Counselor's Corner

by Mrs. O

PurposeFull Practice Lesson: PRE-Perseverance Lesson

March 3, 2022

Dear McKinley Family,

This week I introduced our new PurposeFull Practice: Perseverance; however, my lesson centered more around our fantastic-elastic brains, taking care of our brains and bodies, and the difference between having a Growth Mindset vs a Fixed Mindset. I added in this pre-lesson, as it is one of my favorite topics to teach because it not only sets our children up to persevere successfully, it is based on science. Once children know that challenges actually grow their brains and mistakes are awesome learning opportunities; they can have a transformative mind shift. With all honesty, I wish I had known this in kindergarten.

So, what is the difference between having a Growth and Fixed Mindset? You may know a person who is really smart, but not successful in life. I would bet they have a Fixed Mindset -they avoid challenges, give up easily, are perfectionistic, and fear making mistakes. You may also know somebody who had to work really hard to achieve things and were never at the top of their class; however, they somehow achieved success in both work and life. Likely, this person was blessed with, or developed a, Growth Mindset- they are curious, love challenges, have a “can do” attitude, look for strategies when they face obstacles, embrace mistakes as learning opportunities, and know the Power of Yet.

Directly Below- I have purposefully included a wonderful TED Talk (for ADULTS) featuring a leader in the field of Growth Mindsets- Carol Dweck. This is a great place to educate yourself (if you aren't yet familiar with the concept); and thereafter, explore and discuss the fun and engaging resources I have included.

Wishing you well today and always.

Warmly and gratefully yours,

Mrs. O (Ormachea)

McKinley School Counselor


FOR ADULTS- The Power of Yet and Having a Growth Mindset

I included this video so that parents/guardians who are unfamiliar with these concepts; can fill their toolboxes with the language and knowledge on the topic of mindsets and the power of yet.

In this TED Talk, you will meet Carol Dweck who researches the “growth mindset” — the idea that we can grow our brain's capacity to learn and to solve problems. In this talk, she describes two ways to think about a problem that’s slightly too hard for you to solve. Are you not smart enough to solve it … or have you just not solved it yet?

Ms. Dweck has spent years studying this topic and has impressive outcomes that support her assertions that having a growth mindset can change the way we think; thereby propelling us towards personal and academic successes. I would also assert that having a growth mindset helps us to persevere through the challenges of life and education.

1. Definition of Perseverance

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2. Links to Parent Resource Letter: Perseverance (in English and Spanish)

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3. Understanding and Taking Care of Your Incredible Flexible Brain

Neuroplasticity- Challenges GROW Your Brain

In this short video students learn about their incredible brains. They come to understand that taking on challenges can grow and strengthen their brains; thus, (with effort and the right mindset) they have the power to make their brains stronger every day.

How the Brain Learns

This incredible video teaches us the importance of taking care of our brains and bodies (via proper nutrition, stress reduction, exercise, drinking water, etc.), for optimal access to learning and persevering. We connected information to what we have already learned about the brain- Guard Dog and Wise Owl; and our Zones of Emotion (see below for reference).

Your Fantastic Elastic Brain

This is a detailed, but kid friendly, deep dive into the brain and how it works. When we understand our brains, how they work, and that they are flexible; we are much more likely to take on a Growth Mindset and Persevere when faced with challenges or mistakes.
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4. Growth Mindset vs Fixed Mindset

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Mojo Learns About Having a Growth Mindset

In this video two adorable monsters, named Mojo and Katie, explore the different aspects of having a growth mindset. I had students show hand signals that I taught them, to demonstrate when they saw a growth mindset vs a fixed mindset during the show. It would be fun if they taught the signal to you.

Mojo Puts His Growth Mindset to the Test

In this video Mojo challenges himself to make a robot. His newly found Growth Mindset is also challenged by his mistakes and failures. Katie returns to remind him that his brain grows stronger through challenges and mistakes, and he is able to reset back to a Growth Mindset. It is important for us to remember that we will experience these "dips" from time to time; but we can return back to a growth mindset.

5. Breathing, Mindfulness, and Brainbreaks

Mindful Breathing with Mojo

In this quick video, Mojo leads us through a breathing exercise. As the children have come to understand; we are best able to learn, behave, and Persevere when we are in a calm and happy mental state- it's scientifically proven.

3 Minute Body Scan

When children and/or adults have big emotions (anger, fear, shame, excitement), they can often feel out of control mentally and physically. This quick body scan is a wonderful way to readjust as it helps us to "ground" our bodies and center our minds.

Brain Break - Just for FUN!!!

As we learned in our video about the brain, it is important to exercise and take "brain breaks" throughout the day. This improves our ability to learn and focus, plus it's a lot of fun!!!

6. Families that Play Together, Stay Together: Things to Do in Our County

FREE Art Supplies and Activity Ideas at the Gridley Library!!!

***You Don't Want to Miss This***

FREE Art Supplies and Activity Ideas

When Sat, March 12, 12pm – 1pm

Where Butte County Library, Gridley Branch, 299 Spruce St, Gridley, CA 95948, USA (map)- Community Resource Room; Gridley

Description Come get basic art supplies (paint, glue, paper, and more), activity ideas, and a premade resource kits. Open to all; no registration required. Families welcome. Community Resource Room at Butte County Library, Gridley Branch Parking Lot


Check it Out!!! Valley Oak Children's Services Newsletter- Activities and Resources for Families

6. Our McKinley School Expectation Chant

Make sure to ask your student to teach you the arm movements that go with our chant. <3
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*Kelso's Choices

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*Guard Dog and Wise Owl- Connecting Thoughts and Actions

Below is a picture of the parts of the brain. Students like having a visual of where our Wise Owl and Guard Dog reside in the brain. They were also able to understand that when one of these parts of the brain is chatty, the other is usually quiet. For instance, when we have BIG emotions (anger, stress, fear) we are in our Guard Dog Brain; therefore, our Wise Owl Brain is quiet. The outcome: Our ability to have and show Empathy and/or Kindness, learn, and execute basic skills is nearly impossible.
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*Zones of Emotion/Regulations

Below is a picture of our Zones of Emotion/Regulation. Students learned that we have many different feelings which fall into certain Zones. We discovered that being in the Green Zone (Wise Owl Brain) helps us to be our best selves (as students, citizens, family members, etc.). We explored triggers such as being in trouble, trying new things, being ill, getting hurt, learning a new skill- that push us into the Blue, Yellow, and/or Red Zones. Thereafter, we came up with strategies (breathing, talking to a friend or family member, going outside, taking a moment alone, exercising...) which effectively move us back into our Green Zone.
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