Friday, March 28, 2014

Update from EFMS Achievement Skill Program

Location: Enosburg Falls Middle School
March, 27th (2014)

This week we launched another part of our achievement skill program at Enosburg Falls Middle School. During our once per month community meeting with the entire school, 8th grade leaders from each of our advisories helped to organize the present for the entire school. We enjoyed the sounds of Pharrell William's Happy while we were taking our seats in the auditorium and also viewed clips from The Science of Character.


-8th grade TA council prepared a presentation to explain each out achievement skills (Perseverance, Integrity, Kindness, Optimism, and Self-Control). The students used definitions, memes, celebrity icons, and examples of the skill in action here at school in their presentation.

-We ordered a banner to be posted in the hallway. The banner will hold "star moments". Star moments are marked with smaller stars to celebrate good work. Star moments can be submitted to be displayed by students for other students, adults for students, or students for adults. Here is our first round of star moments:

-In addition to "Star Moments" we will honor an achievement "ALL-STAR" each month. An all-star can be a student or adult from our school community or beyond. An all-star is someone that embodies one of the achievement skills and can serve as a standout example for others. Our core teachers will review nominations on monthly basis and choose one or two "all-stars" per month. All-Stars are honored during our community meeting, and we will ask that they give a little speech as well. All-Stars will be given a black hooded Enosburg sweatshirt as visual indicator of their honor. Nominations are accepted online by clicking here:


Our first ever All-Star was Mr. Chris Brigham. Mr. Brigham serves as EFMHS's athletic director. In a survey of area education leaders, Mr. Brigham was nominated more than anyone else. He was chosen as an all-star of optimism! He gave a fantastic speech to the students and is a great first all-star. Mr. Brigham was introduced by JROTC instructor, Colonel Peter O'Connell who described all the extra work Mr. Brigham does to improve our school community. He also mentioned his perpetual smile, and Mr. Brigham's well deserved nickname, "Yoda". Thanks to both of our guests for getting us off to such a great start!

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

My Collection of Online Resources: Grit, Self-Control, Social Emotional Learning, Growth Mindset, & More

Why Social Emotional Learning:

  • "The Role of Moral and Performance Character Strengths in Predicting Achievement and Conduct Among Middle School Urban Students”  (2013 research study)

Angela Duckworth & Grit

Growth Mindset:

Self Control:

The Role of Kindness/Empathy:


Related Resource Lists/Sources For Teachers:

Other Videos:

Related Book List Recommendations:

Berger, R. (2003). An Ethic of Excellence: Building a Culture of Craftsmanship with Students. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann Publishing.

Coyle, D. (2009). The Talent Code: Greatness Isn’t Born. It’s Grown. Here’s How. New York, NY: Bantam Books.

Dweck, C.S. (2006). Mindset: How You Can Fulfill Your Potential. New York, NY: Random House.

Jensen, Eric (2013). Engaging Students with Poverty in Mind: Practical Strategies for Raising Achievement. Alexandria, VA: ASCD.

Maiers, A. (2012). Classroom Habitudes: Teaching Habits and Attitudes for 21st Century Learning. Bloomington, IN: Solution Tree Press.

Mischel, W. (2014). The Marshmallow Test: Mastering Self Control. Little, Brown and Company.

Palacio. R.J. (2012). Wonder. New York, NY: Random House Publishing.

Pink. D. (2009) Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us. New York, NY: Riverhead Books.

Seligman, M. (2007) The Optimistic Child: A Proven Program to Safeguard Children Against Depression and Build Lifelong Resilience. New York, NY: Houghton Mifflin. 

Tough, P. (2012). How Children Succeed: Grit, Curiosity, and The Hidden Power of Character. New York, NY: Houghton Mifflin.

We Didn’t Eat the Marshmallow, The Marshmallow Ate Us 
(NY Times Article from January 10th)

4 Types of Responses to Positive Events

The Big Study that Connects Self-Control to Health, Wealth, & Public Safety

Teaching Adolescents to become Learners: University of Chicago: June 2012

2003 Research on Counting Blessings