Tag Archives: Kristi Mraz

How to (Re)Integrate Your Beliefs Into Your Curriculum

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This post was written by Kristi Mraz and originally published on the author's own blog, kinder confidential. Find more at kinderconfidential.wordpress.com


Now is the time of the year when the daydreams of August turn into the real work of teaching. What were your hopes and dreams before school started? Have they gotten buried under a heap of paperwork, assessments, and things not going the way you hoped? Let’s dust them off and bring them back! My co-author and all around favorite human, Christine Hertz, and I are working on a blog series about integrating your beliefs into your curriculum, with (hopefully) some handy tips along the way.

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Mindset and Understanding How The Brain Does What it Does

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In A Mindset for Learning, authors Kristine Mraz and Christine Hertz show teachers how, through explicit instruction, they can their turn classroom thinking from that of a fixed mindset to one of a growth mindset, and how together students and teachers can create classrooms of risk and resilience. In the following excerpt, the authors talk about the power that our brain's established neural pathways have over our interpretation of information, and how we have the power to change. 

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Tips and Tools for Student Research, Grades 3-5

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by Anna Gratz Cockerille​

To research well, students must draw upon an array of reading and writing skills, flexibly, simultaneously, and confidently. They must skim through texts to locate relevant parts, read across and integrate information from multiple texts, accumulate knowledge and grow ideas, and read critically, considering the authorial intent of their sources. They must organize their thinking and their writing to communicate their learning with others. 

When students research, then, the full range of their literacy skills is on display.  Further, engaging in research is essential preparation for the kind of reading and thinking students will need to do as secondary and college students, and as informed citizens, attempting to make sense of the world around them. The opportunity for students to engage in research projects of all shapes and sizes is crucial.

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Purposeful Play: Igniting Joyful Learning Across the Day

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by Anna Gratz Cockerille

We believe there is play in work and work in play.

— Kristi Mraz, Alison Porcelli, and Cheryl Tyler, in Purposeful Play: A Teacher’s Guide to Igniting Deep and Joyful Learning Across the Day

Observe a classroom where children are engaged in purposeful play, and you’ll be staggered by the bevy of skills you will see on display. You’ll see children honing math skills as they count, divide, multiply. You’ll see them utilizing their oral language to the hilt as they negotiate, imagine, describe. You’ll see play that includes writing, play that includes reading, play that includes critical thinking. To be sure, you’ll see a teacher moving among the children, intervening with questions, tips, sometimes suggestions. But his or her intervention will be to guide, not to direct. For when children play purposefully, this time is sacred. This is a time in which they can truly become

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PLC Series: Using Charts…Smarter!

Welcome to the Heinemann PD Professional Learning Community Series. This month we will discuss how to tap into the power of visual memory.

“No matter what area of the curriculum, we found that clear visuals, simple language, and constant reflection on charts were the key to helping children gain independence and agency in their learning. The more we charted, the less repeating we did and more teaching was possible.”          

 -Kristi Mraz and Marjorie Martinelli in Smarter Charts for Math,          Science and Social Studies.

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PLC Series: Play as a Priority

Welcome to the Heinemann PD Professional Learning Community Series. This month, we share conversation about the role and necessity of play in learning.

One of the biggest challenges teachers have is prioritizing what goes into the classroom schedule. Often, elements held in our hearts as high priority get pushed aside due to priorities of other decision makers. Play is one such element, one that is not only a right of childhood, but an experience that develops and enhances children as humans and curious learners.

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