School Counselor News

Mrs. Beth Jenkins

November/December - The Brain and Growth Mindset

Our lessons in the Primary classes started with a simple question: Are mistakes good or bad? After a little vote and discussion, we read Beautiful Oops by Barney Saltzberg. (See a video of the book read by the author below.) The students were given an opportunity to make a beautiful oops and share their creations with the class.

We decided that mistakes are a great opportunity to learn and to make something beautiful. See some of our creations below. The idea that mistakes are learning opportunities is an important part of developing a growth mindset. These students are well on their way!

Beautiful Oops by Barney Saltzberg

What is a Growth Mindset?

In the Lower Elementary classes we shared what we know about our brains and then either read Your Fantastic Elastic Brain or watched a video clip to introduce the idea of growth vs. fixed mindsets. We played a game sorting cards into either fixed or growth mindset categories. I challenged the classes to work to change fixed mindsets to growth mindsets and to use growth mindset language to encourage each other. Ask your student about a growth mindset and check out the links on my blog for further information.
The Learning Brain
In the Upper Elementary classes, the above lesson is extended to include not only the brain and growth vs. fixed mindsets, but also multiple intelligences. We are looking at how we are smart and identifying where we may need to work harder to overcome fixed thoughts and fears. After completing an online assessment, the students are challenged to reflect and set goals to grow their brains while continuing to build neural pathways and growth mindsets.

Mrs. Beth Jenkins, School Counselor

Look for more information about an upcoming book talk on Mindset: The New Psychology of Success by Carol Dweck after the winter break. Get the book now and have plenty of time to read!