Young learners arrive in our learning communities with joy, curiosity, and a passion for learning. Teachers often wish to continue fostering this love of learning--and to foster a growth mindset from the earliest of opportunities. GEM answers that call to nurture the whole-child.
Rooted in research, GEM is the first ever curriculum created for early learners that blends growth mindset, SEL, and mindfulness. Designed for busy teachers, GEM integrates teaching practices like Read-Alouds and other daily learning routines to enrich the school day.
Implementation includes simple first steps with options to deepen practice. Teachers start by reading the children’s books aloud to introduce key principles and practices. Additional Learning Lab Lessons build on the book’s main ideas. The Read-Aloud Menu deepens learning with short and fun mini-lessons for use with a variety of children’s literature.
Designed for all children ages 3-9
Teachers and parents will also benefit from GEM as it provides an opportunity for adults to deepen their growth mindset, SEL competencies, and mindfulness while increasing their ability, motivation, and confidence to create warm, positive, and growth-oriented learning conditions for others.
GEM includes both hard copy and digital resources.
Hard copy resources:
Ten children's books
Three Teacher Guides with Introduction, Nine Learning Labs, and a Read Aloud Menu
GEM Central™ Virtual Learning Community:
Connect with other GEM teachers
Watch videos and see pictures for examples and ideas
Download reproducibles for each lab
Download a Sample of GEM
The Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL) five SEL competencies
The Head Start Early Learning Outcomes Framework
Common Core State Standards in Language Arts
The program is designed to be flexible in nature, and as such, there are four different implementation choices:
Time will vary depending on the developmental needs of your learners and how often you embed Read-Aloud mini lessons and other learning routines into your daily practice.
Each Learning Lab follows this sequence:
Anchor Book lesson (includes Mindset Buddy Anchor Chart)
Deeper Learning Opportunity (extends main principles and practices in the book through multimedia, play, movement, and art)
Learning Routine lesson
A 2-year, multi-wave efficacy study explored GEM’s impact on K-3 students’ approaches to learning and social and emotional learning (SEL). SEL, which has been positively linked to students’ well-being and academic success, includes practicing a growth mindset, cultivating healthy relationships with others through cooperation and communication, and effective learning habits and behaviors like effort investment, seeking learning and challenge, and error correction and resilience.
In the study, teachers and their classrooms were randomly assigned to either a GEM treatment group to implement GEM or to a “no-treatment” control group where they continued normal practice. Data was collected on student SEL-related behavior and teacher beliefs and practices before and after GEM was implemented in the treatment group.
Results showed that SEL-related behaviors were significantly higher at post-program for GEM students than the control group. (See Figure).
GEM teachers noticed these shifts in a variety of ways:
“I think the response from the children was amazing. They really grasped the idea of growth mindset and put what we were learning into practice.”
“My students began to welcome challenges, celebrate others' learning and I saw tremendous growth not only in their learning but also in their confidence.”
“...Students learned that struggle leads to learning. Also, students worked through problems at recess or with peers in cooperative manners.”
“I enjoyed seeing the students embrace the concept of making mistakes as a positive.”
These findings highlight GEM’s potential to strengthen the critical SEL behaviors and skills that nurture healthy relationships and exploration and enthusiasm for learning and challenge in young learners.
Furthermore, as a result of teaching GEM, teachers adopted more of a growth mindset. GEM also increased teachers' motivation to improve their practice and confidence in cultivating a Growth Mindset and SEL competencies in their students. Finally, GEM changed teachers’ perceptions of how they view their own and others’ learning and growth. As one teacher reflected: “I didn't realize the power of teaching children about their brains. My students made huge growth just by understanding how we learn.”
To share these results with others, download the research summary now.
Students who participated in GEM displayed significantly more SEL behaviors than students in the control group.
Each GEM set includes free access to GEM Central, our virtual learning community where educators share and learn from one another, as well as access resources such as exemplars and reproducibles. In addition, all GEM teachers will receive a monthly GEM newsletter with suggestions and tips from the author, Dr. Kendra Coates.
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