Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Using Positive Affirmations to Promote Growth Mindset

One of the best things I started in my classroom was teaching about Growth Mindset.  My students are really loving it, and I'm loving hearing them using what they've learned in their conversations with their friends.  (Just today, I overheard one of my students tell another, "I'm making progress.")!!!!!!!

Positive Affirmations for Growth Mindset, www.JustTeachy.com

Positive Affirmations for Growth Mindset, www.JustTeachy.com

Basically, students with a Growth Mindset believe that their talents can be developed through hard work.  They don't believe their abilities are set in stone, and are therefore more likely to achieve greater goals than students with a fixed mindset. 

Right now, my growth mindset lessons consist of me introducing our positive affirmation of the the week, and reading a book that demonstrates that affirmation.  After the book and a short discussion, we make a circle on the carpet.  I ask a question pertaining to themselves and the affirmation, and then we take turns answering the question around the circle.  For example after reading the book Whistle for Willie to go along with the affirmation, "I work hard and try my best", I asked the students, "What is something you can work hard on today?" 

We review the affirmation throughout the day, and only have one per week so we can really concentrate on it.  I have all of the affirmations I want to use hole punched and bound with ribbon so I can just flip to the one I want to use and hang it up to display.

Positive Affirmations for Growth Mindset, www.JustTeachy.com

These half-page posters with all of the affirmations I use can be found in my Teachers Pay Teachers store.

Of course as I find new amazing books, I will be adding them to my lessons, but for now, here is a list of all of the affirmations and accompanying books I am currently using in my classroom.
(with affiliate links)

“I can do hard things.”
The Dot, by Peter Reynolds

“Mistakes help me learn.”
The Girl Who Never Made Mistakes, by Mark Pett and Gary Rubinstein
Beautiful Oops, by Barney Saltzberg
The Book of Mistakes, by Corinna Luyken

“I work hard and try my best.”
Whistle for Willie, by Ezra Jack Keats

“I get better every day.”
The OK Book, by Amy Krouse Rosenthal

“I make good choices.” 
"I have the power to choose."
What Should Danny Do?, by Ganit and Adir Levy

“I am brave.”
I Am Brave, by Suzy Capozzi

“I am a problem solver.”
“I try new things.”
The Koala Who Could, by Rachel Bright
The Thing Lou Couldn’t Do, by Ashley Spires

“I spread kindness everywhere I go.”
I Am Kind, by Suzy Capozzi

“I am a good friend.”
Stick and Stone, by Beth Ferry

“I have a positive attitude.”
Be Happy, by Monica Sheehan

“I do the right thing even when no one is watching.”
What if Everybody Did That?, by Ellen Javernick

“I can handle it!”
I Can Handle It, by Laurie Wright

“Feedback helps me grow.”
Thanks for the Feedback, by Julia Cook

“I won’t quit until I’m proud.”
The Most Magnificent Thing, by Ashley Spires
The Carrot Seed, by Ruth Krauss

“I don’t have to be perfect, I just have to try.”
Ish, by Peter Reynolds

“I have self-control.”
My Mouth is a Volcano, by Julia Cook

“I listen to my heart.”

“I can overcome challenges.”
After the Fall, by Dan Santat

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Thursday, March 15, 2018

Handmade Math Manipulatives

Many years ago when I was student teaching, one of the Kindergarten teachers had boxes of manipulatives with work mats that were so much fun for the students to use during math.  I knew I had to make some to use in my own classroom.  The best part is how easy and cheap they are to make since they pretty much only involve beans, felt, and construction paper.

Math manipulatives, www.justteachy.comMath manipulatives, www.justteachy.com

Math manipulatives, www.justteachy.comMath manipulatives, www.justteachy.com

Math manipulatives, www.justteachy.comMath manipulatives, www.justteachy.com

Math manipulatives, www.justteachy.comMath manipulatives, www.justteachy.com
(Yes, these have all seen better days, and they were made long before cute clipart was a thing!  But it just goes to show that things don't have to be perfect or beautiful, to be effective!)

These manipulatives and mats are great to use when learning about counting, addition, and subtraction.  
When using these for counting, you can have number cards to display how many manipulatives the students should put on the mat.  For addition and subtraction, the students love making up their own word problems and acting them out to find the answer.

This school bus is one I like to use during small groups.  It's great for counting,  one-to-one correspondence, one more, one less, ordinal numbers, addition, and subtraction.
Math manipulatives, www.justteachy.com

These are some examples of prompts I'll give when using the school buses:
1)Put one person in each window.
Count the people.
Count the windows.
What do you notice?

2)Put a person in the 1st window.
Put a person in the last window.
(Continue naming different ordinal numbers.)

3)Put one person in a window.
Add one more. Now how many do we have?
Add one more person.  Now how many do we have?
Continue adding one more and telling how many until all windows are full.

4) Repeat the same as above, but start with all windows full, and take one away for "one less".

5)The buses can also be used for addition and subtraction story problems.

Math manipulatives, www.justteachy.com

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Take Home Book Packs

The best way to ensure success in school, is to get kids reading!  If we can get the parents involved and show students from a young age how much fun reading can be, then we've done our jobs.  Take Home Book Packs are a great way to strengthen the home-school connection.  These packs provide quality time for the families to sit and enjoy reading books together and to have fun completing activities that go along with the books.
Take Home Book Packs, www.JustTeachy.com

 For these packs, I chose classic books that I know families will enjoy reading together.
Books for Take Home Book Packs, www.JustTeachy.com

Each pack that goes home contains one book and two activities for the families to enjoy together.  The families get to keep the pack for the whole week so they can read and do the activities as many times as they would like, and also because I know how busy the weekdays can be with after school activities!

I've had different types of Book Packs throughout the years, but this year I updated the activities and gave the covers face lift so they all look a little prettier!   
Chicka Chicka Boom Boom Take Home Book Pack, www.JustTeachy.comCorduroy Take Home Book Pack, www.JustTeachy.com

The Missing Mitten Mystery Take Home Book Pack, www.JustTeachy.comThe Mitten Take Home Book Pack, www.JustTeachy.com

If Your Give a Mouse a Cookie Take Home Book Pack, www.JustTeachy.comIf Your Give a Pig a Pancake Take Home Book Pack, www.JustTeachy.com

The Snowy Day Take Home Book Pack, www.JustTeachy.comWhere the Wild Things Are Take Home Book Pack, www.JustTeachy.com

The skills covered in the activities are:

Letter Recognition
Beginning Sounds
CVC Words
Sight Words
Number Recognition 
Number Order
Counting by 10s

Counting Backwards from 20
Sorting Objects
Story Retelling

Of course, participation in the Book Pack Program is optional, so I send home an information sheet with a permission slip at the bottom for the parents to return if they would like to participate. 

To keep track of who has which Book Pack each week, I have a simple spreadsheet with the name of each pack down the side, and I write the student's name next to the pack they select to take home.

My new Book Packs are available now in my Teachers Pay Teachers store if you would like to make some for your students!  
Take Home Book Packs, www.JustTeachy.com
(click the picture to go my TpT store)

Book Packs will be discounted 25% off for the first 48 hours!  SO HURRY! :)

Take Home Book Packs, www.JustTeachy.com

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Star Sight Word Bottle FREEBIE

Time for another FREEBIE!  

Sight word bottles make a quick and fun Literacy Center that the kids love!
To make this Star Sight Word Bottle, I just cut stars from sheets of craft foam and wrote sight words on them. I added the stars to a clean bottle along with confetti and streamers.  
The students rotate the bottle to reveal the words and write them onto the recording sheet. 

Head over to my Teachers Pay Teachers store for your free copy!

Friday, January 26, 2018

Living & Nonliving

Our Living & Nonliving unit will be coming up soon, and I wanted a few new things to use with my class this year. 
I had a pocket chart sort that was made quite a few years ago, but most of the pictures were of cartoon-like objects, people or animals.  I wanted a new one with real-life photographs that would be easier for the students differentiate between living or nonliving.
Living & Nonliving Pocket Chart Sort, www.JustTeachy.com

In our Science center, I have this sorting mat for the students to sort different 3-dimensional objects.
Living & Nonliving Sorting Mat, www.JustTeachy.com

We search through magazines to find living and nonliving items to add to our Science journals...
Living & Nonliving Science Journal Labels, www.JustTeachy.com

 ...and write about what living things need to live.
Living & Nonliving Science Journal Labels, www.JustTeachy.com

I also created this cute little Emergent Reader.
Living & Nonliving Emergent Reader, www.JustTeachy.com

There are 3 pages of living items, 3 pages of nonliving items, and 2 pages with a fill in the blank sentence for either living or nonliving.
Living & Nonliving Emergent Reader, www.JustTeachy.com

All of these activities and more are available in this "Living & Nonliving Mini Unit" on Teachers Pay Teachers.
Living & Nonliving Mini Unit, www.JustTeachy.com

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Snow Globe Writing FREEBIE!

I have always loved snow globes.  There is just something so magical and relaxing about watching the snow slowly drift down.
Today we read, The Snow Globe Family, by Jane O'Connor.

The Snow Globe Family book, www.justteachy.com

Then we made our own snow globes!
Snow Globe Writing, www.justteachy.com

I told the kiddos they could draw whatever they wanted inside the snow globe.  Most of them chose snowmen, but a few chose a penguin.
Snow Globe Writing, www.justteachy.com
 For the writing, we discussed simple sentences they could write about what was in their snow globe.  I didn't give any assistance on spelling because I wanted to see what they could do by using the word wall and sounding out words on their own. :)
Snow Globe Writing, www.justteachy.com

You can download your FREE copy here!
Snow Globe Writing, www.justteachy.com

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Snow Globe Writing, www.justteachy.com

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Penguin Craft & Bulletin Board Display

Who can resist an adorable display of cute penguins made by students!?
Penguin Craft and Bulletin Board Display, www.JustTeachy.com

My Kinders used patterns to trace, cut out, and create their own penguins.  They also used extra construction paper to add bows and bow ties if they wanted.
Penguin Craft and Bulletin Board Display, www.JustTeachy.com Penguin Craft and Bulletin Board Display, www.JustTeachy.com

Then I printed the words, "Kindergarten is SNOW cool!" to display with their penguins out in the hall.
Penguin Craft and Bulletin Board Display, www.JustTeachy.com

Penguin Craft and Bulletin Board Display, www.JustTeachy.com

I've added the patterns for the penguins and the words in my Teachers Pay Teachers Store, here.  
If you don't teach Kinder, no worries!  I also included "Pre-K", "1st grade", "2nd grade", "3rd grade", "4th grade", "5th grade," "School", and "Our class."

If you create a bulletin board, I'd love to see it!  
Tag me on Instagram @just_teachy