Monthly Archives

June 2016

Mindset Book Study: Chapter 3 – The Truth About Ability and Accomplishment

As educators we often seek the knowledge and resources to become more successful and effective teachers. We set yearly goals for ourselves, our students, and our colleagues. We continually strive to be the best educators we can be to ensure that our students are meeting the learning goals/objectives. We thrive on commendation and recognition for our hard work from our administrators, colleagues, parents, and principals. However, have you ever thought about the impact that feedback and positive praise can have on our students’ mindset? Well… let’s talk about it.

As educators, we strive to praise our students for their accomplishments and their ability to learn. However, in chapter 3, Dweck discusses the real ingredients of achievement and what makes some people achieve less and some more. Take a moment and think about some common phrases you use when you praise your students…

I praise my students for even the smallest accomplishments. Praising one’s efforts communicates to others that they can grow their abilities, cultivate talents, and grow intelligence. However, prior to reading this chapter, I did not know that praise has an effect on our mindset.

What is fixed mindset and growth mindset?

Fixed Mindset – The belief that intelligence is innate and cannot be changed.
Growth Mindset – No matter who you are, you can become a great deal smarter. Students feel smart when they are working on something difficult and can make progress. A growth mindset encourages people to develop their minds fully by embracing challenges and avoiding limiting thoughts which might hold them back. 

Take a moment to watch this interesting study on the effect of praise on mindset:

Students are reticent to take risks and more often than not their performance declines. On the other hand, when students are praised for their effort, their performance improves and their effort and motivation increase. Take a moment and think about these questions:

  • If people have such potential to achieve, how can they gain faith in their potential?
  • How can we give them the confidence they need to go for it?
  • How about praising their ability in order to convey that they have what it takes?

Growth Mindset or Fixed Mindset? 

Take a moment and think about where you are as an educator. Whether this is your first year of teaching or your twenty-fifth year of teaching… Do you have a growth mindset or a fixed mindset? Dweck states, “The growth mindset lets people use and develop their mind fully. Their heads are not filled with limiting thoughts, a fragile sense of belonging, and a belief that other people can define them. I believe this is what we want for our students and for ourselves. Give your students the gift of growth mindset! I want to leave you with a question: How can we create an environment that teaches the growth mindset to adults and/or students? I would love to hear your thoughts!

Read these other blog posts about chapter 3: 

Parent Volunteer Cherry Man Celebration

Parent volunteers are so important in the classroom! Without parent volunteers, my centers would not run smoothly and efficiently. They are seriously the cherry on top, and I will be forever indebted to them for all their help! Today I am excited to be partnering with CherryMan and the Laura Kelly Design Team to bring you three recipes to show your parent volunteers how much you appreciate them! 

Now you might be thinking… A male kindergarten teacher that can cook/bake!? Well, not quite. I’ve partnered with my sister-in-law (Julie) from Country Fresh Cooking to bring you these delicious recipes that are sure to satisfy your sweet tooth! Julie is an amazing chef and a Spanish teacher, as well. Here is what we will be making today:

Click on the links above to download a FREE printable PDF of each recipe! Be sure to enter the giveaway at the end and check out all the other great recipes made with CherryMan products. Let’s get started!

Basil Infused
Cherry Limeade

What’s better on a hot summer day than a refreshing sip of basil infused cherry limeade?

Cherry Limeade

2-liter bottle of lemon-lime soda
1 cup fresh squeezed lime juice
One 10-ounce jar of CherryMan maraschino cherries, with juice
Thin lime wheels for garnish

For Basil Infused
Simple Syrup

1 cup sugar
1 cup water
3 basil leaves


1. Start with the
simple syrup by combining 1 cup sugar, 1 cup water and 2 basil leaves in a medium-size pot.  Give the basil leaves a slap
before adding them in (sounds weird, but totally works to maximize the basil
infusion, so give it a couple slaps). 
Over medium heat, bring to a simmer just until sugar is dissolved.   Remove from heat, discard basil, and allow to
cool to room temperature.

2. In a pitcher,
combine the lemon-lime soda, fresh lime juice, CherryMan maraschino cherries with juice,
lime wheels and simple syrup.  Stir
gently and chill for 30 minutes before serving.
3. Add red sugar sprinkles to the rim of your glass milk bottle. Simply spread lime juice around the rim and dip into a bowl of red sugar sprinkles. Add lime wheels and CherryMan maraschino cherries (with stems) for garnish. 

Cherry Chocolate Cake Pops

Who doesn’t love chocolate? These cherry chocolate cake pops are sure to be a decadent delight at any event!

Cake Batter

1 box of Betty Crocker Chocolate Cake Mix
1 ¼ cups of hot water
3 eggs
1/3 cup of butter
1 tbsp baking cocoa

Cake pop “glue”

1 jar of CherryMan Maraschino Cherries and juice
1 tbsp of cornstarch
1 tbsp of water
1 cup of Nutella

Cake Pop Assembly

2 packages Candy Melts – white
and chocolate
24 white cake pop sticks
sprinkles of your choice


1.  Preheat oven to
350°. Open the boxed
chocolate cake mix and dump it in the bowl of a stand mixer. 
2. In a medium-size pot over low heat, melt the butter.  Then whisk in the baking cocoa and the hot
water. Whisk over medium-low heat for
20 seconds.
3. With the mixer on low, add the butter and the cocoa-water
mix into the dry cake, mix until just
combined (to cool it down a bit). Then, gently whisk in 3 eggs, ONE at a time.
3.  Divide cake batter
between 2 greased 9” cake pans lined with parchment paper.  Bake at 350° for 25 minutes or until a toothpick
inserted in the middle comes out clean. 
Cool to room temperature or cool in the refrigerator overnight.
Pulse one jar of cherries (with juice) in a food processor to chop the cherries.  Do NOT pulverize them. 
5.  Put the cherry mixture in a medium sauce pan
over medium-low heat.  In a separate
bowl, mix the cornstarch and water and stir vigorously until the cornstarch is
dissolved.  Add to the cherry
mixture.  Stir occasionally and allow to
thicken; approximately 5 minutes.  Cool
completely.  This can be stored in a mason jar
overnight in the refrigerator.

Forming the
Cake Balls

1.  Crumble cooled cake into a
large mixing bowl. 
2.  To the crumbled cake, add
the cherry mixture and the Nutella.  Work
cake with a large wooden spoon to combine cake and cherry-Nutella mixture.
3.  Next, using a 2” cookie
scoop, scoop out a small amount of cherry cake mixture and roll into a
ball.  Place on a wax paper lined baking
sheet.  Continue making little balls
until all of the cake is used up. 
Freeze for an hour or overnight.

Cake Pop

1.  Over a double boiler, melt
one package of the candy melts.  Stir
frequently with a whisk until smooth.
2. Working in batches of 3 or 4, remove frozen cake balls from
freezer.  Dip one end of the stick into
the candy melt (just a tiny bit), insert into the flat side of the cake
pop.  Replace and repeat with remaining 2
or 3 cake pops.
3.  Next, dip the whole cake pop
in the candy melt using a spoon to help coat the whole cake pop.  Tap cake pop gently on the side of the bowl
to remove excess candy melt coating.  Add
desired sprinkles immediately.  Place
cake pop in a cake pop stand or a styrofoam
to dry. 
4. Repeat with remaining cake balls, working in small
batches.  Leave the remaining cake balls in the freezer so that they don’t get too soft while they are waiting for their
turn.  You can use a variety of Candy Melt
colors if desired.

Makes approximately
30 cake pops.

Check out the inside of that cake pop! Delicious! Is your mouth watering yet?

When you are finished making your delicious cake pops, place them into a small pail with crinkle cut paper fill.
Add that special touch to your cake pop bouquet by adding one of Laura Kelly’s personalized stamps by Expressionery onto a tag.

Chocolate Cherry Cupcakes

Cupcake Batter

1 box of Betty Crocker Chocolate Cake Mix
1 ¼ cups of hot water
3 eggs
1/3 cup of butter,
1 tbsp baking cocoa

Cherry Cupcake

1 jar of CherryMan Maraschino Cherries
1 tbsp cornstarch
1 tbsp of water

Butter Cream Frosting

3 cups of powdered sugar
½ stick of butter, softened
2 or 3 tbsp of heavy whipping cream.
1.  Start by making
the batter for the cupcakes.  In the bowl
of a stand mixer with the whisk attachment, dump in the chocolate cake mix.
2.  Place the butter
in a medium sauce pan and melt over medium-low heat.  Add the hot water and baking cocoa and whisk
for 30 seconds or so. 
3.  With the mixer on
low, slowly add the hot mixture to the cake mix.  Give a couple quick pulses and shut off.  With the mixer back on low, add the 3 eggs,
one at a time until just combined.
4.  Use an ice cream
scoop to portion out the cupcakes.  Bake
cupcakes at 350° for 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes
out clean.

Cherry Filling

1.  Pulse jar of cherries (with juice) in a food
processor to chop the cherries. 
Do NOT pulverize them. 
2.  Put the cherry mixture in a medium sauce pan
over medium-low heat.  In a separate
bowl, mix the cornstarch and water and stir vigorously until the cornstarch is
dissolved.  Add to the cherry
mixture.  Stir occasionally and allow to
thicken; approximately 5 minutes.  Cool
Use a cupcake corer or a knife to carve out a small portion in the center of
the cupcake.  Add 1 tbsp of the cherry
mixture to each cupcake.

Butter Cream Frosting

1.  Mix softened butter and powdered sugar in a
stand mixer with the whisk attachment. 
Add 2 or 3 tbsp of heavy whipping cream and beat until light and fluffy.  Use a piping bag or a knife to spread on the

Makes approximately
18 cupcakes

Look at these delicious CherryMan Maraschino cherry-filled cupcakes! These are sure to be the hit of any party! Plus the buttercream frosting is delicious!

Setting the Table

Set the table for your parent volunteers with all things white and red to fit that perfect cherry theme! Oriental Trading has a number of items perfect for your event!



You can enter to win a Cherry Man Prize Pack and a $100 Visa Gift Card! 

Check out these other CherryMan Recipes:

Chad Boender is an official member of the Laura Kelly Design Team. Products or compensation may have been received to support this post; however, the opinions, designs, images and concepts are my own.

Have a CherryMan Cherry-ific Day,