Equity and Access

Elementary Edition March 2018

Big picture

Mistakes Are Opportunities for Learning

From the Growth Mindset Coach by Annie Brock and Heather Hundley

Albert Einstein once said, “Failure is success in progress.” Einstien was an interesting boy who had trouble making friends and whose educators thought he was insubordinate and incompetent. If Einstein had possessed a fixed mindset he would have failed. But, instead he chose to think positively and embrace a growth mindset. Einstein's mindset propelled him beyond failure, obstacles and setbacks to new heights in science. People with a fixed mindset avoid challenges, stay in their comfort zone and never risk looking inadequate. People with a growth mindset, however, are characterized by a willingness to try new strategies to find better results.

Most classrooms have twenty or more students with twenty or more brains and ways of learning. These classrooms can become loud and unpredictable. The only constant you have is that your students will make mistakes. The question is how will you help your students navigate their mistakes? I would like to share with you three steps from The Growth Mindset Coach by Annie Brock and Heather Hundley that will help.

  • Normalize mistakes: Inform students that they will make mistakes and mistakes will help them learn and grow.
  • Value mistakes as a learning opportunity: Turn mistakes into valuable learning opportunities which is a great way to normalize them. Show students the mistake and ask for input about what went wrong and how to repair it. This process demonstrates important metacognitive strategies in thinking through problems.
  • Coach students through setbacks: When students have a problem they cannot resolve, the teacher has the opportunity to step in and coach them through. One strategy is "Ask three then me," ask three other students then ask the teacher. This technique promotes collaboration in problem-solving.

Students need the opportunity to experience failure at school so they will understand that failure is not something to fear or cover up. However, it is an important natural experience from which to learn.

Big picture
Big picture

Did You Know?

The word shero has been in circulation since the 19th century and refers to women worthy of admiration. SHEROES are women who display strong heroic traits under tremendous pressure and who overcome their circumstances. SHEROES are Women who are active givers, examples of what is possible, and are brilliant inspirations to people of all ages. SHEROES are those women that have been through extraordinary experiences and have proven to be “SHEROIC” in their efforts. During Women's History Month and every month, let's help our students celebrate the sheroes that have made an impact on their lives.

Who is Your Shero?

Ask your students to think of three women who have inspired them and why they feel they are special. Finally have them write a note of appreciation to each of their sheroes.

Twenty-First Century Sheroes

These twenty-first century sheroes are making a difference in our world. They are moving forward in professions that at one time were dominated by men and are inspiring young ladies to follow in their footsteps.


Images of Scientists (This resource can assist you in showing students that all kinds of people pursue careers in science regardless of race, sex, age).

“Images of Science.” Science NetLinks, sciencenetlinks.com/lessons/images-of-science/.

What's In Your Tool Box?

When it comes to bullying there are different modes and types including direct (directly in the presence of a target youth) and indirect (one person, or group of people, undermines or tries to ruin someone’s reputation by spreading rumors and gossiping behind his/her back). Bullying can occur in different places, and by different methods: online through cellphones, e-mail and internet chat rooms.

Who Is at Risk? No single factor puts a child at risk - bullying can happen anywhere, at any time, in any city or neighborhood or school. Some targeted groups include those from the LGBTQ, youth with disabilities, and youth that are socially isolated. Children that experience bullying may have one or more of the following risk factors. However, these factors do apply to every child.

  • A perception that a child is different from their peers, such as being overweight or underweight, wearing glasses or different clothing, being new to a school, or being unable to afford what kids consider “cool.”
  • Are perceived as weak or unable to defend themselves.
  • Are depressed, anxious, or have low self-esteem.
  • Are less popular than others and have few friends.
  • Do not get along well with others, seen as annoying or provoking, or antagonize others for attention.

What Can You Do?

When adults respond quickly and consistently to bullying behavior, they send the message that it is not acceptable and will not be tolerated. Research shows this alone can stop bullying behavior over time. There are simple steps all adults can take to stop bullying on the spot and keep kids safe.

  • Intervene immediately. It is ok to get another adult to help.
  • Separate the kids involved.
  • Make sure everyone is safe.
  • Meet any immediate medical or mental health needs.
  • Stay calm. Reassure the kids involved, including bystanders.
  • Model respectful behavior when you intervene.
  • Recognize that as parents, school staff and caring adults we all have a role to play in preventing bullying.

“StopBullying.gov.” StopBullying.gov, www.stopbullying.gov/.

Book of the Month

Girls Think Of Everything: Stories of Ingenious Inventions by Women

by Catherine Thimmesh

Women have been instrumental in inventions that have made life simpler and convenient. Their inspiration was a result of necessity, and they have invented everything from chocolate chip cookies to windshield wipers. Some of these young ladies were only ten and eleven years old when they started. Featured in the book Girls Think of Everything are some of the worlds greatest inventions and inventors. The book shares the stories of these inventors and what inspired them to pursue their ideas and dreams.

Girls Think of Everything Can be found in Springfield Public Schools Libraries.

Big picture

Coming Events

Big picture
Big picture
Big picture
Big picture
Big picture