Tuesday, October 23, 2018

October Worthy Wildcats!

Congrats to the following students that were selected to be Worthy Wildcats for the month of October!  Students were selected for helping clean up instead of free choice time, helping out a friend with anything that they need, being friendly to others in the class always, being on task and ready to learn with the guest teacher (sub), cleaning up lunch tables that fell on the floor and always being kind and helping others when no one is watching!

Dakota S. 5th Grade

Joshua S-C. 5th grade

Milagros M. -2nd grade

Owen U. -1st Grade

Sebastian F.- 3rd grade

Ximena T-V- Kindergarten

Monday, October 1, 2018

October Blog: Growth Mindset - What is Neuroplactisity and What is Mindful Mondays!

GROWTH MINDSET in October- As you know, each month we will be teaching and learning about different aspects of the Growth Mindset.  This month, we will be working on Neuroplasticity!
Students will learn that the brain is like a muscle that grows.  Neuroplasticity is the ability of the brain to change and grow and make new connections throughout our lives.  Learning about this will help our Wildcats understand that challenges are good for our brains and continue to understand the growth mindset.  Our teachers will be showing the students a picture of the brain and explaining each of the areas of the brain and what they are responsible for. Ask your children what the Cerebrum, Cerebellum, Prefrontal Cortex, Hippocampus, Amygdala and the Brain Stem do.* When students understand the functions of each part of the brain and how mistakes will increase their brain growth!

We will be doing a variety of activities with all our students about parts of the brain and neuroplasticity. One of the activities that we will be doing is reading Your Fantatic Elastic Brain, Stretch It, Shape It by JoAnn Deak, PhD. and illustrated by Sarah Ackerley in each of our classrooms.  Each student will take the book home so that you too can understand how the brain works.  We hope that each of you will read the book to your children, sign the back and return it so that we can pass it on to the next student.

By doing this, we can all learn together about how the brain works!  We hope that your children will share with you all their learning about the brain, too! 

Beginning today, our students will begin to learn about mindfulness. Mindfulness is being present in the moment, listening to sounds around you, noticing your breathing and learning how to be calm.  Each Monday, students will learn about taking a moment to be mindful.  Research shows that practicing mindfulness can help with focus, concentration, attention and self awareness. We will be reading books that help students to be in the moment. Being mindful can help reduce stress and we know that stress can be harmful to the brain.  We will be doing activities, reading books and talking about being mindful.  One of the first activities is to have students "Sit Like a Frog".  "The frog sits very still while it breathes".

Teachers that have tried a few activities in the classroom have noticed that their children are very calm and the students also noticed a change of how the classroom felt!  This is exciting for all of us! 

We truly hope that you will join us on our endeavors this year as we learn more about growth mindset and mindfulness! If you would like more information about mindfulness or how the brain works, please let Mrs. Fabrizio or Mrs. Anastacio know. 

* Cerebrum: Language:  cognition and language (largest part of the brain)
   Cerebellum: Movement/balance (small part at the back of the brain)
   Prefrontal Cortex:  Decision making/plans (behind your forehead)
   Hippocampus: Long and short term memories (center of the brain)
   Amygdala: controls our emotions (center of the brain)
   Neurons: small brain cells that signal messages to other cells in our body telling them what to do (everywhere in the brain)

Sources:  The Growth Mindset Coach, by Annie Brock and Heather Hundley
Sitting Like a Frog, By Eline Snel.