All classrooms are reading We’re All Wonders by R.J. Palacio, our September book of the month. This book tells the story of Auggie, a boy who looks different from his peers. Auggie has a powerful message to share.
From the inside cover:
“He does plenty of ordinary things. He feels ordinary. He just doesn’t look ordinary. Growing up as an extraordinary boy with an extraordinary face isn’t easy, but Auggie is a wonder. . . . It’s not just Auggie who is different. Everyone is different, and everyone is a wonder – if only they could see it.”
We’re having conversations about the importance of empathy – feeling and understanding what another person is feeling. These discussions foster a school culture of kindness, collaboration, and learning.
A Mindset for Learning
Books of the month are an important part of our work to develop a mindset for learning in each child. A mindset for learning is evident when we demonstrate the following characteristics, especially when faced with a challenge:
- Optimism – Risks are worth taking; If you fail, you learn!
- Persistence – Sticking with something even when it is challenging
- Flexibility – If something isn’t working, try another way
- Resiliency – Bouncing back from setbacks
- Empathy – Feeling and understanding what another person is feeling
- Ownership – Taking charge of your own learning
A mindset for learning helps children embrace challenges now and into the future. Children come to school with boundless curiosity and a zest for learning! Using carefully selected read alouds, videos and classroom discussions, we build a framework to support students in honing a mindset for learning. With a mindset for learning, students see themselves as powerful, resilient thinkers and problem solvers who can make a positive impact on others. As our learners grow, their ideas will change the world!
Allison Liner, Principal
Check out this video that we’re using to teach kids that “challenges grow our brains”.
What Do You Do With a Problem? by Kobi Yamada
From the back cover:
“What are problems for? They challenge us, shape us, push us, and help us discover just how strong and brave and capable we really are. Even though we don’t always want them, problems have a way of changing us in unexpected ways.”
We’re reinforcing how a Mindset for Learning can help us grow. With this story, we’re teaching students about optimism and facing challenges. We’re discussing how optimism means feeling hopeful that risks are worth taking and that problems will work their way out. We’re practicing self-talk to help us face challenges head on:
- I’ve done this before; I can do it again!
- I can break my problem down into manageable steps. I know the steps to start; let me say them again.
- I can try; let’s see what happens!
- Any problems I face I can work them out one way or another
- Even if I fail, I can learn and grow
- What options do I have?
- What if? I wonder if I could …
- I can do this
- I’ve dealt with challenging problems like this before