” in grade seven as we are currently a grade K-7 school. I always do a slide show presentation for their “graduation” and so at this point in the year I’m on the lookout for songs that would be useable for the slide show. Just in case you’re in the same boat – here are a few songs for you to consider! (I’ve included the versions with lyrics:)


 

3) Do you get your students gifts at the end of the school year? I never did, until last year (too cheap). I got this idea from Confessions of a Teaching Junkie last spring. It’s a Wordle! What’s a wordle, you ask? Well, it’s word art. This is how I did it.

In June, I gave the students a class list and told them that I was planning something for them, but that I couldn’t give them any details. I asked the students to put a kind word/compliment beside each classmate’s name (and gave lots of appropriate examples to begin with). Athletic, kind, creative, musical, funny – you name it. I collected and compiled the compliments. Then, I used the Wordle website to make a personalized piece of word art for each student containing their name and all of the kind words that their classmates said about them. I also framed the wordles with dollar store frames, to make them more substantial. The finished product was really beautiful! The kids appreciated them on graduation night – and I think I’ll have to do them again this year because they were so well received!

Okay, that’s just about it from me. Be sure to hop over to my co-host’s blog Create, Teach and Share – you’ll love her! She’s awesome, as are the dozen teacher-bloggers below who have joined in the fun this weekend. Grab a cup of coffee, kick back and enjoy. Oh and of course, don’t forget to enter the giveaway at the bottom of this post!

 

Little Lovely Leaders Addie Education – Teacher Talk
The Teacher Wife 2PeasAndADog Blog
MissMathDork Composition Classroom The Teaching Bank
An Educator's Life Numbers Rule My World The SuperHERO Teacher's Adventures and Advice!

 

Lots of awesome prizes to be won by ONE Grand Prize Winner!

Thanks again to the teachers above for their donations! Both Joey and I are giving you a choice of any three items in our TPT Stores and there’s a $35.00 Amazon gift card thrown in there as well:)

Krystal’s TPT Store

Joey’s TPT Store

I’ve been super excited for this event, so I hope you enjoy it!

 

PLEASE NOTE: Just in case you’re new to Rafflecopter, clicking the “Follow Me” link on the widget doesn’t automatically follow the stores and blogs of the contributing teachers. It takes you to the store or blog and it’s up to you to follow once you’re there. If it’s a TPT Store, click on the red “Follow Me” above their name. If it’s a blog, look for how to follow them on the side bar – usually there are a few options. When you “Like” a Facebook link, it is automatic and then you can enter.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

bullying video

Attitude is Altitude: Inspiring Video for Junior High and Above

Spring Break is here, although it looks more like Christmas Break outside of my window. No matter – a break is a break and I’m blessed to be healthy and sharing it with my boys! So far today, we’ve made rainbow layered cupcakes, had an inside picnic, played in our tent (a blanket draped over the kitchen table) and then our usuals – hide and seek, pirates and Legos! #1 is curled up with a snack and #2 is curled up for a rest and so I thought a quick blog post would be in order!

I wanted to share a video link with you, that our Phys Ed. teacher showed to me. I watched it with my grade 7 class and they really responded to it. It’s all about attitude, choices, thinking positively and believing that you can do what you are meant to do – that you are worth it. We all have challenges in our lives that we will face. What matters is how we deal with and respond to those challenges, and how we can show compassion and empathy for those around us who may be going through their own challenges.

The speaker in this video, Nick Vujicic, was born with no arms and no legs. He battled depression, suffered from bullying and attempted suicide as a child by trying to drown himself in his bathtub. His story is nothing short of incredible. He’s comical, mesmerizing to watch, easy to listen to and he doesn’t sugar-coat things. There is some mature content in that he does refer to relationships, sex and drugs and so this video would be appropriate for grade 7 and up. The video that we watched is linked below and it’s an hour long. However, if you have a look on YouTube, you’ll see MANY videos of all lengths featuring Nick that you could choose from. There may also be another more appropriate video for slightly younger viewers. 

Our attitude affects everything that we do. How do you try to encourage a positive attitude in your students?

 

bullying video