Greg and I met in college, were friends for a year, and then began dating. Throughout our college years, everything was easy and just seemed meant to be. (We also didn’t really have a care in the world when it came to “adult stuff”) Once we got married, bought a house, started grad school, and started a swim team, real life set in and we realized that if we wanted our relationship to be a healthy one, we needed to put time and effort into it. We needed to share our frustrations (in a nice tone and perhaps with a glass of wine), we needed to make time for each other, and we needed to support one another’s endeavors. After reading Dweck’s chapter on Relationships, it was easy to where our mindsets were and how we could continue to grow.
Many of the previous posts do a great job of describing the fixed and growth mindsets. It is easy to see how those same definitions correlate to the growth and fixed mindset when referring to relationships.
Dweck explains that individuals with a fixed mindset believe that relationships are either meant to be, or not. If the partner could not read the other’s mind, or “just know” what the other person wanted/liked/disliked, then the relationship was doomed! Individuals with a fixed mindset also wanted revenge on the other person, especially after the relationship failed. If you can't tell by now, this is one of the most unhealthy ways of thinking when it comes to relationships.
However, individuals with the growth mindset view the relationship as ever-changing and evolving. They believe that they must support their partner, and work together to not only grow the relationship, but also grow each other in whatever aspirations they may have. This has been so important in our relationship. Early on in our marriage, Greg started a swim team at his high school and became the head coach of the team. Coaching is a huge time commitment, and it seemed as if the swim season was the longest season of the year, but I whole heartedly supported him for years in this role. Years later, when I was excited, but hesitant with the idea of starting a Teachers Pay Teachers store, Greg was the one supporting me and giving me the courage to give it a try. He later willingly came along for the ride! While relationships require many things, one of the biggest and most important is the work both partners put in to it with support of one another, and of the relationship.
Dweck’s focus on romantic relationships can also be applied to friendships. Friends should also be there to encourage and support you, happily giving you the limelight when you deserve it (and vice versa). Dweck also touches on those friends we may have that revel in our misfortune, and feel better about themselves when they believe that they have the upper hand. (Regardless, we carry these people as our friends.) And while we all have an idea of who we would turn to in a time of need, Dweck posed an interesting question: "Who we would go to when good things happen?” Those are the friends (with growth mindsets) who will always be there - No. Matter. What.
When placed in a more competitive setting, like the workplace, we tend to push Dweck’s considerations to the side. It’s easy to close the door to our classroom, delete an all staff email about a new opportunity, or disregard how other professionals might be enhancing the learning experience in their classroom. That’s the “Here we go, again” mentality. It’s fixed mindset in the first degree. Dweck believes we need to foster meaningful relationships with our coworkers to better serve our students. We need to model the behavior in the hope that our students will improve their ability to see positive qualities in others. Honestly, it’s a chilling part of the chapter because Dweck’s focus shifts to growth and fixed mindset in kids (students).
Students bring a lot of baggage with them. This can make or break the classroom dynamic, but most often it’s not at fault of our learners. Their life experiences - whether 6 or 16 - has programmed their mindset to accept and grow as a person or, conversely, built barriers to individual growth. Dweck recognizes this as an opportunity for educators to help these kids grow as individuals, not just students. Easier said than done in today’s educational climate, but those are the real chances for growth in our classroom. Whether it’s the vulnerable bully, or an innocent victim, everyone can benefit from our ability to create an accepting culture.
Dweck’s premise is that we need to carry a growth mindset to become stronger individuals - regardless of the endeavor. Those around us also hold that same decision - growth or fixed. Relationships, however, are fickle. They can only thrive with the combined efforts of both individuals. Each person needs to see the value and potential in their partner for the relationship to develop. No doubt - that can be hard work. It only takes the right mindset.
Thanks to Greg and Abbie for including us in the Growth Mindset Summer Book Study! We were excited to share our reflections on Chapter 6 because of its focus on relationships and how our mindsets effect them. It pushed us to reflect on ourselves and our own relationship.
Do you want to keep your students reading over the summer? They will love finding different places to read with this summer reading challenge, and hopefully grow to love books even more!
This past week, I gave my students the Fountas and Pinnell BAS reading assessment. I was so proud of all their hard work and their progress along the way. There were times when even I had tears of joy as they were reading and retelling a story.
(If you follow us on Instagram, you may have seen this post about how proud I was of my students. I wanted to shout it from the rooftops!)
I want my students to see reading as something they can do for enjoyment, at anytime. I want them to automatically grab a book to take along with them, without thinking twice. I want them to get lost in books, anytime, anywhere. Maybe I am romanticizing the idea, but I believe it can happen. So, I created a summer reading challenge focusing on reading in fun places, with friends and loved ones.
I also created a similar challenge chart with a prize incentive when students bring their chart back to school in August/September. You can click here to find both options! If you have a social media account for your classroom, it would also be fun to encourage parents to sent pictures of their child completing the challenge. You could post some of the pictures to your classroom account to keep the incentive going strong throughout the summer.
Let me know how you keep your kiddos reading over the summer, and feel free to share the successes of your summer reading challenge! Happy reading!
***Beautiful images from Classroom Clicks and fonts by Kimberly Geswein and Graphics From the Pond.
Check out my classroom projects!
Time and money tend to be the two toughest first grade concepts to teach. And just when your kiddos can tell time to the hour and half hour, you throw in elapsed time!
Luckily we focus on elapsed time in hour increments, so it is not quite as complicated as those of you that teach it in half hour or smaller increments...God speed to you folks!
When I teach elapsed time, we go over many methods to solve the problems. I like to share and model different methods, but I also like to have my students share their own ideas for solving problems. I like to give them a problem and ask them to solve it and share their own thinking. Oftentimes they can share a way that may work for other students in the class too! Some of our most used strategies are:
Once we understood elapsed time, I wanted them to practice elapsed time to the hour and half hour in their interactive notebooks. So, I created a few pages for them to employ the strategies on their own. They did a great job thinking it through and I even heard the word "fun" going around the room!
After I saw my students had a solid understanding of elapsed time with the problems created by me, I wanted to take their learning and problem solving to the next level and have them create their own elapsed time scenario. They came up with the starting time and the activity, and then had to find the end time for their activity.
We are also a 1:1 iPad mini classroom, so as they were doing this, they each had their personal Judy clock and took pictures of the start and end times. They also took a picture of their activity. From there, they put their pictures into a PicCollage, uploaded it to SeeSaw, and added audio, explaining the whole process in the app. Once this was in SeeSaw and I approved it, and their clip could be seen by their parents, classmates, and myself! How awesome is this video?! This could also be done in a classroom with a few iPads. You could have your students complete the scenario sheet, and then do their photos and recording when they are at the iPad center that week, or whenever you have them visit the iPads.
I used the elapsed time sheet for my students to map out their thoughts for their scenario before taking their pictures. (One thing that I have learned is that first graders benefit from having their thoughts down on paper first!) If you don't have iPads, this is still a fantastic activity for students to practice elapsed time.
You can find the interactive notebook pages and elapsed time scenario sheet FREEBIES here!
If you are looking for more time activities, you can also this fun Time Turtle Craftivity.
Check out my classroom projects! Use code LIFTOFF to match donations.
Mr. & Mrs.
We are Becky and Greg from York, PA. Becky just started her 13th year of teaching first grade. Greg is a high school social studies teacher. We love teaching and this blog is a peek into our world.
tag, you're it!
Blog Design by Alexis Sanchez ©