Mindset is a powerful tool. How you think about tasks and daily endeavors can be altered by the way you think. It is the division between "I can" and "I can't". When you are negative it can create obstacles and eliminate growth. But when you have a growth mindset - you believe in change. You believe where you are in life is not fixed and opportunities are endless. It can completely obliterate negative thoughts and inspire children (and adults) to be better!
As a child, school and academics did not come naturally to me. It was a struggle - from elementary school through high school. I was fortunate enough to have parents and teachers (one in particular) that believed in me, encouraged me, and CONSTANTLY told me "yes you can". It wasn't until college that I found my groove and I'm one hundred percent positive it's because these amazing people had instilled in me a growth mindset.
As a teacher and a mother, I want my kids (biological and students) to have that same mentality - that they can do anything. They will have bad days and downright vile days and sometimes these days can turn into weeks... Where putting together a puzzle seems impossible, reading a chapter book is daunting, and the thought of decimals causes stomachaches. But there will also be glorious days and days when they finally say "aha! I finally did it!" And those moments are the best.
For me, books are the mightiest weapon. Read them. Enjoy them. And make each storytime count. These are some of my (new) favorite books about mindset and perseverance. Each character (real and fictional) experiencing their own hardships in a wide array of perspectives. I love them and I've already purchased them all to share with my two girls and all the babes at my school.
Niko Draws a Feeling by Bob Raczka
This book opened up the door of visual/creative expression. Every house and school counselor needs this book. So so good.
The Journey by Francesca Sanna
When I read The Journey by Francesca Sanna, I knew it was something special. Something every kid that walked into my classroom needed to read. Something my daughters needed to hear. So I bought it. And how relevant it is now.
The Bad Seed by Jory John
My kid loves any story where the main character is a little naughty... especially when that character makes a big change. This is such a good one.
Papa's Mechanical Fish by Candace Fleming
I’m always looking for books that I can use in the classroom and enjoy at home. Two birds with one stone and an excuse to buy another picture book. Based on inventor Lodner Phillips, who used to take his family on underwater adventures in Lake Michigan. This book checks all the boxes.The illustrations are fantastic, it has repeating dialogue and ideas (which I love for littles and teaching main ideas), and a great message about having perseverance and imagination.
We're All Wonders by R.J. Palacio
The picture book companion to Wonder. I love how this book takes all the beauty from the novel and puts it in terms and illustrations that my preschooler can understand and appreciate.
Out, Out, Away From Here by Rachel Woodworth
A beautifully illustrated book about emotions. It’s a great book for stop and talk moments and drawling attention to the moments that are most uncomfortable.
Mae Among The Stars by Roda Ahmed
A perfect book for diversity and women equality. This picture book about Mae Jemison is spot on. I bought this book for my girls - but it needs to be in all the classrooms too. Persevering. Inspiring. Such a needed addition for space lovers and history lovers.
Perfectly Norman by Tom Percival
Perfectly Norman is a beautifully illustrated book (beginning in blacks and grays and white, then ending in a striking rainbow of colors) that encourages kids to embrace their uniqueness, celebrate their differences, and to never hide who they truly are.
The 5 Misfits by Beatrice Alemagna
Punctured. Folded. Feeble. Upside down. And Wrong One. All a bunch of hot messes but discover that they are all pretty amazing. I bought this book to add to my classroom library... because it’s such a fabulous book about mindset... and because I love Beatrice Alemagna and needed another one of her books.
The Bad Mood and the Stick by Lemony Snicket
When I first read this book, I wasn’t too sure about it and I know some mamas who don’t like it at all... but my girl really enjoys it and it’s full of teachable moments and conversation starters... like how you shouldn’t laugh at others, get mad about not getting ice cream, and how you should never take your pants off in public
Buy them all!