Last week we started Gratitude Journals. A Gratitude Journal includes things that we are grateful for and helps us to focus on the positives in our lives.
Gratitude helps us to see what is there instead of what isn’t. As part of our Positive Education program we are focusing on gratitude and all the positive effects of being grateful. Experts say that you can “rewire” your brain to be happy by simply recalling 3 things you’re grateful for every day for 21 days.
The benefits of practicing gratitude are nearly endless. People who regularly practice gratitude by taking time to notice and reflect upon the things they’re thankful for experience more positive emotions. simply keeping a gratitude journal—regularly writing brief reflections on moments for which we’re thankful—can significantly increase well-being and life satisfaction.
We look forward to sharing some entries from our Gratitude Journals!
As part of our Positive Education program we have been learning about growth mindset.
People with a growth mindset believe that they can learn, change, develop and improve. The brain works like a muscle , it grows from hard work, determination, effort and lots of practice. Our brains grow by effort, practice and hard work and making mistakes are part of the learning process.
People with a fixed mindset believe that person is born ‘smart’ and stays that way for life. But research has proven that this is not the case. The brain gets stronger and grows when you use it.
Inside the cortex of the brain are billions of tiny nerve cells, called neurons. The nerve cells have branches connecting them to other cells in a complicated network. Communication between these brain cells is what allows us to think and solve problems.
When you learn new things, these tiny connections in the brain actually multiply and get stronger. The more that you challenge your mind to learn, the more your brain cells grow. Then, things that you once found very hard or even impossible become easier. The result is a stronger, smarter brain.
Sometimes people miss out on the chance to grow a stronger brain because they think they can’t do it, or that it’s too hard. It does take work, just like becoming stronger physically. Sometimes it even hurts!! But when you feel yourself get better and stronger, all the work is worth it!
We can learn anything with hard work, determination, effort and practice!
What are the important messages in these clips?
What can you do when you are faced with a challenge?
What does the quote from the video, “mistakes can make you smarter” mean?
Have you had an experience where you have learnt from your mistakes?
How can we support each other when facing challenges?
Why is the word “yet” so powerful in these examples? Have you had a “yet” moment?
What are neurons and how do we make connections between our neurons?
What can you do this week to make some new connections in your brain?
What is a challenge that you have faced that has helped grow your brain? What’s a new challenge you want to tackle now?
What kind of attitude should we take on when facing a challenge, and why is this important?
What are some strategies we can use when facing a challenge?
On Friday, Martin Heppell from The Resilience Project visited our school to talk to us about positive mental health.
The Resilience Project believes that resilience and happiness are based on the three pillars of gratitude, empathy and mindfulness. The research that supports their work suggests that we can improve our positive emotions by practising gratitude and performing acts of kindness. When we express gratitude on a regular basis we tend to be happier and more resilient. Performing small acts of kindness for others can also make us feel good and create positive emotion.
Martin also spoke about three things that are readily available that can help to “flip” our mood if we are feeling down and that is music, exercise and laughter.
Below is a link to one of the clips that we watched about kindness:
What important messages stood out to you from Martin’s presentation?
What small acts of kindness have been done for you or have you done for others?
This week Ms Browne started introducing us to the shortlisted books for Children’s Book Of The Year.
The first shortlisted book for us to read was Suri’s Wall by Lucy Estela and Matt Ottley.
“Magnificently illustrated and beautifully written, Suri’s Wall immerses the reader into an imaginative and empowering story with messages of hope, wonder and friendship. The intricate details of Matt Ottley’s illustrations not only provide the reader with many amusing scenes to observe, it also adds visual depth to Lucy Estela’s heartfelt story.
Some questions for people who have read the book:
What sort of life do you think Suri has?
Consider the use of colour on the page. What mood is created with this colour?
Do you think that the other children should be afraid of Suri just because she is tall?
What does it say about her that she makes the other children feel better even when they were so mean to her?
How might stories like the ones Suri tells help the children to deal with their situation?
Do you think Suri does the right thing or the wrong thing in making up stories about what she can see rather than telling the children the truth?
What did you think of this story? How did it make you feel?
This week the book that Ms Browne chose for us to share during our library time was Gary by Leila Rudge.
Gary, is a pigeon who can’t fly but yearns to go on adventures.
Once again, Ms Browne, has chosen a book filled with beautiful illustrations and a strong message. Gary shows us that no matter what obstacles get in our way we can still follow our dreams. We all have our differences and sometimes we need to think creatively and to focus on our other strengths to achieve our goals.
Another popular book by the same author is ‘Ted’. This story follows a little dog named Ted who sets out to find his perfect place, but no matter where he goes, he doesn’t stand out. Ted just wants someone to notice him!
What did you think about the book Gary?
How did you feel about the message that was presented in the story?
What was your favourite illustration?
What has been the best adventure that you have been on?
This week the book Ms Browne (our librarian) chose for us was Fuzzy Doodle, written by Melinda Szymanik and illustrated by Donovan Bixley.
It is a beautifully written story that can be appreciated by children and adults. The illustrations were stunning and we were able to recognise the figurative language because of the work we have been doing on poetry in the classroom. Fuzzy, is a doodle that comes to life and starts to consume words, pictures and stories.
Some of the poetic devices and figurative language used include:
Today (Sunday 5th June) is World Environment Day! Our school celebrated and recognised this day on Friday. We all wore green as a way to promote awareness about the importance of caring for our environment.
This year’s theme for W.E.D is ‘Go Wild For Life’ and we are being encouraged to celebrate all the species that are under threat. This includes animals and plants that are threatened within our local areas as well as at a national or global level. The message is that we can all work together to make a difference. To find out more visit the website: