Tuesday, June 30, 2015

We Have A Winner!

Congratulations to Martina from The Hungry Teacher for winning a copy of the MindUp Curriculum!
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Martina, I will be emailing you shortly to find out which level you would like to have.  Thanks so much to all those who participated in our Mindsets in the Classroom book study this month.  I hope that you enjoyed it as much as I did.

Tune in to Hello Sunshine tomorrow to find out who the gift card winner is!

Monday, June 29, 2015

Flip - Flop Product Swap 2015

Want to try out some new products for back-to-school?  Want to get some of your products seen by more people?  Want to increase traffic to your blog and TPT store?  Then this is the linky for you!
Thanks SOOOOO much to the A.MA.ZING Michelle, the 3 AM Teacher for this A.DOR.A.BLE button!
Here's how it works...
Is there a product of mine that is on your wishlist or that you want to try out?  First, visit my TPT Store by clicking the image below and browse until you find something that you would like to try out.
Next, email me or leave me a comment below, and let me know which product you would like and provide me a link to your store.

Then,I will pick one of your items that I would like to try out, and you will send that to me.

Finally, we will both try out each other's product and blog/pin/promote the other's product.

Hopefully this will give us a chance to try out some goodies as we get ready for back-to-school, and will allow us some added promotion for our products.

What do you think of this idea?
The goal is increased traffic, new followers and some summer flip flop fun!  Grab the linky button and the linky code below, and come join the fun!

Grab the linky code here:

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Dare to DREAM - TPT Seller Challenge Week 2

I'm linking up again this week with these friends

This week's Challenge is 

I had to really think about this one all week and finally decided on these four...
I have really been trying to focus lately on building my business now that I am doing it full-time.  I have been studying up on all things marketing and hope to take Confessions of a Teaching Junkie to the next level.

That leads me to my next goal, hitting the next milestone on TPT.  If my marketing strategies improve, I am hoping that that will be the boost I need!

I am also working on sharing my knowledge and experience with other teachers by presenting at conferences and becoming a consultant.  I'm taking baby steps right now, but as goals one and two progress, I will be moving on to number 3.  Those presentations and such will hopefully take me to some new places and make me some new friends!  I just love the energy of teachers who want to soak it all up and learn new things.

And that leads to number four.  In all my years of teaching I have tried to be a mentor and share as much as possible.  I truly believe that the more we share, the less we have to create ourselves, and that make more time for teaching.

I will leave you with a couple of new products I have created this week.  I have been working on special requests for STAR and PIRATE themed goodies.  I have finished these and will be working on more next week.

This set of Pirate Theme Alphabet Cards, for my buddy Marsha was fun to create.  It comes in both landscape and portrait orientation and in a smaller size for word walls.

This PDF file contains pirate themed alphabet cards in 3 different sizes/styles - full page horizontal, full-page vertical, and half-page horizontal all in one file. From Confessions of a Teaching Junkie

For another special order, I have been working on STAR goodies.  Here are the Newsletter Template and Parent Information Night Template.  I hope to have the calendar set finished later tonight.

his 10 slide STAR Themed Back-to-School Power Point presentation is fully customizable. You can add or delete slides to fit your needs. All text is editable too! From Confessions of a Teaching Junkie

This classroom newsletter template is completely customizable. 2 full-color pages. The font used is Kristen ITC, and can be reformatted if you like. From Confessions of a Teaching Junkie
Click on the images above to view the items in my TPT Store.

Want to check out the other TPT Seller Challenge entries?
Visit the Pinterest Board.
Follow Third in Hollywood's board TpT Seller Challenge on Pinterest.

Better yet, Link up yourself with one of these gals.
Third in Hollywood
Teach Create Motivate
Sparkling in Second
Peppy Zesty Teacherista

Friday, June 26, 2015

AZ Brunch and Bubbly Meet-Up 2015

What do you get when you  mix
food,
blogging,
TPT
more food,
some bubbly,
and
friends?
A bunch of teachers having a bubbly good time!

We had good food...

We got caught up with old friends and made some new ones.
...had some photo booth fun.
We even got to video conference with Amy from TPT who joined us virtually.

And of course, there were PRIZES!
We had such a fun a day!
Thanks so much to Ashlyn, from The Creative Classroom for being such an amazing hostess and putting together the perfect party!

Ways a School Staff Can Maintain a Growth Mindset School Culture

We are nearing the end and wrapping things up with our

Chapter 9 focuses on ways to educate staff and maintain a growth mindset school-wide culture.  Not only must we educate and train students about the brain and how it works, we must also educate and train all staff on a campus in order to promote a school-wide growth mindset culture.


Here are the key points from Chapter 9.
Click here to download the Growth Mindset Posters from yesterday's post if you missed them.



I hope that you are following along with our book study. If you are just joining in, you can go back to the beginning here.  Better yet, we would love to have you join in with us.  It's not too late!  Start at the beginning or jump in now.  There are prizes to be won!  For links and resources, check out and follow my Pinterest board. 


Thursday, June 25, 2015

Helping Students Develop a Growth Mindset

Welcome to another edition of 
Mindsets in the Classroom Book Study Chapter 8 – Helping Students Adopt a Growth Mindset  - Links, downloads, and resources for the classroom

Chapter 8 is chock full of ideas and resources for helping your students to develop a growth mindset.  The key points are:

Preassess what your students know about the brain and how it functions.  This chapter offers many suggestions for preassessment.
Provide learning tasks that demonstrate to students the brain’s neuroplasticity.  Again, several suggestions are presented in this chapter.
Use growth mindset terminology.
Have growth mindset reminders clearly visible in your classroom and school building.

Here are some great book suggestions for teaching about a growth mindset and perseverance.

There are also some great video clips available on YouTube.  Here's one from Disney's Meet the Robinsons.

I created this question sheet to go along with the Meet the Robinsons failure scene clip.  You can download it by clicking on the image below.

Mindsets in the Classroom Book Study Chapter 8 – Helping Students Adopt a Growth Mindset  - Links, downloads, and resources for the classroom

The whole movie The Pursuit Of Happyness is great, but this clip of Chris's interview is perfect for a discussion about a growth mindset and persistence.



Another great resource for building perseverance is Thinkfun.com.  They have several games the progressively grow more challenging, and thereby build perseverance.  Perseverance is one of the Common Core Standards for Mathematics Practice, so building these activities into your math block will be a great fit.  The games also strengthen reasoning processes.  Use them as centers or anchor activities.

There are so many fabulous ideas in this chapter!  For me the biggest take-aways were using growth mindset terminology and having constant visual reminders available for students.  To that end, I have created two freebies for you.  The first is a collection of People With Persistence posters for your classroom.  They are formatted to be 8 1/2 x 11".  Just print, laminate, and they are ready to hang in your classroom.

Mindsets in the Classroom Book Study Chapter 8 – Helping Students Adopt a Growth Mindset  - Links, downloads, and resources for the classroom
Click on the image to download the PDF file.

Next, is a collection of Growth Mindset Quotes for the Classroom.  They are also formatted to be 8 1/2 x 11".  Just print, laminate, and they are ready to hang in your classroom.

Mindsets in the Classroom Book Study Chapter 8 – Helping Students Adopt a Growth Mindset  - Links, downloads, and resources for the classroom

Mindsets in the Classroom Book Study Chapter 8 – Helping Students Adopt a Growth Mindset  - Links, downloads, and resources for the classroom
Click on the image to download the PDF file.

Here is my chapter summary handout.  Click on the image below to download the PDF file.

Mindsets in the Classroom Book Study Chapter 8 – Helping Students Adopt a Growth Mindset  - Links, downloads, and resources for the classroom
I hope that you are following along with our book study. If you are just joining in, you can go back to the beginning here.  Better yet, we would love to have you join in with us.  It's not too late!  Start at the beginning or jump in now.  There are prizes to be won!  For links and resources, check out and follow my Pinterest board. 

Follow Confessions of aTeaching Junkie's board Mindsets in the Classroom on Pinterest.

Friday, June 19, 2015

"Gifted" Education and a Growth Mindset

Welcome back for the Mindsets in the Classroom book study for Chapter 7.  As the mother of two "gifted" children, this chapter was very eye-opening for me.

The National Association of Gifted Children has concluded that one of the main reasons that barriers to participation in advanced programs exist "is due to a conception of giftedness that emphasizes and values only already developed ability."  The process often fails to identify children who are less likely to live in a literacy-rich environment where reading, writing and language are considered important for academic success.  But some otherwise capable kids may not be able to demonstrate their advanced learning potential on tests or performance assessments until after they have access to challenging curriculum and enriched learning opportunities.  

Consider this:  Are students in your school or district allowed these enriched opportunities if they do not exhibit already developed abilities?

Working primarily in Title 1 schools, I have definitely seen evidence of this.

In this chapter, Ricci cautions against the use of the term "gifted" because it often manifests a fixed mindset  in the students.  " To the extent that young people believe they simply have a gift that makes them intelligent or talented, they may not put in the work necessary to sustain that talent, moreover, the gifted label may turn some children into students who are overly cautious and challenge-avoidant."

Gifted Education and a Growth Mindset - Mindsets in the Classroom book study on Confessions of a Teaching Junkie
All children possess gifts and/or talents in a variety of traditional and nontraditional areas.

Rather than using the term "gifted," consider instead word or phrases like high-potential learners or highly motivated.  Since all students have potential that needs to be encouraged, overuse the word potential instead of the word gifted.
Gifted Education and a Growth Mindset - Mindsets in the Classroom book study on Confessions of a Teaching Junkie
Chapter seven also cautions against early ability grouping because of the negative messages that may be conveyed to those students not in the "high" or "accelerated" groups.
Gifted Education and a Growth Mindset - Mindsets in the Classroom book study on Confessions of a Teaching Junkie
At the elementary level most students' need can be met in responsive, differentiated classrooms with flexible instructional groups.  At the middle school and high school levels instructional choices should be available such as standard and advancedaccelerated, enriched or honors courses.

Finally, the goal of all education should be developing the instructional philosophy that addresses the needs of our most advanced learners while allowing access to enriching instruction to ALL learners.

I hope that you are following along with our book study. If you are just joining in, you can go back to the beginning here.  Better yet, we would love to have you join in with us.  It's not too late!  Start at the beginning or jump in now.  There are prizes to be won!  For links and resources, check out and follow my Pinterest board. 

Follow Confessions of aTeaching Junkie's board Mindsets in the Classroom on Pinterest.

Communicating With Parents About Growth Mindset


Once you have decided to establish (or strengthen) a growth mindset in your classroom or school, you must educate the parents as well as yourself and your students.It is important to bring parents on board with growth mindset so that kids hear a consistent message at home and at school.  It is important that all adults in a child's life never blame genetics for perceived capabilities. There must be the consistent message that
Communicating With Parents About a Growth Mindset - Mindsets in the Classroom book study on Confessions of a Teaching Junkie  
A critical message to communicate with parents is the importance of encouraging resilience in their children. Some suggestions presented in the chapter for building resilience include:
  • Using growth mindset praise.
Communicating With Parents About a Growth Mindset - Mindsets in the Classroom book study on Confessions of a Teaching Junkie

  • Model flexibility.  Change is part of living.  Let your children see you having a flexible mentality when thigs do not go your way.  Do not let them see that frustrating situations get the best of you.
  • A child with hope believes there can be a positive side to most situations.

Communicating With Parents About a Growth Mindset - Mindsets in the Classroom book study on Confessions of a Teaching Junkie
  • Help children find their own niche by providing a variety of opportunities for them to find out what they enjoy and what they are good at.
You have to teach parents about the brain and neural connections so that they can be aware of the importance of persistence.  Let them participate in some of the student learning experiences, and encourage students to take home the things they create as part of these learning tasks to share with their parents and explain how their brains work.


Here's a great video clip to help introduce this concept with parents.  Then discuss the idea of a fixed mindset versus growth mindset.


Sometimes as a parent you have to be the one to communicate a growth mindset message to teachers. Here are some suggestions to use during your conversation(s.)
  • Always start with a positive.  Let the teacher know what your child likes about their class.
  • Share what brings out the best in your child at home.
  • Share what doesn't work.
  • Establish a partnership approach with the teacher.
Even if the teacher does not demonstrate a growth mindset, the praise language that is used can make a contribution to a growth mindset culture.

In closing, gather information from the parents before and after your growth mindset presentation to gauge their reception and understanding of the concepts, and provide them with ongoing communication about the importance of effort and persistence.

I hope that you are following along with our book study. If you are just joining in, you can go back to the beginning here.  Better yet, we would love to have you join in with us.  It's not too late!  Start at the beginning or jump in now.  There are prizes to be won!  For links and resources, check out and follow my Pinterest board. 

Follow Confessions of aTeaching Junkie's board Mindsets in the Classroom on Pinterest.


Thursday, June 18, 2015

TPT Seller Challenge - Week 1

I am linking up with some terrific bloggers for a



I have been really busy with vacation and trying to keep up with our book study, but I did carve out some time to work on the challenge for week 1.I have been working in recent months to update some of my older products to make them look better and more polished.  So this week's challenge fell in line with what I have been working on.  It was tough this week though to find the time!  But I did it. I finished updating one of my older power point files.


This file is a good seller in my store but has always felt sort of blah to me.

So I tweaked it by making the cover stand out more and adding my branding.  I also changed out all of the mix matched clipart for updated photos.  I think the new look is much more appealing and professional looking.

Want to check out other makeovers?  Head on over here!  I would love to hear what you think of the makeover.  If you have already purchased it, make sure to download the revised version.  If not you can grab it here.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

You Cannot Achieve Success Without Failure








I have been really reflecting on the last chapter in our book study, and thinking about how I have viewed (and conveyed) failure to my students.  It has been eye-opening for me.

Here's a great TED Talks video about rethinking failure that I found very positive.


From this TED Talk by Eduardo Zanetta,


I got this great quote...


I was also looking for some videos to show kids that they might find inspiring as well.  These would be good for older kids.


Sean Combs (AKA P Diddy) has a powerful message in this commencement address.


Here is my favorite quote of his.
And from the book by John C. Maxwell,
Sometimes You Win--Sometimes You Learn: Life's Greatest Lessons Are Gained from Our Losses
and
There is also a version of this book for teens.
Sometimes You Win--Sometimes You Learn for Teens: How to Turn a Loss into a Win

To download a PDF with these quotes, click here.
I would love to see some of your favorite quotes about success and failure.
Please share in the comments!
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