This month, I have been focusing on academic standards. In Third grade guidance, we have been been learning that mistakes are an important part of the learning process.
I began the lesson by making a purposeful mistake and then asked the children to share some of their mistakes. We then discussed how we feel when we make mistakes and how mistakes can help us. Most students reported that mistakes make them feel embarrassed, sad, angry or scared but understood that we can learn from mistakes.
After reading a book, Out of the Ballpark, by Alex Rodriquez, the students learned how a famous ball player handled his mistakes when he was a boy. We then discussed positive and negative self talk, the things that we think to ourselves whenever we make a mistake. Examples of negative self talk are "I'm such an idiot", "I just can't do this", and "everyone thinks I'm dumb". The danger of negative self talk is that we begin to believe the negative things that we are telling ourselves.
The students brainstormed examples of positive self talk ("I can do it", I'll try harder next time", "I know this") and made a "mistake bug" in which they wrote down a mistake that "bugs" them as well as positive self talk to encourage themselves if they make that mistake again. The more we can practice using postive self talk, the less embarrassed we'll become when we do make mistakes and the more able to focus on the correction, thus learning from our mistake.
Students were also able to understand that many mistakes can be avoided by practicing Habit 2, Begin with the End in Mind.
This lesson covered ASCA Standard A: Students will acquire the attitudes, knowledge and skills that contribute to effective learning in school and across the life span: A:A1.1 Articulate feelings of competence and confidence as learners; A:A1.4 Accept mistakes as essential to the learning process, A:A2.2 Demonstrate how effort and persistence positively affect learning;
In fourth grade, the students learned about three differenct learning styles: visual, auditory and kinesthetic/tactile. The students took an assessment to learn their own individual learning style. Some students had one unique learning style while others had a combination of two or all three. The students then worked in groups to brainstorm strategies, materials, and ideas that would help a student with a particular learning style learn: flash cards and graphic organizers for visual learners, oral questioning and reading out loud for auditory learners, and using "hands on" materials, taking frequent breaks and studying in a rocking chair for a kinesthetic/tactile learner.
The fourth graders were able to connect some of the 7 Habits to using learning styles to help them study: Be Proactive and Begin with the End in Mind.
We summarized the lesson by concluding that students learn and show they are smart in many different ways and they can enhance their learning by focusing on their own learning styles and intelligences.
This lesson covered ASCA Standard A: Students will acquire the attitudes, knowledge and skills that contribute to effective learning in school and across the life span:
A:A2.4 Apply knowledge and learning styles to positively influence school performance
A:B1 Improve Learning: A:B1.3 Apply the study skills necessary for academic success at each level
In fifth grade, our students learned the importance of building a good academic foundation and how it helps them support attitudes, behaviors and skills that enable them to achieve their goals. We used the analogy of building a strong building and the students worked in groups to build a dominoe building with a strong foundation and a building with a weak foundation.
They were able to conclude that the building with a strong foundation can support many floors and withstand "strsses" just as a student with a strong foundation can support more skills, attitudes and habits that can lead to success. The children were able to identify many foundational components such as positive attiutde, hard work, listening in class, etc as well as additional "floors" such as the 7 Habits, study skills, setting goals, passing the CRCT, etc. as they built upon success.
Each student completed their personal foundation plan for their personal goal and used the graphic organizer to write out their plan for success.
This lesson covered ASCA Standard A: Students will acquire the attitudes, knowledge and skills that contribute to effective learning in school and across the life spans: A:A1.5 Identify attitudes and behaviors that lead to successful learning
A:B2 Plan to Achieve Goals: A:B2.6 Understand the relationship between classroom performance and success in school