This afternoon we had a class full of intentionally diligent workers. I have spent a lot of my time this year working on changing the speech I use with everyone I interact with. Based off the theories found in the book Mindset you can train children (and adults) to be learners that work hard and practice - all with the language you use. I am often pointing out the efforts of children and avoiding praising the product they create. Today the kids fed it back to me without prompting - I'd call this a super win! I pointed out to the rest of the class that 'D' used the language "I tried it." with each handwriting attempt during our LONG handwriting lesson. How wonderful that we've reached a point where "trying it" is achieved. Remember at the beginning of the year how much it felt like pulling teeth when we were encouraging these same kiddos to "write"? Today kids were freely expressing that they "messed up" and/or "needed help" and/or "weren't sure how to make the letters". That is a win! We talk over and over about how making a mistake is such a great thing because it means you can try again, work hard, practice and get better - over time!
What's more, is that these kids sat and focused for the longest amount of time I've ever asked of them for one thing. We worked on writing the alphabet, one letter at a time, forming the letters correctly, for over an hour - and they did it! We spent the next bit of time acting and dancing to Peter and the Wolf and then were able to work on our reading and counting to 100. I incorporated a lot more movement into the counting to 100 with jumping to 100 and marching to 100. They were so excited to try and jump all the way to 100 :). I am so thrilled with the progress these kids are making. Everywhere we turn they are growing and learning and working hard at learning - intentionally. You should pat yourselves on the back, you are raising fantastic children.