Wednesday, May 19, 2021

My 5 Favorite Picture Books to Teach Growth Mindset

   



Picture books are my favorite things to use in the classroom. I love using picture books for all different topics throughout our day. Today we are going to talk about picture books for Growth Mindset. This is a topic that is so important to teach to our students. Kids often don’t know how to have a growth mindset. They don’t understand how to change their words from “I can’t” to “I can’t yet.” 



   The first book that we are going to talk about is "Your Fantastic Elastic Brain" by JoAnn Deak Ph.D.  (Author), Sarah Ackerley (Illustrator). This book is great because it lets kids know that our brains can be stretched and grow. It teaches kids that it is ok to make mistakes. It teaches all the different ways that we can exercise our brains, just like we exercise the rest of our bodies. This book also has beautiful illustrations. This is a must-have book for your home or classroom library. 



    The next book on our list is "The Most Magnificent Thing" by Ashley Spires  (Author, Illustrator). This is a really fun book about an unnamed girl who has decided that she is going to make the most magnificent thing, but it turns out to be harder than she thought it would be. This book helps teach students that they are able to make anything they put their minds to, as long as they keep trying. I love this book for growth mindset, as well as teaching kids about STEM and maker space. 


    The next book on our list is "The Girl Who Never Made Mistakes* by  Mark Pett  (Author), and Gary Rubinstein  (Author). This is another really fun book about Beatrice Bottomwell who never made mistakes. Her town even starts to call her the girl who never made mistakes. But one day she ends up making a huge mistake in front of the whole town. By the end of the story, Beatrice and the reader realize that it is more fun to enjoy everything in life, even the mistakes. This story teaches kids that it is ok to make mistakes and that is how we learn and grow. 



    The next book on the list is "Giraffes Can’t Dance" by  Giles Andreae  (Author), and  Guy Parker-Rees  (Illustrator). This is a sweet story about Gerald the Giraffe, and he wants to learn to dance. But he has crooked knees and thin legs that make it hard for him to learn. By the end of the story, he stays persistent and keeps working towards learning to dance. I love that this story helps kids learn that they can keep working towards their goals and they can eventually reach them. This is another must-have for your classroom library. 



    The final book on my list is "Jabari Jumps" by Gaia Cornwall  (Author, Illustrator). This a great story about overcoming your fears. Jabari has been taking swimming lessons and he is finally ready to jump off the diving board. He watches as all the kids are taking their turns. His dad is close by and he squeezes Jabari’s hand to let him know he is there and cheering him on. This story captures this moment between the patient dad and the determined little boy. This is certainly a must-have for your classroom. 


  These are just a few of my favorite picture books for growth mindset.  Do you have any favorite picture books for growth mindset that you would like to share? I can’t wait to hear all about them! 





Wednesday, April 28, 2021

My Top 3 Favorite Apps for Assessment in the Classroom

   



     Assessment is a part of teaching that just has to happen. But that does not mean that we can’t make it fun for our students. Today we are going to talk about assessment and using fun apps to help our students be excited when it’s time to take that test. I love when my students think we are just playing a game. But really, it is an assessment, and I am getting lots of data about how my students are doing. It also means less grading for me, which I love!



    The first app and website that we are going to talk about is Kahoot. Have you heard of this app before? My students love when I say we are going to play Kahoot. They think of this as a game instead of an assessment. The one thing that is a little challenging with this app is that the questions appear on the main screen at the front of the room from the teacher’s device and the students devices only have the answer choices. I usually read the questions to my students so it isn’t too much of a problem. With this app, have fun creating your own Kahoot with your own questions, or just play one that is already created from another teacher. You can use this app for any subject that you are teaching. 



    The next app is Quizizz. This is another favorite in my classroom. One thing that I love about this app is that you can assign it for independent work to your students. Each student can play the game on their own. It collects all the data on how your students did on the questions. This app can also be played as a whole class game. I love that the questions appear on the students devices as well as up on the main screen. This is a must try in your classroom!



    The final app that we are going to talk about is Quizlet. This app and website is my absolute favorite. I love that my students can practice vocabulary for any subject that we are working on. There are several different activities that students can work on to practice the content that they are learning. I have even used this app when I was studying to get a second credential.  This app also has a game version. The game for this app puts your students in groups and they work together to answer the questions. Each group gets the questions in a different order. Each student only has the answers to a few questions, rather than having all of the answers. This means that the students have to talk to each other to solve the questions so not one student can do all the work. This is a really fun app for practicing the content that is being learned so students are ready for their assessments. For this app to keep track of all your student’s data, you do have to get a premium account. But this app has so many other features that it’s ok not to have tons of data for this one. My students always beg to play this game over and over again. And I am always ok with that because it just means more and more practice for them. 


    Which one of these awesome apps are you going to give a try? Tell me in the comments which one you're most excited about! I can’t wait to hear from you!




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