Monday, December 21, 2015

Learning from Failure

This is the 5th installment of an awesome blog hop on Mindsets in the Classroom by Mary Cay Ricci.  If you haven't already, you might want to check out the first four posts.

How do you handle failure?  What do you do when failure is possible or may even be imminent?  In all my deepest honesty, I avoid failure at every possible cost.  I will shrink away from responsibility or even avoid an activity all together if I know I won't be successful.  Learning that "...failure can be a reward, for it is through failure that we can learn the most," has not been something I have been personally willing to accept as of yet.

While students with a growth mindset try to learn from their mistakes and approach new tasks in a new way or with more effort.  Those with a fixed mindset often give up and give in to stereotypical phrases, such as "I'm dumb," "I'll never get this," "I'm not good at x."  

What is needed is for educators to develop an environment where failure is accepted and even celebrated, so that students can learn how to reflect on their learning and redirect themselves in new ways.  Take for instance this great scene from Meet the Robinsons.

Hand in hand with a discussion of failure is one on motivation and effort.  It is an examination of these attributes that were a precursor to that of growth mindset.  The book reminds us of that study and that effort and success are usually brought about by internalization of actions and beliefs, while failure is attributed to skill difficulty and sheer luck.

To help bring about that internalization of actions and beliefs, students must be trained to accept intrinsic rather than extrinsic rewards.  Praise and positive feelings about effort and persistence do much more for the development of the child than money, certificates, trinkets, or prizes ever could. Giving students autonomy is another catalyst in growth mindset as well.

Overall we must change how we look at failure.  We need to teach students to see it as feedback and data, not as a judgment on their person.  We need to allow kids to fail so they can learn how to deal with it, make adjustments, and move on.  Failure can build resiliency, but only if we look at it as a means to a new end, and not as the end.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

TpT Sellers are Giving Back

Last week we had quite the fright for our family.  One of our fur babies, our bulldog, Peyton, became very sick with a digestive disease and then she developed pneumonia on top of it.  Next thing we knew she couldn't use her back legs for long periods of time.  Our veterinarian was doing all she could, but she told us to be prepared that it was Peyton's time to go.  We weren't ready to say goodbye.  We've only had her for 2 and a half years.

Peyton has lived a long, hard life.  She was kept as a breeding dog by a puppy mill in the mid-west and wasn't rescued from their deplorable conditions until she was five years old and had birthed multiple litters of puppies.  That's when the National Mill Dog Rescue (NMDR) from Peyton, Colorado went in and rescued her and dozens of other dogs and brought them back to Colorado to be bathed, groomed, vetted, and eventually adopted to loving families.  We found her through their organization and named her in their honor, for all the wonderful work they do to free dogs from puppy mills and get them into warm, caring, and loving homes.

Amazingly, Peyton has recovered and is almost back to her old self.  Despite her hard life she has never stopped fighting to keep going.  Her story is inspiring.

This Sunday, I, along with many other sellers on Teachers Pay Teachers will be giving back a portion, or all of our earnings for that day, to a charitable cause of our choice.  I will be giving 100% of my earnings from December 13, 2015 to the National Mill Dog Rescue so that they can continue to rescue and care for puppy mill victims.

I encourage you to look for sellers on TpT with the following logo on their store, as they too will be giving to charity on that day.
Not only will you be getting a quality lesson plan, but you will be further helping an organization in need.  You can also visit Nitty Gritty Science's blog for a list of many of the participants.


Wednesday, December 2, 2015

December Already?!?!?!

I can't believe December is here already, but it's time to link back up with Farley and celebrate what's happening Currently.

I'm Listening to some retro music tunes from the 70's and 80's as I link up this month.  I didn't get to link up in November because my computer was down and out for the count, but now I'm Loving my brand new machine my husband built for me.  It is super fast and ultra quiet and has tons of memory for all my new and upcoming projects.

Birthday plans are on my mind as my birthday is two days after Christmas and I've been challenged to come up with something special to do for the day.  Usually my birthday stinks, as everyone is all pre-occupied with Christmas and their budgets are maxed out from the holiday, but I'm determined to not have a crummy day again.  Now I just have to decide what to do which will leave me feeling happy and content with the day.

Overall I don't want much of anything for Christmas this year, but I sure would love a maid for the new year.  My husband said that they're 100% tax deductible, maybe because I work from home or something.  I definitely would love to get in on that deal.

Most of all, what I need are healthy pets.  We have an 18 year old cat that is semi-incontinent and is driving me bonkers.  I've even considered putting diapers on the cat, but I value my life too much.  And now our bull dog has some digestive ailment as well as pneumonia.  Not only does it put a huge strain on our heart strings to be dealing with these crises, but it's also putting a huge strain on my Christmas budget right now.  I just need to pick up the dog from the doctor today and have everything be on the way to mending.
And lastly, our tree, when we finally get one, will be real.  We always buy Frasier Firs because they have nice short soft needles.  We had to use a fake tree for 3 years when our last pup had an allergy to pine, and it just didn't feel the same.