Wednesday, October 28, 2015


It's Red Ribbon Week in Cedar Falls Schools and our theme this year is...  "Respect Yourself: Get Your Grit On & Be Drug Free!"

Students in all grades have been learning what grit is, and I would love to help parents understand the concept as well.

The short of it is that grit is all about not giving up on healthy goals even when things get hard, tricky, or frustrating. It's about going for the big goals even though less demanding goals may come easier or include less chance for failure.

Watch this video by psychologist Angela Duckworth to learn more!

Helping children develop a growth mindset (i.e., "I am successful when I work hard and persevere despite challenges") instead of a fixed mindset (i.e., "I am successful because I was born talented") is an important part of GRIT. Watch this video for tips about how to encourage a growth mindset in youth!

Last but not least, be sure to check out the Hansen wall display that includes examples of times when our students have demonstrated GRIT.

GRIT - It's a good thing!

Wednesday, October 14, 2015


My last blog post mentioned the word grit, and I told you it's a good thing. The clue I'll share today about grit is that one of the first ways to start demonstrating grit is to use the word "yet." Any time we find ourselves saying or thinking, "I can't do that," we can add the word "yet" on the end. That is exactly what 1st graders have been working on during counselor visits this cycle. We checked out Janelle Monae's song too! Students enjoyed it!

Monday, October 12, 2015

Rocking Our School Shoes

Melvin, my puppet, has been rocking some new school shoes on our visits to kindergarten this cycle. We learned how Pete the Cat approaches new situations by focusing on the positive instead of worrying (i.e., he sings a song about rocking in his school shoes). We talked about what we can say to ourselves to help ourselves when a project or assignment feels tricky or we're feeling unconfident in a new situation. "Believe in yourself" has been mentioned by a student in every classroom thus far!

We have been spending the last part of the lesson making a project and working on a classroom book that is all about how we rock our own school shoes at Hansen!

This lesson relates to upcoming lessons school-wide that will center on the topic of girt. Not sure what girt is? What I'll tell you is that grit is a good thing. Stay tuned, there is more information to come!