Elementary School

The Power Of Captain Yet (Growth Mindset For Kids)

Instilling a growth mindset in children can be one of the greatest gifts you bestow upon them. It is the belief that abilities and intelligence can be developed through dedication and hard work. A key character in this developmental saga is the superhero we call ‘Captain Yet.’

Captain Yet is an imaginary figure symbolizing persistence, resilience, and the understanding that learning is a journey full of challenges that are not yet mastered but will be with time and effort. By introducing Captain Yet to children, we provide them with a powerful tool to cope with the inevitable frustrations of the learning process.

The concept of Captain Yet comes from helping kids realize that just because they haven’t accomplished something, it doesn’t mean they won’t ever be able to do it – they just haven’t succeeded “yet.” This simple addition of the word “yet” to any statement of defeat transforms it into a statement of hope and possibility.

In stories told to children, Captain Yet can come to rescue when they’re struggling. For example, when a child says, “I can’t solve this math problem,” Captain Yet swoops in with a cheerful reminder: “You can’t solve it yet!” This shift in language moves the focus from failure to a learning curve that leads toward success.

Here are some superpowers Captain Yet can teach kids:

Persistence: Captain Yet teaches children to keep trying, even when tasks seem difficult or impossible. The power of persistence lies in understanding that effort and perseverance lead to improvement and eventual success.

Positivity: Captain Yet brings an upbeat attitude towards challenges. Instead of giving up, kids learn to approach problems with optimism, knowing that each attempt is a step closer to victory.

Strategic Thinking: With Captain Yet by their side, kids understand that there are many paths to success. They learn to develop strategies and seek new methods if the initial approach doesn’t work.

Feedback Reception: The guidance of Captain Yet encourages kids to view feedback not as criticism but as valuable information that will help them grow and advance on their learning path.

Embracing Challenges: Fear of failure diminishes when kids are armed with a growth mindset. Captain Yet empowers them to embrace challenges as opportunities for growth instead of obstacles.

This not only applies to academic pursuits but also personal talents, social skills, and emotional intelligence. By practicing these principles early on, children cultivate resilience and adaptability—skills essential for their future careers and personal life challenges alike.

In closing, by harnessing the power of Captain Yet, we offer our children a lens through which they view their endeavors not as finite outcomes but as works in progress. This shapes confident learners who approach life’s endless possibilities not with trepidation but with curiosity and courage—a true hallmark of the growth mindset.

First Day of School 2023 Activities

The first day back at school is a pivotal moment for students and teachers alike. It sets the tone for the year ahead and offers a unique opportunity to build a sense of community and enthusiasm. As we look ahead to the 2023 school year, planning activities that are inclusive, engaging, and memorable can make all the difference. Below are several activities designed to kick off the academic year on a positive note.

1. Welcome Assembly with Ice Breakers:

Kick off the school year with a welcome assembly that introduces staff to the students. Use ice breaker activities that encourage students to share fun facts about themselves. A game of “Two Truths and a Lie” can be a great way for everyone to learn about each other.

2. Classroom Time Capsule:

Have each student write down their goals and expectations for the upcoming year as well as something unique about their current interests. Place these notes into a “time capsule” to be opened at the end of the school year. This can serve as a meaningful reflection activity months down the line.

3. School Scavenger Hunt:

Create a scavenger hunt that helps students familiarize themselves with the different areas of the school. For instance, finding specific artwork, identifying parts of the library, or locating various administrative offices can be part of the hunt.

4. Art Project:

Allow students to express their creativity with an art project that involves decorating classroom items such as book covers or storage boxes; or creating a collaborative mural representing themes such asdiversity, growth, or community.

5. ‘Get-to-Know-You’ Bingo:

Bingo cards can be created with various statements related to experiences or interests (e.g., “has traveled to another country,” “loves mystery novels,” etc.). Students mingle to find peers who match these descriptions and complete their bingo cards.

6. Circle Time Goals Setting:

In smaller classes or groups, have a circle time where students can share personal goals for the academic year. This is also an opportunity for teachers to set classroom norms and expectations collaboratively.

7. Community Building Games:

Interactive games like tug-of-war, relay races, or sports competitions provide a great way for new students to bond with returning ones while encouraging teamwork from day one.

8. Interactive Digital Tour:

For schools equipped with technology resources, an interactive digital tour featuring videos or presentations about school history, staff introductions, and extracurricular opportunities could be engaging for tech-savvy students.

9. Classroom Decoration Workshop:

Students take ownership of their learning environment by participating in decorating their classroom within certain guidelines set by their teacher. This could involve creating posters related to subjects being studied or coming up with class rules decoratively displayed.

10. “My Favorite Summer Memory” Sharing:

Encourage students to share stories about their summer break as an oral presentation or visual display (such as photos or drawings), which helps strengthen public speaking skills and fosters connections among classmates.

By incorporating these activities into the first day back at school in 2023, educators can help alleviate some of the anxiety that comes with new beginnings while establishing an inclusive environment that celebrates student voice and participation.

How to Create a Student-Led Classroom Social Contract in Elementary School

Creating a student-led classroom social contract is an empowering method that supports positive behavior and fosters a cooperative learning environment. By involving students in the creation process, they take ownership of the rules and expectations, leading to greater commitment to upholding them. Here’s how to develop a student-led classroom social contract in an elementary school setting.

Begin with a Class Discussion: Start an open discussion about what kind of classroom environment students want. Encourage them to think about how it would feel, look, and sound. This will help set the stage for their input on the social contract.

Brainstorming Session: After the discussion, move on to brainstorming potential rules or agreements that could help create that desired environment. Participate as a facilitator, ensuring everyone’s voice is heard and all suggestions are considered.

Group Consensus: Aim for consensus when deciding on the final set of rules. If there are disputes, facilitate conflict resolution strategies so that students learn how to compromise and come to agreements.

Drafting the Social Contract: Work together to write up the agreed-upon rules. This can be done as a whole group or by appointing a few student volunteers to compile everyone’s ideas.

Review and Revise: Once the draft is ready, review it with the class. Make sure everything is clear and understood by all. Allow for revisions if new ideas emerge or if something doesn’t seem quite right.

Signing Ceremony: To formalize the social contract, have a signing ceremony where all students (and perhaps even you as the teacher) sign the document. This adds significance to their commitment.

Display: Hang the finalized social contract in a visible area of the classroom where it can be referred to regularly.

Continual Reference and Reflection: Regularly reflect on the social contract with your students. Discuss what’s working and what might need changing as the year progresses.

By following these steps, you create not just a set of rules but also an agreement that reflects your students’ shared values and encourages a community spirit within your classroom.

My Top 5 Resources for Teaching Fire Safety in Grades 3-5


Teaching fire safety to young children is critical to help them understand the risks and learn essential skills for prevention and emergency response. As an educator, it can be challenging to find engaging resources that effectively convey these important messages to your students. To assist you in your quest for finding the best resources, here are my top five recommendations for teaching fire safety in grades 3-5.

1. National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) – Sparky School House

The NFPA’s Sparky School House (https://www.sparkyschoolhouse.org/) is a comprehensive source of engaging fire-safety educational materials for children in grades K-5. Apart from videos, games, and lesson plans, this resource offers printable activities like “Sparky’s Birthday Surprise” and “Sparky’s Home Fire Safety Checklist”. These tools give an interactive learning experience suitable for various learning styles.

2. Scholastic’s Fire Safety Teaching Guide

Scholastic’s Fire Safety Teaching Guide (https://www.scholastic.com/teachers/sponsored-content/fire-safety/) provides essential fire-safety documents specifically designed for teachers. This resource features lesson plans, printables, and interactive whiteboard activities that encourage students to think critically about fire safety. The activities in this guide can be easily incorporated into your existing curriculum and adapted to various grade levels.

3. American Red Cross – Prepare with Pedro Disaster Preparedness Activity Book

This activity book from the American Red Cross (https://www.redcross.org/content/dam/redcross/get-help/pdfs/pdf_Disaster/Prepare-with-Pedro_Book.pdf) features Pedro the Penguin who teaches children about fire safety and disaster preparedness in a fun, engaging manner. The book includes a variety of activities like crossword puzzles, word searches, coloring pages, and connect-the-dots games that teach valuable fire-safety tips while keeping students entertained.

4. U.S. Fire Administration – Kids’ Firetruck Foldup Activity Sheet

Another engaging resource for students in grades 3-5 is the Kids’ Firetruck Foldup Activity Sheet provided by the U.S. Fire Administration (https://www.usfa.fema.gov/downloads/pdf/publications/fire_truck_activity_sheet.pdf). This printable sheet includes important fire safety messages and instructions, as well as a template for children to build their own paper fire truck. By incorporating a hands-on activity, this resource educates students about fire safety while stimulating their creativity and fine motor skills.

5. Safe Kids Worldwide Share – Home Fire Drill Lesson Plan

Safe Kids Worldwide’s Home Fire Drill Lesson Plan (https://www.safekids.org/lesson-plan/) is a helpful tool for teaching students how to create and practice an effective home fire evacuation plan. This step-by-step exercise encourages a detailed discussion about fire-safety practices and the importance of communication with families about potential risks at home.


These resources offer an excellent starting point for teaching fire safety in grades 3-5. Remember, it’s important to engage your students in interactive activities that allow them to absorb essential knowledge while enjoying the learning process. By utilizing these tools, you can help your students develop lifelong fire-safety habits that will keep them safe both at home and school.

21 Festive St. Patrick’s Day Poems for Kids of All Ages

St. Patrick’s Day, a celebration of Irish culture and heritage, is a day full of fun and cheer for children and adults alike. From wearing green attire to hunting for leprechauns, this special day is filled with joyous activities. To bring even more warmth and excitement to the occasion, we’ve gathered 21 festive St. Patrick’s Day poems for kids of all ages to enjoy.

1. A Pot of Gold

A pot of gold at the rainbow’s end,

A little leprechaun, a lucky friend.

Chocolate coins, shamrocks galore,

On St. Patrick’s Day, there’s so much more.

2. I’m Wearing Green

I’m wearing green from head to toe,

A shamrock pin, my outfit’s aglow.

I joined the parade with an Irish jig,

A St. Paddy’s Day dancer so sprightly and big.

3. The Leprechaun Tale

In Ireland’s lore, a story persists,

About small leprechauns who love to assist.

If you can catch one – quick as a wink,

He’ll give you gold or a secret link!

4. Green Galore

Green balloons and colorful rainbows,

Emerald sweets and clover shows.

Today we celebrate the Irish way,

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

5. Searching for Shamrocks

Looking for shamrocks beneath the trees,

Searching for luck among the leaves.

The kids are laughing as they play

On this wonderful St. Patrick’s Day.

6. Leprechaun Laugh

Heard a tiny giggle from underneath my bed,

It was a little leprechaun with his hat on his head.

He ran away swiftly before I could spy,

But I’ll find that leprechaun, oh how I will try!

7. St. Patrick’s Mission

St. Patrick, Saint of Ireland well renowned,

Used a shamrock to teach the people all around.

A symbol of unity, the Trinity clear,

Three leaves for the Father, Son, and Spirit so dear.

8. Limerick Laughter

There once was a boy dressed in green,

On St. Patrick’s Day he would preen.

He danced a quick jig,

And ate candy quite big,

This festive boy surely was keen.

9. The Irish Blessing

May the wind be at your back, my dear,

And the sun smile upon you with cheer.

Through St. Patrick’s Day fun,

Our hearts become one,

As we celebrate Irish love without fear.

10. A Little Bit of Magic

St. Patrick’s Day brings magic indeed,

Leprechauns hiding and children freed.

To laugh and to play with all their might,

Till the sun sets on this Irish night.

From silly limericks to heartwarming blessings, these poems offer a glimpse into the joy and wonder of St. Patrick’s Day celebrations for both kids and adults. By sharing these poems with others, you spread the spirit of St. Paddy’s Day and create precious memories that will last for years to come.

5 Quick, Fun, and Easy Valentine’s Day Activities to Try in the Classroom

1. Valentine’s Day Card Exchange

A simple yet heartwarming activity for the classroom is organizing a card exchange. Have students create handmade cards for their fellow classmates and make sure everyone receives a little love. To add a twist, turn this into a secret admirer game where students have to guess who wrote them a Valentine’s card.

2. Heart-Shaped Origami

Teach your students the art of origami by creating heart-shaped masterpieces. Provide colorful paper and step-by-step instructions on how to fold hearts. This not only sparks creativity but also teaches students the value of patience and following directions. Students can even write messages inside the hearts before folding them!

3. Valentine’s Day Bingo

Combine learning and fun with a Valentine’s Day-themed bingo game! Create custom bingo cards featuring love-related words or pictures and distribute among the students. Use heart-shaped tokens or stickers as markers during gameplay. As numbers are called out, students will learn new terms related to Valentine’s Day while enjoying a friendly competition.

4. Secret Compliment Bag

Boost your students’ self-esteem by setting up a secret compliment bag in the classroom. Each student decorates a paper bag with their name on it, then classmates write kind words and compliments to fill each others’ bags anonymously. At the end of the day, every student will get to take home their personalized secret compliment bag containing positive affirmations from their peers.

5. Love Potion Science Experiment

Bring some excitement into your science lesson by conducting a love potion experiment! Combine vinegar, baking soda, and food coloring in a container to create an overflowing foamy reaction as an example of how different components can come together as one—just like love! Engage your students in conversation about chemical reactions as they observe this captivating experiment.

These five quick, fun, and easy Valentine’s Day activities are perfect for engaging your students in a day of heartfelt learning and entertainment. Integrating these Valentine’s themed activities into the classroom helps teach kindness, creativity, and valuable lesson concepts — while making lasting memories for every student.

Here’s What Happens When You Give Kids a Pile of Cardboard and a STEM Cart

Embracing creativity, sparking ingenuity, and unleashing innovation are core goals of the educational system, with an increasing focus on including STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) in the curriculum. One method gaining popularity is combining the power of STEM with hands-on materials, such as cardboard, to inspire young minds. In this article, we explore what happens when we give kids a pile of cardboard and a STEM cart at their disposal.

1. Unbridled Creativity

Cardboard is an unassuming material that offers endless possibilities for imaginative minds. When children are given the freedom to explore various shapes and structures that can be built with cardboard, they begin to understand the concept of design thinking. By working on their creations without any limitations, kids are encouraged to think outside the box and embrace failure as part of the learning process.

2. Collaborative Learning

Combining cardboard and a STEM cart fosters an environment where children work together to build different projects. This collaborative approach encourages teamwork and effective communication among peers. As children work together to bring their ideas to life, they develop essential social skills crucial for success in the tech-driven world of work.

3. Enhanced Problem-Solving Skills

Working with physical materials like cardboard helps children develop crucial problem-solving skills. The trial-and-error nature of building complex structures encourages kids to think critically about how different components fit together while constructing stable designs based on scientific principles such as force distribution and balance.

4. Real-World Application

The integration of a STEM cart alongside cardboard enables students to learn about electrical circuits, renewable energy sources, and other scientific concepts using everyday materials. From building solar-powered cars to creating miniature cities powered by wind energy, these hands-on experiences foster curiosity while illustrating science’s relevance in everyday life.

5. Improved Fine Motor Skills

Cutting cardboard, folding edges, and connecting pieces develop children’s fine motor skills, essential for various day-to-day activities. From holding utensils to typing on a keyboard, improved fine motor skills contribute to increased self-reliance and independence in children.

In conclusion, giving kids a pile of cardboard with a STEM cart is more than just an opportunity for creative exploration. It helps them develop valuable skills such as problem-solving, collaboration, and critical thinking, applicable across various aspects of their lives. Teachers and parents alike should encourage this hands-on approach to STEM education, empowering the young generation to think innovatively and become the leaders of tomorrow.

6 Easy & Fun Coding Projects From Our Friends at BrainPOP

It’s no secret that coding has become an essential skill in today’s digital age. It can help you build useful tools, express your creativity and even open up new career opportunities. But where do you start? Well, our friends at BrainPOP have come up with 6 easy and fun coding projects that can kickstart your programming journey. So, let’s dive right in!

1. Code Your Own Story

Combine your love for storytelling with coding! Using a platform like Scratch or Blockly, create an interactive story where the viewers get to make choices influencing the storyline. Develop characters, design backgrounds, and utilize programming concepts to bring your imaginative tale to life.

2. Build a Virtual Pet

Remember the joy of having a Tamagotchi? Recreate that experience by designing a virtual pet that users can feed, play with and care for. This project will teach you about variables, conditionals and user input while providing endless entertainment.

3. Math Quiz Game

Ready for some math-tastic excitement? Create a simple quiz game that challenges players with random math problems. Adjust the difficulty level using varied operations (addition, subtraction, multiplication or division) and a range of numbers.

4. Pong-style Game

Throw it back to the retro gaming era by building your own Pong-style game! Learn about coding logic, collision detection and graphics as you create a game screen, paddle movement and ball physics.

5. Adventure Maze Game

Design an adventure maze game where players need to navigate through obstacles to reach the goal. Add various challenges like locked doors requiring keys and hidden paths. This project will help you harness control structures such as loops and conditional statements.

6. Weather App

Ever wanted your very own weather forecast? Design a web-based weather app using APIs (Application Programming Interface) to fetch real-time data from popular weather websites! Learn the basics of API usage and JavaScript, while keeping yourself updated on the weather changes.

These 6 coding projects are just scratching the surface of the world of programming. But, with our pals at BrainPOP providing excellent resources and support, you’ll be well on your way to becoming a coding whiz! Don’t shy away from challenges, as every coding task helps you build critical thinking and problem-solving skills. So, take a leap into the exciting realm of programming with these engaging projects, and let your creativity run wild!

9 Reasons Why Third Grade is the Best Grade


Third grade is a pivotal year for children in their educational journey. With new challenges and opportunities for personal growth, it’s no wonder many people consider third grade to be the best grade. This article will explore nine reasons why third grade is truly exceptional.

1. Building Confidence

In third grade, students gain confidence as they become more independent in their learning. They are encouraged to take on new responsibilities, such as completing assignments without constant supervision and managing their time effectively.

2. Mastery of Basic Skills

By the time students reach third grade, they have developed a solid foundation in reading and math. This allows them to dive deeper into these subjects and build upon their existing skills, making them more prepared for future academic success.

3. Introduction to New Subjects

Third grade introduces students to exciting new subjects like social studies, science, and more complex aspects of mathematics. This broadens their horizons and nurtures a love for learning about the world around them.

4. Improved Reading Skills

As students enter third grade, they transition from learning to read to reading to learn. This shift allows them to explore various literary genres, enhance their vocabulary, and develop critical thinking skills through comprehension exercises.

5. Emotional Development

Third graders are at an age where they’re beginning to understand and express a wide range of emotions. Through class discussions, group activities, and personal reflections, teachers can help students navigate their emotional development while fostering empathy and respect for others.

6. Becoming Problem Solvers

With the introduction of more advanced concepts in math and science, third-grade students learn to think critically and solve complex problems using logic and reasoning skills. This ability not only aids in academic success but also helps them navigate real-life situations.

7. Engaging in Teamwork

Group projects are a common occurrence in third-grade classrooms, teaching students the importance of teamwork and collaboration. They learn to communicate effectively, share ideas, and work together to achieve a common goal.

8. Developing Time Management Skills

In third grade, students are given more responsibility when it comes to tracking their assignments and deadlines. This helps them develop essential time management skills that will prove invaluable in their academic and professional lives.

9. Creating Lasting Friendships

As children grow and mature in third grade, they begin to form deeper connections with their peers. These friendships often last through their school years and beyond, creating a support network and sense of camaraderie that can make all the difference in the face of new challenges.


The third grade is an unforgettable year filled with personal growth, academic achievement, and the formation of lasting friendships. With its unique combination of challenges and opportunities, it’s no wonder that many consider third grade to be the best grade of all.

20 Best Chocolate Fever Activity Ideas

Chocolate lovers, unite! It’s time to indulge in the sweetest activity of all time: celebrating chocolate fever. With these 20 best chocolate fever activity ideas, you can dive into a world filled with tantalizing treats and delicious experiences.

1. Chocolate Tasting Party: Gather your friends and family for a chocolate tasting party. Sample an assortment of chocolates, from dark to milk to white, and rate your favorites.

2. Chocolate Fondue Night: Melt your favorite chocolate and host a chocolate fondue night where guests can dip fruits, marshmallows, pretzels, and more into the scrumptious pool of goodness.

3. Create Chocolate Art: Unleash your inner artist by using melted chocolate to create paintings or sculptures.

4. Chocolate Themed Movie Night: Snuggle up with your favorite chocolate treats and enjoy a night of watching movies like Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory or Chocolat.

5. Truffle Making Workshop: Learn how to make delectable chocolate truffles from scratch and wow your friends with your culinary skills.

6. Take a Chocolate Walking Tour: Visit local chocolate shops or attend a chocolate-themed event in your town or city.

7. Chocolate Spa Day: Pamper yourself with indulgent treatments like chocolate facials, massages, or baths.

8. Host a Hot Cocoa Social: Invite friends over for a cozy gathering featuring homemade hot cocoa, with various toppings and flavorings available for customization.

9. Attend a Chocolate Festival: Get immersed in the world of sweets by visiting a local or regional chocolate festival.

10. Make Chocolate Covered Strawberries: A simple yet delicious treat that’s perfect for sharing with someone special.

11. Chocolate Cooking Competition: Challenge your friends to create their most unique and tasty chocolate-infused dishes – may the best chocolatier win!

12. Visit a Cocoa Plantation: Travel to a region where cocoa beans are grown and experience the harvest and production process firsthand.

13. Chocolate Fondant Baking Class: Learn how to make a scrumptious chocolate fondant cake that will impress everyone at your next dinner party.

14. Edible Chocolate Dishes: Test your culinary creativity by constructing edible chocolate bowls, cups, or plates for an unforgettable dessert experience.

15. Create a Chocolate Dessert Buffet: Present a table overflowing with various chocolate desserts and invite friends over to indulge.

16. Experiment with Chocolate Pairings: Sample an array of chocolates alongside complementary foods and drinks, such as cheese, wine, or coffee.

17. Host a Chocolate Bingo Night: Customize traditional bingo cards with images or names of different chocolate brands or treats and award chocolate-themed prizes.

18. Attend a Chocolate-Themed Paint Night: Enjoy some wine and dark chocolate while painting a cocoa-inspired masterpiece during a guided paint night event.

19. Craft Your Own Chocolate Bars: Melt chocolate and pour it into molds to create your own personalized chocolate bars with unique flavors and toppings.

20. Experiment with Chocolate Cocktails: Mix up some delightful concoctions featuring chocolate flavors, whether it’s a chocolaty martini or a spiked hot cocoa drink.

There you have it – 20 exciting activities to celebrate your love for all things chocolate! So why wait? Get out there and start enjoying these delicious experiences today!