In The Classroom
How an Australian School Uses the Big Life Journal Resources
Every week we are running a half hour (would love for it to be longer) session of peer support as a whole school (36 kids). We have paired younger students together with older as journal buddies.
To initially introduce growth mindset to the students I ran through the How to teach Growth Mindset (4-week guide)" and now I'm using the Big Life journal lesson plans and Big Life Journal to work through the weeks.
Each week I put the journal up on our interactive smart board for the children to see the quotes and read through the stories with me. We usually only have time to complete one page each session. Last week we completed a connection station and the children loved it. It was so interesting to see how seriously the children were taking their answers.
Every week I have been incorporating a Growth Mindset activity into our homework and write an affirmation on the window for the children to read to themselves. We have discussed as a school setting up growth mindset corners in the classrooms and creating displays around our school with growth mindset quotes. I have been thinking about also including parent tips and guides in our newsletter.
The school has also purchased the Challenges Kit, Growth Mindset Activity Kit, and Growth Mindset Printables Kit.
I definitely have seen an impact on the children. Several times I have seen one of the children encourage another with the Power of Yet...the kids love coming in and reading the new quote for the week and their affirmation. I also find myself reminding the children to find their growth mindset. The children come up to me in the playground to tell me about how they "made a difference in the world" this week.
I feel the more we explore the growth mindset and Big Life Journal ideas the more I will see and hear the children using it in their everyday world.
How Big Life Journal - Teen Edition Transformed a Teen's Life
I work at an independent school in North Carolina as a Language Development Specialist. I work with students one-on-one and help them strengthen skills in any academic area of weakness as designated by their psychoeducational report.
Jo is a bright, caring and the kind young lady, whom I have worked with for the last two years, in 5th and 6th grade. I observed that if Josine could not figure out an answer she would have to leave class because she would get so upset. Any mistake was viewed as a failure and it was crushing to her self-esteem.
After spending some time speaking with her, I came to realize the issue was not her math facts or academics; it was her mindset. We tried breathing techniques, brain breaks, positive sayings, but these strategies were not having an impact.
During a team meeting, one of my colleagues mentioned Big Life Journal - Teen Edition. I started looking over the materials and asked my boss to purchase two journals, one for myself and one for Jo. I included the parents in this approach, and let them know that we would be using this journal.
I think the biggest impact so far from this journal for Josine is two-fold. First, she recognizes that she is not alone. Second, she realizes that having a fixed mindset is not wrong, in fact, it is natural. This notion seemed to give her a sense of control that she never felt before.
The impact this resource has had on Jo can best be summed up with this example. She had the opportunity to take a trapeze class on a recent trip, in December, to New York. She could not wait to come back and tell me about it. My first question was “What were you thinking when you were standing on the platform?” Her answer was, “I was terrified, but I knew I could do it!” My next question was, “Do you think you would have tried it last year?” She immediately replied, “No way!” “ What do you think was the difference?” was my next question. “My mindset” was her answer.
She paused for a minute and then commented, “So, having a positive mindset creates opportunities?” I did not answer and she started working on her math problems. “That is so cool!” she muttered to herself and I thought “That is so cool!”
Thank you for helping to create some great teaching opportunities with your resources. Rebecca Maddux