Words by Mrs. Debbie Szarko, Lower Division Librarian
I started working at Academy at the Lakes during the second year of its inception. After working for five years, I decided to start a family. So, I took a hiatus for a while to do the very important job of raising children. I never strayed far though. I was always visiting Mrs. Grifo and helping her in the classroom. When I had the opportunity to return to Academy and work with Mrs. Grifo in her classroom, I was overjoyed. I was able to work with my best friend and do something we were both passionate about — teaching children. I had the opportunity to build a library program where I could create an excitement about reading. Additionally, teaching about virtues like empathy, compassion, and perseverance would allow me to impact the lives of students, not just for today, but into the future of Academy and beyond.
What is Growth Mindset?
A growth mindset occurs when children believe that, through effort and practice, they can develop and improve their talents and abilities.
Children who develop attributes of determination, perseverance, and resilience are better able to cope with mistakes and failures. They learn that mistakes help them to grow. So, when your child says that they can’t do something, it is important to respond by saying something along the lines of, “No, you can’t do it… yet.” or “I understand you are frustrated, but think about how exciting it will be when you can do this!
If you would like to understand more about growth mindset, I highly recommend watching the TED Talk given by Carol S. Dweck called The Power of Yet.
I have read the first three books to some students in the library last year. While I think the target audience of these books is 1st through 3rd Grade, I think some Kindergarten, as well as, 4th grade students would enjoy them too.
Don’t forget! You can purchase these books through Amazon Smile in support of Academy at the Lakes!
Award-winning author and illustrator Ashley Spires has created a charming picture book about an unnamed girl and her very best friend, who happens to be a dog. The girl has a wonderful idea. She is going to make the most MAGNIFICENT thing! She knows just how it will look. She knows just how it will work. All she has to do is make it, and she makes things all the time. Easy-peasy!? But making her magnificent thing is anything but easy, and the girl tries and fails, repeatedly. Eventually, the girl gets really, really mad. She is so mad, in fact, that she quits. But after her dog convinces her to take a walk, she comes back to her project with renewed enthusiasm and manages to get it just right.
It’s time for this year’s Going Places contest! Finally. Time to build a go-cart, race it—and win. Each kid grabs an identical kit, and scrambles to build. Everyone but Maya. She sure doesn’t seem to be in a hurry…and that sure doesn’t look like anybody else’s go-cart! But who said it had to be a go-cart? And who said there’s only one way to cross the finish line? This sublime celebration of creative spirit and thinking outside the box—both figuratively and literally—is ideal for early learners, recent grads, and everyone in between.
The Girl Who Never Made Mistakes by Mark Pett and Gary Rubinstein
Beatrice Bottomwell has NEVER (not once!) made a mistake…
Meet Beatrice Bottomwell: a nine-year-old girl who has never (not once!) made a mistake. She never forgets her math homework, she never wears mismatched socks, and she ALWAYS wins the yearly talent show at school. In fact, Beatrice holds the record of perfection in her hometown, where she is known as The Girl Who Never Makes Mistakes. Life for Beatrice is sailing along pretty smoothly until she does the unthinkable–she makes her first mistake. And in a very public way!
This is the story of one brilliant idea and the child who helps to bring it into the world. As the child’s confidence grows, so does the idea itself. And then, one day, something amazing happens. This is a story for anyone, at any age, who’s ever had an idea that seemed a little too big, too odd, too difficult. It’s a story to inspire you to welcome that idea, to give it some space to grow, and to see what happens next. Because your idea isn’t going anywhere. In fact, it’s just getting started.
Stephen is a little kid with big dreams of playing football. The odds are against him when he is tested and faced with challenges. This is a story of a boy who worked hard to defy the odds and become a leader.