Tuesday, November 10, 2015

praise versus encouragement

How many times in a day do you say good job? Or you're so smart? You probably do it without really even thinking about because you're a good teacher and you want to help your students feel good about themselves... right?

Well this year I have learned something quite new.  My school has been reading a book called Mindset. Maybe you have heard of it? So you're thinking what is "mindset" exactly and can I change it.  Well good news you can! So according to this book you are either of fixed mindset or of growth mindset. Growth mindset people seek challenges.  When we started reading this book I wasn't sure how this whole mindset thing would impact my teaching and classroom...but I was so wrong!

So I answered an online quiz that determine I as of growth mindset, in which I agreed. I have always been someone to challenge myself and worked hard at achieving my goals.  I don't think at all points of my life I have had a growth mindset but have made changes to become so.

This book brought up some interesting topics about how we teach and talk to children and how we help them have a fixed mindset or a growth mindset. 

What is praise?
Good Job!   That was great!   Wow! You are so smart!   Those can't be bad to say can they? Don't they make children feel good about themselves?  Well of course they do, but what happens when this "smart child'' is faced with a difficult task?  According to the book this child unfortunately gives up, it's too hard and they can't do it. Praise is a judgement "You are good" and when the next child doesn't hear "You are good" they think "I am bad" and we don't want that, do we?

What is encouragement?
Wow! You worked so hard on that problem!   I noticed it took you awhile to solve that, how do you feel?  You did it!   Encouragement is specific and not general. It teaches children that is safe to make mistakes and that trying is important. Children gain self-confidence.  When they faced with a challenge they will face it and try, rather than quit.

Now don't get me wrong this is a hard change! And it doesn't mean you can never praise a child, sometimes that is what's right, but take these thoughts and try them out with your students.  Ask them how it makes them feel when you encourage them rather than praise them! And let me know your thoughts!

Friday, June 26, 2015


My summer is off to a great start! I'm enjoying the summer weather and I've been busy making some new stuff for my classroom! I'm excited this year because I don't have to move classrooms, YAY! I've moved the last 2 years and man it's rough... This summer I have some basic organization projects to complete like my filing cabinets... Too many papers and I don't know what's in all of them... OOPS!

Today I'm going to share some of my favorite ways to decorate and organize your classroom!

One of my favorite things is student numbers! I use the same numbers for various things throughout my classroom. In the first picture, I print the numbers small, about an inch wide and then put a magnet on the back. When the students come in, this is how they choose their lunch for the day.  We have a main dish, a choice and then cold lunch. I have used this system for 2 years and I LOVE IT! I got the pizza pans from Dollar Tree!

The next thing I use the student numbers for are book baskets! I have used these green ones from the Dollar Tree for 2 years and they have been great.  I ordered lime green book boxes from Really Good Stuff for this year and I will still be adding the numbers to the front.  

Here are my numbers for this next school year! I'm in love! and pretty soon I'll let you know how to get them...

Another way I keep myself organized is with a Teacher Binder! I actually make binders for all different things because I find I have way too much stuff to go in one binder.  This year I've made 4 different binders! An update for 1 and 3 new ones. I also make my own Lesson Planner for each year.  

I make a generic one for the first few weeks because the schedule always seems to change and then I make the final tweaks, print it and then have it spiral bound at Office Max. It only costs about $5 and I love having something that's completely my own.  I make my planner using PowerPoint, it's pretty simple! Just need to add cute fonts ;)

I also put a year long calendar in front of my lesson planner so I can write down other important notes and reminders. Here is my calendar for this year!

Modern Chevron Binder

Get the Modern Chevron Binder by clicking the picture above!

Rainbow Binder

Get the Modern Chevron Binder by clicking the picture above!
Here's how to get those cute Student Numbers and Group Numbers...

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Getting Organized for Next Year!

Well I've been out of school now for 8 days and so far so good! I've been working hard on many projects for next school year.  I'm also excited because after 2 years of moving classrooms, I DON'T HAVE TO this year! I kinda didn't know what to do with myself honestly. I'm so used to packing everything up not letting most of if stay! Anyway it's good news, I get to conquer some projects that have been neglected in 2 moves so yay!

Anyway I'd like to show you what I've been working on!

This year I made 3 different Teacher Binders for the 2015-2016 School Year, and I may be making more!

These are the 2 that are new this year and they both feature an editable file so you can add your name to the lesson planner or teacher binder!

 Get the Rainbow Binder here!
Get the Modern Chevron Binder here!

Last year's binder is all updated too!
Get the Gray Chevron Binder here!
Do you use a Teacher Binder to stay organized?!

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