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Straight from the Classroom: Practical Strategies for Teaching the Science of a Growth Mindset

maichin-science-cover

Recently Education Week Research Center published a National Study of K-12 teachers examining teachers’ perspectives on Growth Mindset.  One in five teachers strongly agreed they are “good at fostering a growth mindset.” Conversely, only 5% of those educators surveyed strongly agreed that they have “adequate solutions and strategies to use when students do not have this approach.”

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Setting the Stage: Instilling the Growth Mindset in our Students from the Start

Setting the Stage: Instilling the Growth Mindset in our Students from the Start

My co- teacher, Courtney Zaleski and I teach an inclusion 7th grade class.  In order to set the stage for the year, we teach them that mistakes are not only OK, they are necessary:

Ask an adolescent how they feel about making mistakes and they will be very honest (sometimes brutally so).  This year, on the first day of school, we asked our students to write down their thoughts on a post it note and compiled their responses on chart paper titled “making mistakes.”  The students are then asked to stay and read their classmates’ comments.  Words like “dumb,” “foolish,” “angry,” and “bad” were common responses.

No wonder so many kids don’t take academic risks.  Who wants to feel like that?

As the students returned to their seats, we handed them each a personalized envelope.  Inside, they found a pink eraser, a pencil with “Think Different” inscribed on it (“Think Different” is our class name), and a Maichin Welcome Back Letter. We asked them to open the envelope and read the letter silently.

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Recent comment in this post
Lisa Blackwell
Jenn, I really wish that you had been my teacher in JHS!
Tuesday, 09 October 2012 21:02
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Getting the Class I Always Wanted

Getting the Class I Always Wanted

Mindset in Action: Jennifer Maichin, from Mineola Middle School, NY, shares her experience, tips and classroom activities to introduce students to the growth mindset

I always wanted to teach. I dreamed of inspiring and empowering every student who entered my classroom. I imagined all students walking into school highly motivated and eager to learn. Reality of course was different. Mindset not only helped me get the class I always wanted, but also reminded me why I wanted to become a teacher in the first place.

For the past 16 years, I have had the privilege of spending my school days teaching 11 through 14 year olds with learning challenges. These students are interesting and unique and, yes, they are challenging to teach. People sometimes ask me: “How do you do it? Do you feel successful? Do you feel like you actually get through to them? What motivates them? What is the best way to engage them and get them to want to learn? Why bother? They don't listen anyway...”

How, then, do I get through to them?

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The End of Classroom Management Issues

The End of Classroom Management Issues

Mindset in Action: Jennifer Maichin, from Mineola Middle School, NY, shares her experience, tips and classroom activities to introduce students to the growth mindset

I always wanted to teach. I dreamed of inspiring and empowering every student who entered my classroom. I imagined all students walking into school highly motivated and eager to learn.  Reality of course was different. Mindset not only helped me manage my class effectively, but also reminded me why I wanted to become a teacher in the first place. 

For the past 16 years, I have had the privilege of spending my school days teaching 11 through 14 year olds with learning challenges. These students are interesting and unique and, yes, they are challenging to teach. People sometimes ask me: “How do you do it? Do you feel successful? Do you feel like you actually get through to them? What motivates them?  What is the best way to engage them and get them to want to learn? Why bother? They don't listen anyway...”


How, then, do I get through to them?

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