Back To School Night - from the heart

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Hey guys, welcome back to Wait for it Wednesday! 

 I wanted to share something that as a mom or teacher I think is really important.  This is my 24th Back to School Night so I've definitely refined my presentation over the years and last year I took a moment and just shared from my heart to the parents.  After I did that I can't even tell you how many parents stayed after to thank me with tears in their eyes.  

back to school night tips, speaking from the heart, getting parents on your side

All most parents want is reassurance that you will treat their child like your own, that you will love on them and have their back.  So, I leaned against my counter and paused from my power point to just talk, parent to parent.  I shared how I treat the classroom like a family and how their kids are like my kids.  I told them that I will be their child's biggest cheerleader while they are in my room ( and after of course ).  I reminded them that their child is my priority and I want the best for them too.  I told them that we don't do put downs and that we are here to encourage one another.  I reminded them too that sometimes siblings and parents get mad or frustrated with one another and we have to work through things and ask for forgiveness.  As I looked around I saw parents sit a little more comfortably, I saw parents that came in ready to take notes and let's be honest some even on the defensive if they had a previous bad experience with a teacher - all of a sudden their facial expressions changed.  They smiled and nodded, they had tears in their eyes, I could see a look of relief come across their face. 
Let's face it - anyone can stand up at Back to School Night and share about curriculum and schedules with a power point there to guide them.  But to be vulnerable and tell them straight up that you will LOVE on their CHILDREN.  That's truly ALL THEY WANT TO HEAR.  They can look up the PE schedule on line, they can read a first day note. hear from their child's teacher that this person that their most prized possession spends most of their day with will love their kid unconditionally - that's priceless my friends.  It might seem a bit awkward at first but just do it, speak from your heart, share your passion, they will see it shine from you as you talk.  They will leave happy, at peace and excited for the new school year.  I promise you - it will help you have an amazing start to your year and you will be glad you did.  
Let me know how you share from the heart with your parents in the comments, I can't wait to hear and spread our love for kids across the world. 
Happy teaching! 


Growth Mindset with Giraffes Can't Dance

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

I'm is back in session so that means that ~ ~ ~  Wait for it Wednesday is B -A - C - K!!!

  I'm so happy to be back to my weekly series here to share tips, tricks, successes and even failures with you.  Please tune in every Wednesday during the school year to see what my third graders are up to.

I love teaching on growth mindset to get the year off on the right foot and then refer back to it like for the rest of the year.  There are so many amazing picture books that are perfect to use for growth mindset but of course I had to choose a giraffe one to match my theme this year.
So, Giraffes Can't Dance it was and it did not disappoint.  I created a resource to go with the book and my students did a great job on it!

We talked about what growth mindset is and how we can apply it in our lives and then I read the book.  The activity I created to go with the book lended itself to lots of small group discussions on what talents the kids had and what they wanted to improve upon. 
I had them think of something they were good at and write a little about that, then I had them think of something they wanted to become better at as well.  They had to write what they wanted to become better at - BUT they had to include a couple sentences on HOW they were going to become better at it.  They created a game plan on what they could do to become better with growth mindset at the forefront of their mind.
It was interesting to walk around and see what they wrote AND the best part...  it allowed me to get to know my students better because I was finding out what they were good at and what they wanted to become better at too.  It was a wonderful get to know you, first week activity.  ( click picture if you are interested in this pack )

growth mindset with Giraffes Can't Dance

Teaching growth mindset with Giraffes Can't Dance

Here is a link on Pinterest that has lots more picture book ideas for teaching on growth mindset.

I'd love to hear how you use or teach growth mindset in your classroom!  
Happy back to school, xoxo