What an experience! The Phi Kappa Phi young scholars really shined at our second academic gathering. Continuing with the theme, "Overcoming Adversity," 4th, 5th, and 6th graders delved into the topic once again. The day was truly a team effort with three teachers and the principal interacting with almost 70 engaged students. Let's take a look at the day.
To start the day off, I introduced students to Angela Lee Duckworth's Ted Talk, "The Key to Success: Grit." Angela shared her experience of teaching 7th grade math in New York City. She shared how IQ may not be the primary indicator of success. She discovered that motivational factors played a major role in student success, in particular, grit. Grit . . . the ability to show courage and resolve in the face of adversity. Watch and see what Angela has to say. Notice the connection between grit, the growth mindset, and resilience.
Sunflower School's principal, Mrs. Quiroz, followed by introducing thesis statements. Using the Edutopia article, "Teaching Students the ABC's of Resilience," Mrs. Quiroz taught students how to effectively draft thesis statements with a three step process. Start with a question, provide reasons, then draft statements. The article revolved around two students, Lisa and Jenny. Each student took a different approach after doing poorly on a math test. When faced with Adversity, each us of has Beliefs that lead to Consequences. In the article, Albert Ellis, a psychologist in 1962, found that when people believe they have a choice in how they can react to situations, they can affect the consequences when adversity arises.
Mrs. Millan, our 5th grade GATE teacher, continued by providing an experience incorporating the 4 Cs and STEAM. Using the depth and complexity concept of, The Big Idea, students, in groups of 6, collaboratively drafted thesis statements of what they can do when faced with adversity. Responses included relying on family members, keeping your chin up, using the growth mindset, and never giving up. After writing their statements on a paper pillar, students stapled their pillar to a bulletin board to create a group "Temple of Grit."
Fourth grade GATE teacher, Mrs. Segura, culminated the gathering by asking students to dig deep, self-reflect, and think about a time when they experienced adversity. Students wrote details of their personal experiences on a large petal of a flower. A range of situations were represented from losing a soccer game, fighting with a parent, doing poorly on a test, to the death of a grandparent. The activity allowed students to take the abstract concept of adversity and make it concrete.
As a teacher, I am so fortunate to work with amazing, hard-working, resilient students. We continually strive to be better versions of ourselves. This Phi Kappa Phi event also showcased how collaboration with colleagues can have profound effects on students. Thank you, Mrs. Quiroz, Mrs. Millan, and Mrs. Segura for allowing me to be part of the Sunflower Suns team, growing students day by day.
As always, so proud of my sixth graders,