Friday, November 22, 2013

Making Mistakes

The Girl Who NEVER Made Mistakes

Really? Not possible, not even for a minute? Everyone, whether they admit to it or not, makes mistakes. At any age accepting mistakes can be very difficult especially in a society where "perfect" is believed to actually exist. The unsaid social and cultural pressure on children to be "perfect" has increased anxiety among the youngest children. As difficult as it may be, letting kids make mistakes and then being there to help encourage them to try again will help to build confident kids.

The Girl Who Never Made Mistakes by Mark Pett and Gary Rubinstein is an awesome book to teach children what a mistake is, mistakes are a necessary part of learning, and mistakes are okay. The character Beatrice Bottomwell helped us to understand there is no such thing as "perfect" and that worrying will not help mistakes.

I have used this lesson with 1st and 2nd grade classrooms. With the 2nd graders, I have them take a pre-survey to assess their prior knowledge and beliefs about mistakes before we read the story and have any discussion. At the end of the lesson, I have them take the post-survey to re-evaluate their beliefs about is amazing to see the impact of one, 25 minute lesson, on students' beliefs about themselves and the world around them.

We learned helpful ways to deal with mistakes; laugh at our mistakes if it doesn't hurt anyone else, find a way to correct or fix it, apologize if our mistake effects others, never give up, and try try again.
The lesson and worksheet was adapted from Small Group Counseling for Children, Grades K-2, by Diane S. Senn and the pre/post survey was taken from Making the Link: Helping Children Link School Habits with the World of Work Grades 2-5 by Lisa King, Ed. S., LPC.
ASCA Standard: A:A1.4: Accept mistakes as essential to the learning process.

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