I was in a school that does a lot of work with growth mindset the other day. There were so many things I saw that I hope to start implementing eventually in my own class but the one thing I decided to get going immediately was a kind of challenge book. The school I was in use brainology and the year 1 class I observed called these books – brainology books.
I watched them using them for their early morning task. The class teacher had chosen 3 key spellings for each child that they needed to work on (these were taken from their literacy work). The 3 focus spellings were being practised by the children all over a page of their brainology book in different colour pencils, in lists, making patterns/ pictures. The children explained that their brainology book was to improve their learning (I was really impressed by the ability of the year 1s to verbalise this to me so clearly). They also told me that they could choose other words from the lists on the wall that they needed to get better at and practise them too. On the walls of the class were the tricky words from each phase of letters and sounds. I loved the focus I saw from the children to get on and practise. I decided this was something I must get started!
Growth mindset is developing in my school but we don’t use the brainology programme so I wondered what to call the book. Somehow (as certain children in my class are obsessed with alliteration) the idea of a ‘Brain Boogie Book’ popped up! I thought the activities the children would do in the book would make their brain wake up and move! Currently I am going to get them to use it for their register time: AM and PM. In the morning, they will add their number bond practise work to it which is something they do daily but it will help me to keep their work all together! In the afternoon, they will practise their 3 key words and any other words (topic, HFW or based from their current phoneme/spelling focus) they feel need work.
As they get used to the idea of working on things independently, I will encourage them to use the book to practise any maths concepts they find tricky, any sentence types we are learning, record strategies that help their learning etc… or to record things they have found tricky. They will have the book in their tray and can access it during times when they may have completed other work and can independently practise what they feel needs work.
I don’t know if this will work but it was such a simple idea that I thought I would give it a go!