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In November we wrote a post about the impact the mindset of a teacher can have about a student’s problem behavior. Related to this, Stanford researchers Jason Okonofua, David Paunesku and Gregory Walton recently published research demonstrating the power of teacher mindsets on student behavior.
Thank you educators for sending in your growth mindset strategies!
Grading and Assessment for a growth mindset was a common theme in your responses to our last newsletter. Many teachers wrote in about how they have innovated to create growth mindset assessment practices! We are pleased to share Rebecca Davenport's tip from Girls Preparatory School in Chattanooga, TN:
"My middle school girls and I coined the phrase "I'm a girl, not a grade!" to remind them of all the wonderful parts of their lives that cannot be measured by a letter grade. In school, it is easy for students to attach too much worth to the outcomes and final grades; this underestimates the importance of the learning process. When students reflect on the most important parts of their lives, they begin to understand that they are not C+ or A- people, but bright and capable young women.
Watch Video of Growth Mindset Middle School-ers in Action!
Music Director, Julie Ahlborn is putting growth mindset into action!
At Reagan Academy middle school in Springville, UT, her students enter her orchestra class with only a cursory knowledge of sight reading music. She wanted them to see how much they grow in one year so that they will be motivated to continue their music studies, becoming lifelong musicians.
Julie says, "To play a musical instrument takes a lot of practice for muscle and mind memory to grow and develop. Many people find practicing a challenging task." Julie blends growth mindset research with her teaching practices fluidly to cultivate a growth mindset in orchestra and motivate students to practice. And she creates videos (below) to document the students' growth! How does she do this?
Here are a few things she described to us...
This letter is written by a middle school student, Ellie, who attends a school that is cultivating growth mindsets through staff development, Brainology lessons, and other site-wide efforts. The student insightfully shares HER growth mindset journey.
Ellie discusses what it is like to try to change your own mindset, and gives us a view into the mind of a really terrific kid.
Dear Mr. O,
This isn't another concern letter, I just wanted to share with you what has gone on academically in my life lately. In wellness class, science, and many other of my classes all I have heard is growth mindset, growth mindset, and growth mindset. In reality, I haven't really thought, "Wow, I can get through this problem with my growth mindset!" In wellness, I always think that my life doesn't truly depend on a growth mindset to get around. I mean, yeah, every once and a while I get a really bad score, and might need to get my growth mindset helmet on.
Doug Creef, a middle school science teacher, revised this reflection tool to cultivate growth mindsets in his seventh graders. This Take A Break, TAB Out! Reflection can be an effective strategy for positive behavior reinforcement. Teachers can teach students how to fill one out in a growth minded way, and then give students an opportunity to reflect quietly in a buddy classroom when a student needs a break.
A big thank you to Doug and his seventh grade team for sharing!