Climate of Trust

I think we often educate students to be afraid of failure. Growth mindset is becoming more predominant in education, but we still talk about pass/fail in standardized testing. In the book, it emphasized that a classroom culture should be safe and supportive with peers and teachers. The ability to tolerate and accept failure is critical. Students who are afraid of failure can be tempted to avoid or quit reaching for their goals.  A climate of trust is critical for students from ALL backgrounds- regardless of ethnicity, socioeconomic status, or even academic abilities. The student with the highest and lowest grades in the class are both at risk of being paralyzed by a fear of failure. Without a climate where failure is accepted and even encouraged (when difficult concepts may require trial and error), ability and knowledge are rendered insufficient.

Be The One For Kids – Group


Students at Sully need to be taught that the word “fail” or getting something wrong should not be a negative thing. FAIL just means “First attempt in learning”. Students need to learn persistence and take risks!


Every student should have their moment to say hello. We should find a way to say hello each time a student as the pass by in the hallway, outside, or any setting. That simple acknowledgement could completely change their day.


As hard as it is, leave the “negativity” in your car. Students should always see you as a positive influence. It is okay to be human but your students need you to be the positive one.


Do not be afraid to try something new.  It is okay if something does not work out the first time, it just means you failed and need to try again!


Students will be on time if they want to be there. Find a way to connect with each student so they find a way to be there.



In The Wild Card  the authors encouraged teachers to use their own creativity, rather than trying to replicate someone else’s ideas. In order to be an effective teacher, who acts as a guiding force (the “wild card”) in your students’ lives, you need to be authentically yourself. Doing so will allow you to put passion into your work, which your students will respond to.


After reading The Wild Card, something that stuck with me was the idea of a room transformation. The authors mentioned that some topics are challenging to teach because they aren’t relevant to students and it can be tough to get their attention about the topic. Our team has already had a discussion about doing a room transformation for one of our topics in the first quarter and I’m very excited to see how the students’ engagement is affected with this room transformation!



The book Wild Card was very interesting.  I liked that it encouraged teachers to step outside of their comfort zones and try new and engaging room transformation with their students.  They made a valid point of making sure that creativity went hand in hand with standards and provided students rigorous content.


Continuing to build relationships

Participating in your students home lives helps you to connect and appreciate where they are coming from. It lets them see you care and gives you insight into their world so you can really make learning relevant to them. Small things like attending a soccer game, birthday party, or even having lunch together are easy ways to start this process and build the relationships.



Toolbox Strategies

I really enjoyed reading this book because it really related to my classroom.  One thing that really stuck out to me was having a toolbox of strategies that can be used in the classroom.  One of the strategies that can be used in the classroom are cheers and chants to get students excited about learning.  Another toolbox strategy is to build relationships and learn about your students’ culture.  I as a teacher learn what is important to them and what is exciting to them so I can use this as a building block for new learning.

Sara Stotler


I feel as though we’ve worked on going from “Set-Product Track” to “Problem Track” where the problem the teacher provides leads the students through thier PBL. Where I think we really need to get to now is the “Open-Ended Track” where you, as a teacher have your HIT and the students demonstrate what they know HOWEVER they choose.

Communication, Communication, Communication

The big thing I got from reading 140 Twitter Tips for Educators was the importance of communication with parents, coworkers, and other educational professionals.  This mode of communication is not only a handy way to relay knowledge and expertise, but it also is a quick and easy way for parents to see what’s going on in the classroom.  I know from experience that my past students’ parents loved when they got to see their child on my twitter.  It gave them a way to connect to their child and his or her learning!  I also loved being able to see what other teachers and specialists in the building were up to as well as learn new fun and exciting ideas I could try in my own classroom.

One fun new twitter tip I learned is to subscribe to a Twitter Education List.  This is a way to make sure you don’t miss any tweets about any interests you have and to stay in the know about anything new in that area.  For instance, since I am a second grade teacher, I might want to subscribe to an education list about K-2 curriculum resources, or technology within the K-2 classroom.  This will be sure to put any tweets about that on my twitter feed so that I don’t miss out on anything new!  Not only can you gain from this aspect of the twitter sphere, you can add to it yourself by creating your own list of Twitter profiles you might feel others could benefit from following!

I look forward to the coming year and cannot wait to test out all I have learned in my book!

The Wild Card

After finishing the Wild Card, I am motivated to try to increase student engagement this year. I want my students to be eager to come to school and be excited about learning! In the past, I have made some dance moves to go with content as well as tried to incorporate songs/jingles into lessons. This next year, I would like to step it up to use even more song and dance into curriculum. I would love to even give students the opportunity to come up with their own dance moves/songs so they can be invested in their own learning and understand the content we teach.

My second grade team and I have already started brainstorming and planning room transformations to peak student engagement next year. As a team, we want to find ways to surprise our students and get them to be excited about learning. I don’t just want students to show that they have mastered the curriculum we are trying to teach, I want them to become life long learners!