Mrs. Lang's Counseling Capsule

6th Grade Counselor, Skyview Upper Elementary School

For the Week of November 10, 2014

Counseling Clip #4 is up on the shared drive and via the link below


November Highlights

November's Classroom Counseling Lesson will be about Responsibility and Study Skills.

November 13 is World Kindness Day.

November 14 will be Wear Green Day - for the Pillar of the Month: Responsibility. Students will make Responsibility Chains at lunches.

November 18: Counselor Parent Evening Program on Executive Functioning Skills, Hannah Bookbinder co-presenting, of AcademicAlly. 6 - 7:30 pm Skyview Library.

Students are encouraged to write down a Personal Character Goal and give it to their homeroom teacher in exchange for a "I mustache you to be TRRFCC this year" pencil from Mrs. Lang. Goals are to be collected and given to Mrs. Lang for tracking.

Fixed or Growth Mindset?

The Not-So-Subtle Effects of a Fixed Mindset

by Renee Jain on NOVEMBER 1, 2012 in BLOG, FEATURED, GOTALK!

The Scenario…

For over a week, Nelly has talked about middle school soccer tryouts. “World Cup, here I come!” she yells, dribbling the ball between two orange cones in the backyard.

Friday morning, Nelly is visibly tense. She pokes at her cereal and instigates a fight with her dad, Delly.

In an attempt to calm her nerves, Delly reassures, “I’ll be rooting for you today. Remember what I’ve been saying – you’re so talented, there’s no reason to be nervous.”

“Dad, I’m not sure I wanna go out for soccer anymore.” She hangs her head down and mumbles, “I’m just going to take the bus home after school.”

Delly probes gently, “Did something happen?”

Nelly concludes, “I just… I just don’t want to try out.”

At some time or another, every kid hears a doubtful voice in their head. The voice whispers, “Hey, if you take on this challenge, you might fail. And if you fail… well, then you’ll be a failure.” This voice prevents kids from taking on challenges, because there is the chance they won’t succeed. This voice prevents kids from fully engaging in activities, because the sidelines are safer. This voice prevents kids from experiencing growth opportunities, because they are scared they won’t live up to parental expectations. This voice is the one of a “fixed” mindset.

What’s a Mindset?

World-renowned Stanford psychologist Carol Dweck asked the question: why do some people achieve their potential while others of equal talent do not? Why do some succeed while others fail? Three decades of systematic research reveals an answer. A key to achieving your potential, Dweck proposes, doesn’t lie in your actual ability or intelligence. Instead, it stems from your belief about where this ability and intelligence comes from and how it can be developed. The belief which you hold is a “mindset” and there are two particular types.

Fixed vs. Growth Mindsets

Were you born smart? Individuals with a fixed mindset believe intelligence and talent are innate and immutable. In other words, no matter how much you study or how hard you work, you’re pretty much stuck with the cards you’re dealt. Since a youth with a fixed mindset believes their potential is capped, they avoid challenges which test their abilities.

Others believe that the brain is a muscle which can grow and abilities are assets to be nurtured through hard work and dedication. These are the hallmarks of a growth mindset. Kids with growth mindsets feel what they are born with are just raw materials – a launching point from which to grow.

The Practical Consequences of Mindsets

When Nelly mulled over her soccer tryouts, she didn’t view them as an opportunity to have fun and grow. Instead, tryouts would produce a binary outcome: either I am talented or not talented. Nelly sees opportunities as pass/fail events, and rather than negatively impact her self-image, she chooses to avoid challenges altogether. Research shows fixed mindset kids raise their hand less in class, engage in fewer activities, receive lower grades, and take longer to recover from setbacks.

Students for whom performance is paramount want to look smart even if it means not learning a thing in the process.” ~Carol Dweck

Growth mindsets see challenges as an opportunity to learn. If Nelly developed a growth mindset, she would view the soccer tryouts as an avenue to improve her talents and increase her knowledge. Her self-image would not be tied to her success at the tryouts or how she would look to others. Her effort would be a path to master useful skills.

Growth mindset kids take on more challenges, engage in more activities, receive better grades, and exhibit greater resilience in the face of adversity.


Anyone can cultivate a growth mindset as mindsets are simply this – a choice. Pick out a step from below and help your child cultivate a growth mindset.

1. Praise the process. In the scenario above, you saw Delly tell Nelly that she is talented. Parents and teachers ascribe labels to kids all the time (you are smart, pretty, fast, creative etc.) It seems like an innocent (even loving) practice, but consistently placing labels on kids contributes to fixed mindset attitudes. They become scared to try things and lose their labels! Change fixed mindsets by changing the way you praise children. Praise processes instead of character. Check out the examples below. (You’ll notice that growth mindset praise is more specific and may take a bit more effort, but practice makes perfect!)

Fixed mindset praise: “You are so talented!” (character praise)

Growth mindset praise: You’re getting good at passing the ball in high-pressure situations.” (process praise)

2. Mindsets are a choice. Teach your children that adopting a fixed or growth mindset is achoice. Next time an opportunity presents itself, make a 2-column list of what a fixed mindset individual might think and what a growth mindset individual would think about the situation. Help your kids make a choice to think with a growth mindset!

Once in a blue moon a revolutionary concept is unearthed and gifted to the world – mindsets is one of these gifts. Take it to heart and begin to foster an environment of growth with your children. Let’s work to change that internal voice from, “Hey, if you take on this challenge, you might fail,” to “Hey, if you take on a challenge, you might learn something.”


The School Counselor's Schedule

Monday, November 10 E day

AM Student Appointments

1:15 Mr. McCracken Classroom Counseling Lesson

2:00 Conference call with Hannah Bookbinder

2:45 BLAST

Tuesday, November 11 F day

AM Student Appointments

11:15 Mrs. Maier Classroom Counseling Lesson

12:30 Mrs. Roberts Classroom Counseling Lesson

1:15 Constellations Team Meeting

2:00 Astronomers Team Meeting

2:45 BLAST

Wednesday, November 12 A day

AM Student Appointments

Lunch Bunch

12:30 Mrs. Otero Classroom Counseling Lesson

1:15 Mrs. Kim Classroom Counseling Lesson

2:00 Mr. Greenover Classroom Counseling Lesson

2:45 BLAST Skype Session with Hayley Lawrence WVU

Thursday, November 13 B day

AM Student Appointments

1:15 Mrs. Matriccino Classroom Counseling Lesson

2:00 Mrs. Munro Classroom Counseling Lesson

Friday, November 14 C day

9 - 11 Home and School Meeting

Lunch Bunches

2:00 Mr. Corcoran Classroom Counseling Lesson

109 Ways to Spread Kindness on World Kindness Day (11/13) and Everyday!

We can get so caught up in the hustle and bustle of everyday life that we often forget to think of others. But a small gesture of kindness can not only make someone else's entire day, but it can also make you feel good. So why not spread the love and try a random act of kindness today? Here are 109 ideas to get you started:

  1. Help an elderly person cross the street.
  2. Help a student with homework.
  3. Let a car merge in front of you and do it with a smile.
  4. Participate in a community cleanup.
  5. Adopt an animal from the shelter.
  6. Help rebuild destroyed homes and communities.
  7. Pay the toll for the car behind you.
  8. Introduce yourself to neighbors and bring baked goods or sweets.
  9. Buy an extra cup of coffee in the morning and give to a co-worker.
  10. Take your neighbor's trash cans back to up their driveway for them.
  11. Smile at people.
  12. Open the door for someone.
  13. Help someone with their bags or luggage.
  14. Offer to take a picture for tourists.
  15. Leave a nice note for your partner.
  16. Pay for the coffee for the person behind you.
  17. Share your class notes with a classmate.
  18. Help a friend move.
  19. Talk to someone new and make a new friend.
  20. Make a card for someone.
  21. Help a lost tourist find his or her way
  22. Pick up litter and put it in a trash can.
  23. Make a homemade treat for your pet.
  24. Forgive yourself for any mistakes you've made.
  25. Mentor someone.
  26. Give a generous tip to your waiter.
  27. Use a reusable water bottle or cup to help the environment.
  28. Plan a vacation for your parents.
  29. Bring a welcome gift to new neighbors.
  30. Respond to emails or texts promptly.
  31. Befriend a lonely person.
  32. Reach out to someone you haven't talked to in a while.
  33. Compliment a stranger.
  34. Eat and buy local.
  35. Let someone take your parking spot.
  36. Plan a scavenger hunt for your kids.
  37. Buy or make a DIY toy for your pet.
  38. Volunteer to give a tour of your gym, school, or neighborhood/community.
  39. Don't honk at cars (or people).
  40. Bring sweet treats to the office to share.
  41. Treat yourself to a nice long bath.
  42. Donate your blood at a blood drive.
  43. Sit with someone who is eating alone.
  44. Read to the elderly.
  45. Tell your parents you love them and how much you appreciate everything they have done for you.
  46. Let someone go in front of you at the cashier.
  47. Donate clothes and shoes to the needy.
  48. Clean up after someone in the lunchroom or cafeteria.
  49. Give your partner a massage.
  50. Recommend your favorite restaurant to a tourist.
  51. Volunteer at a soup kitchen.
  52. Wash your partner's car for them.
  53. Let go of old grudges.
  54. Help your kids build a tree house.
  55. Do your sibling's household chore.
  56. Praise a child to the parents while the child is present.
  57. Hold the elevator door for others.
  58. Offer someone a piece of gum.
  59. Bring misplaced shopping carts back to the designated area.
  60. Express gratitude to someone.
  61. Send a photo in a frame to your parents (or grandparents).
  62. Offer to babysit your friends' kids for free.
  63. Donate your locks of hair.
  64. Tell someone you've fought with that you're sorry and that you forgive them.
  65. Sign up to be an organ donor.
  66. Leave extra time in a parking meter.
  67. Pay for your friend's tab.
  68. Return a lost item to the owner.
  69. Visit a nursing home and make a new friend.
  70. If it rains a lot in your area, give an umbrella to a homeless person.
  71. Be kind to someone you dislike.
  72. Encourage someone who is working hard at the gym.
  73. Vacuum the floor for your roommate.
  74. Take a shorter shower to conserve water.
  75. Make a donation in your name to a charity you care about.
  76. Bring homemade food, like a lasagna or casserole, to a new mom or single mom.
  77. Teach a child how to ride a bike.
  78. Bring a homeless person some food and a drink.
  79. Send a care package to your children, friends, or elderly parents.
  80. Email your boss or professor and tell them how much you love learning from them.
  81. Say "good morning" and "thank you" to public service workers (bus drivers, police officers, mail carriers, and firefighters).
  82. Help a friend hunt for a job.
  83. Let your friend vent and listen to her problems.
  84. Make a playlist for your friends.
  85. Let someone else take your seat on public transportation.
  86. Praise the work of others.
  87. Tell a street performer how amazing he or she is.
  88. Share your umbrella with someone who didn't bring one.
  89. Cook a meal for your partner.
  90. Help someone carry groceries to the car.
  91. Offer to work late for a co-worker who needs to leave early
  92. Donate books to the local library or bookstore.
  93. Let go of the stress in your life by having an at-home spa day.
  94. Volunteer at an animal shelter during adoption events.
  95. Sponsor a child in a developing country.
  96. Write a letter to your former schoolteachers and tell them how much they influenced you.
  97. Ride your bike to work or school.
  98. Help someone change the tires.
  99. Sign up for a bone marrow donation.
  100. Volunteer at a disabled student's learning center.
  101. Fold the laundry for your partner.
  102. Offer your seat on a plane so a family or couple can sit together.
  103. Support your own and your friends' kids at their recitals and games.
  104. Be proud of all your accomplishments.
  105. Participate in a fund-raiser or donation.
  106. Tell your partner that he or she looks extra handsome or beautiful today.
  107. Offer to pick up your friend's children after school.
  108. Offer to pet-sit for your friend for free.
  109. Hug someone you love like you mean it.


Groups begin after the Responsibility Lesson on Study Skills.

Lists have been emailed to you for your review.
Feel free to add names and tell me additional needs you have for other types of groups. I still do Peace Out, a stress management group, and Mastering Tests, test taking skills.

The 6th Grade BLAST News

A list of BLAST members is on the Y drive under Lang/Blast.

November BLAST activities include skyping with Hayley Lawrence, our co mentor in peer advocacy from WVU; Kindness Activities for World Kindness Day on November 13; and Responsibility Chain Making in the Cafeteria on November 14th.

Tips.Tools.Stuff You Can Use.

Links to Remember

Sign Up Genius (used for curriculum based classroom counseling lessons that I do with all homerooms. If you want something additional just email me! I'd be happy to come in!)

This link is just to the site for those who wanted to see it. It is not an active sign up.

When we schedule lessons, you will get an email from me, via this site, to select your time and date (that I enter into the online scheduler).

Mrs. Lang's Counseling Corner Website

Mrs. Lang's Counseling Clips - short videos for students containing Counseling Program Information

Mrs. Lang's Character Counts! Lesson Plans and Resource Packet

Y Drive / Skyview/Public/ Lang/ Lang's Character Resources

End of the Year Data Reports


I will just keep adding to the list, new stuff appears at the top each week.


Additude Magazine For ADD and ADHD information


Finding the Spark in Motivation - A great article / Resource for Educators


Google Templates for Teachers:

Kahoot! A Classroom Based Response System using Ipads, Laptops, and other personal devices. Uses a question and answer game format

12 Super Study Tools for Students

Hundreds of Fun IceBreaker Questions! use what you can, alter some, whatever!

Character Education Lesson Plans

Social Emotional Lesson Plans (15 minutes or less)

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Have a great week, everyone!

Beth Lang