Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Growth Mindset: November and December- Relationships and Challenges and Ability Awareness


The next two months we will be focusing on relationships and challenges as we work towards having a growth mindset for our staff and students at Windsor.  We can say without a doubt our teachers spend quite a bit of time at the beginning of the year as well as throughout the year developing trusting and caring relationships with our Wildcats.  Posing questions to the students about their interests, what drives them, their passions and their wonders help our teachers develop high level and challenging lessons for our students.  Teachers differentiate their instruction as they look at the 

Content: What the students are learning
Process: How the students are learning
Product: How the students demonstrate learning

We look at how best to meet all of our students various student needs by looking at those three pieces.  This helps provide equity in our teaching- how can we make sure that we provide challenge no matter the learning level of our students.  

When we have the trusting relationships with our students, students will truly feel that it is ok to try their best, make mistakes and try again.  They will feel that their teachers won't judge them. They will see that learning requires taking risks and making errors.  It is always a joy for us to hear our teachers talking with children about the students' weekends, their big game, their performance in a play or other activities the students are involved in outside of school.  

In the same vein, we are working very hard with our students to be working and learning so that they learn for growth, and not for a grade.  As we have moved to Standards Based Grading, students are learning what they need to do to achieve and grow. When we have a relationship with them, our students take feedback from their teachers to heart.  It is not about the percentage on a test anymore or a grade. It is truly about the growth that they make over time and that we believe that they can achieve.  We hope as parents or guardians, you too will see the importance of your children working to learn and grow and not working to earn a grade! 
There is a true connection between relationships, challenges and growth! 

Image result for Be Younique   ~Ability Awareness
On Friday, November 2nd Northwest Special Recreation Association (NWSRA) partnered with Windsor School and hosted our first ever Ability Awareness Day!  Second through fifth graders rotated through a total of eight stations that exposed them to a variety of challenges that people with disabilities may face.  Some of the stations provided the students experience in feeling what it would be like to have an intellectual impairment, physical impairment, visual impairment or hearing impairment.  The students were also educated on how to offer support to their peers who may experience some of these difficulties as part of the program. Throughout all of these stations, the staff from NSWRA directed the students focus on what they can do versus what they could not do.  Students were observed to be sharing their past experiences whether it be at school or with a family member. The energy in the building was positive and energizing, many students commented on how much they were enjoying the experience. We were delighted with the feedback we received from the NWSRA staff. They shared that our students were verbal about how they help peers in school. The staff also shared that our Wildcats had so much background knowledge. They were amazed by the kindness our students displayed. We hope you take some time to reflect with your child on what their takeaways were from their experience and maybe share with them some of your own.

We hope to put together an experience for our Kindergarteners and First graders later this year.  

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