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I've started learning more about Growth Mindset and I'm totally intrigued by what it can do for students. The other day during our Number of the Day discussion, a student made a mistake in the equation she was presenting. She felt a little embarrassed but I made sure to heap on the praise because she was able to recognize her mistake and correct it. I told the class how I just saw her brain grow double and she just beamed! Immediately I saw more students take risks in their mathematical thinking with just that one comment I made. I found this awesome bulletin board (sorry about pic quality) on Pinterest that makes so much sense! I'm thinking about how to adapt it for my 2nd graders.
Normally I've always led the Number of the Day discussions in my class. This year I decided to shake things up a bit after the first two months. I let students come up and write their work on the board and lead a discussion about their thinking. I have discussion question prompts on the wall they can use if needed, but I really love when they challenge each other. My favorite is when they say, "Prove it!" and the leader can actually explain their thinking to the class. They also started asking the other students who agrees with the leader. The kids started having the most amazing discussions! It was painful and awkward at first, but their discussions have really started blossoming. Here are the questions I have posted on my wall. I got them from Guided Math in Action and made them into posters. Read more about the questions from this post and click the pic to download them for free.
Even though I just teach math, I still have a substantial classroom library. Fast finishers can always grab a book to read for a few minutes. Plus, my homeroom students get to go book "shopping" each week for books to keep in their book bags to take to literacy class.
|This is the fiction side, which makes up half the library.|
What really gets kids excited about reading is when I unveil my new monthly theme bookshelf. Each month is a different theme such as holidays, science topics they're studying with their science teacher or special authors. These books are always the most popular because they're only around for a limited time. It creates a hype about reading that is contagious! Here's my October selection:
Since I teach math all day, I get to really hone in on the math skills my students are struggling with or doing well with. One way to bridge the gap is to meet with my students in a small group each day. Meanwhile, the other students are engaged in math stations. I like to differentiate my stations by having different levels for students. An easy way to do that is to assign certain tasks to certain students. They are just as fun as the other stations, and often look almost the same, but may have smaller numbers to work with or more basic skills (or review). One example is my Batty for Telling Time leveled task cards, which include three levels. You can also mix these cards up for a fun Scoot Activity or Quiz Quiz Trade. It's a bargain at only $3!
Who doesn't love binge-watching your favorite shows on Netflix? I've recently finished watching Orange is the New Black and Sons of Anarchy and stumbled across Bones, an old show I never got into until now. What I love about Netflix is that I don't have to watch commercials or even fast forward them. I watch while I iron and fold laundry on Sundays and it makes the task much more enjoyable!