“You can’t do it. Yet!” Instilling a growth mindset in the classroom is empowering for young learners. Students remind each other that maybe you can’t do it yet, but with practice, you will be able to. As you walk through my classroom you may hear, “My brain is getting stronger.” When we make mistakes our brain gets stronger and grows. It’s amazing how students will try anything in my class without fear of failure.
Students challenging themselves and peers, taking risks, and persevering is exciting to observe as an educator.
Our Title I school provides breakfast and lunch for every student, which means fewer food insecurities and more learning. The class is structured so the schedule is predictable yet flexible. Students understand they get what they need to be successful and that doesn’t always mean they get the same things. My first graders are confident, kind, problem solvers, and are happy to come to school each day.
Each student learns in different ways, and personalized learning is key in today’s classrooms. Activities in my classroom are differentiated to promote growth for all learners. Students choosing their own books allows students to be in control of some of their learning. Many of my students don’t have stability in their lives due to parental job loss, broken families, and addiction. Coming to school, being welcomed and valued by their teacher, and having two meals and snacks daily provide balance and stability in their young lives.
When children are given a choice what to read, they develop strong vocabularies, become better writers, have better problem-solving skills, and view the world around them in diverse ways.
Reading also provides a way to “escape” from their sometimes troubled home life. I want my students to have many different opportunities for literacy. This project will provide differentiated series of books. If a child wants to read an entire series, they will have that option. Finding a book you love to read creates a love for reading. This also helps the students to take risks out of their “comfort zone” of books.
My students and I thank you for your support to build our classroom library and a love of literacy.
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