One of the best things about September is the optimism and hope that each student has for the new school year. When the Grade 4 students heard about the devastation caused by Hurricane Irma, their response was one of compassion and action. They have been actively planning and creating a fundraiser for the Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund. They have named this project “Hope Takes Flight” because their goal is to raise $100 by selling paper origami cranes at Acadia University.
This week they visited the KC Irving Environmental Science Centre to determine if it was a suitable location and persuade the Manager to waive the usual reservation fee. The students also explored the botanical gardens, spoke with tourists from Minnesota, enjoyed reading in the garden room and played tag. They had a very interesting (and funny) conversation with Chemistry Professor John Murimboh about the importance of spelling and grammar, which can be viewed here.
What these conversations and initiatives reveal is the growth mindset of each Grade 4 student. Growth mindset is a concept developed by Stanford University Professor Carol Dweck. It is the belief that a person’s abilities and intelligence can be developed through practice, hard work, dedication and motivation. A fixed mindset is the notion that intelligence and talent alone will lead to success. Children with a fixed mindset are more likely to fear failure, give up on tasks they feel are too difficult and feel threatened by the success of others. Research has shown that children who have a growth mindset are more likely to learn from their mistakes, take challenges head on, seek feedback and put in more effort.
For more information on how to encourage a growth mindset at home, check out Carol Dweck’s TedTalk.
Finishing the week off and in celebration of International Peace Day on September 21, the Grade 4 class listened to Cat Stevens' Peace Train song in the car on the drive to Acadia. The lyrics were written in 1971 and remain optimistic and powerful.