"Stay The Course"
Fostering Gritty Students Through Character Education
Stay The Course: A Colloquium Presentation
Thursday, March 26th, 4pm
5 Andrews Lane
East Kingston, NH
Teaching students to overcome challenges with grit.
with Nicole Camuso and Rachel Sterner
Building a Gritty Community One Classroom at a Time:
What role does courage, open-mindedness, and social
responsibility play in fostering classroom community?
with Raelyn Carlyle, Laura Clark, and Rachael Heard
Getting Gritty with Literature:
Fostering self-control and persistence one character at a time.
with Sarah Decoteau and Emily Rice
I began my research with Mary Cay Ricci's book, Mindsets in the Classroom. It defines and compares growth mindsets versus fixed mindsets. According to Ricci, a person with a growth mindset believes that, "one's intelligence can be grown or developed with persistence, effort and a focus on learning." (Ricci 3) The other faced mindset is the fixed mindset. A fixed mindset is defined as follows, "A belief system that suggests that a person has a predetermined amount of intelligence, skills, or talents." (Ricci 3)
A learner who exhibits a growth mindset believes they can learn new things with perseverance, optimism, and focus. With the intention of building growth mindsets in our classroom, I implemented lessons to teach each of those three traits.
“Every person passing through this life will unknowingly leave something and take something away. Most of this “something” cannot be seen or heard or numbered or scientifically detected or counted. It’s what we leave in the minds of other people and what they leave in ours. Memory. The census doesn’t count it. Nothing counts without it.”
― Robert Fulghum, All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten
This year I have had the pleasure of working in a first grade classroom beside my cooperating teacher, Kate Zimar. As I became a part of East Kingston Elementary School, I quickly realized how character education is an important component of instilling grit in students. I have always been intrigued by the impacts of anxiety. However, since working in a school, I have seen how feelings of worry influence student success. This colloquium has given me the opportunity to research the impacts I have seen first hand in the classroom.
I would like to welcome you to join me as I share 1Z’s exploration of worry. As a class we have explored various worry management strategies for children through the Accountable Talk model. This unit of study has influenced multiple dimensions of student success including emotional, social, and academic growth. I hope to share methods and tools that will help your own students and children tackle feelings of anxiety. With a full toolbox of strategies, our students will be ready to face fear head on with courage and grit. I am looking forward to sharing the ways 1Z has overcome worry with you.
“I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.”
— Nelson Mandela
I am currently a student teacher in a third grade classroom at East Kingston Elementary School. My cooperating teacher and I have worked collaboratively throughout the year to create a socially responsible environment using Responsive Classroom. During my time in the classroom, I was inspired to further investigate the impact of classroom community on student learning. I measured the effectiveness of these strategies by using surveys, conducting interviews, and implementing activities that promoted collaboration and problem solving. Most importantly, I was able to understand the complexities of social relationships within our classroom and understand our ideas of classroom community are constantly evolving.
“The purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience.”
It always seems impossible until it's done.
- Nelson Mandela
Every time I look at a calendar, I am amazed and saddened to see how little time I have left at Swasey. As an intern in Paula Rushia’s second grade class and a member of the Swasey community, I have learned more than I ever thought possible.
Early in the year, I was fortunate enough to attend Jim Grant’s presentation on grit, where I became especially interested in the gritty trait of open-mindedness. With the help of my students, I examined how instruction on the Theory of Multiple Intelligences affected the intellectual open-mindedness of second graders. I look forward to sharing our journey and my findings on March 26!