Welcome to Blue Class with Maren & McKendree!

Dear Blue Families,

We have had an excellent start to our school year as we settle into our new classroom community. Blue students come to class with a positive attitude, a sincere desire to learn, and a collaborative spirit. We are particularly impressed by the students’ enthusiasm and cohesion. Over the first few weeks, we’ve been busy with community development activities, establishing classroom values and academic routines, and learning about our identities.

It was great seeing you at Curriculum Night and sharing our program with you. Thank you so much for trusting us with your child’s learning and growth in the coming year. We look forward to working with you and supporting your child!

Growth Mindset

Our most recent topic of exploration in social studies has been growth mindset- the understanding that intelligence can be developed through hard work. We’ve been learning about this topic to understand how our brain works so we can support ourselves and others to develop grit and reach our full potential. We read Your Fantastic Elastic Brain (2010) and compared our brain to an elastic. After reading this book and an elastic band challenge, in which students came up with as many creative uses of elastics as possible, they identified that elastics – like brains – can stretch, be shaped, and do a multitude of things. Next, we learned how the brain communicates messages through neurons. Students created their own neuron models in order to learn about the different parts and how they work together to send messages throughout your body. We then put all of our neurons together and discussed how the connections between them grow the more we practice!

We also examined our mindsets about making mistakes and struggle. We read Mistakes That Worked and watched a video on brain research about mistakes and challenges. Students learned how mistakes actually grow your brain! They learned that the myelin sheath in your neuron gets bigger and it helps the messages get sent better. Most recently, we have been practicing using growth mindset statements to help them through challenges, such as, “I haven’t figured it out YET,” or to push themselves, such as, “Is this my best work?” Students brainstormed their favorite statements and wrote them on speech bubbles to create a class poster for a tool to help with keeping a growth mindset.

Neurons Activity