Tuesday, August 5, 2014

How Can We Develop a Growth Mindset?

Written by: Ms. Vallillo, acting as class scribe

Today's Big Learning Targets:  I can effectively and actively participate in our class community.
                                                      I can develop a growth mindset.
Supporting Learning Targets:  I can work by myself and with a partner professionally.
                                                     I can enter and exit the room professionally.
                                                     I can describe and act on what respect looks like in our class

Along with on new week of school, this Monday we welcomed four new students back into Middle School!  Our focus today was developing a growth-mindset so that we learn better and learning to talk to the text. 

Our agenda today included:
- Do Now: A recap of what we learned last week
- What is hard work?
- The Voices in my Head as I Read
-  Developing a Growth-Mindset

We started the day by completing a Do Now and placing our homework on our desk.  Once the we finished reflecting on the previous week in our Do Now, we began talking about what hard work actually looks like.  First, we watched a Nike Commercial that showed a man dribbling a basketball and listing excuse after excuse as to why he couldn't play ("I'm too weak!  I'm too fat!  I'm gassy!").  At the end of the video, the camera shows that the man is actually in a wheelchair.  Many of us picked up on the fact that the message of this video was: don't let your excuses stop you from practicing something that will help you grow.

Next, we talked about the three voices in your head as you read.  These voices include:
The Distracting Voice is the one that allows distracting thoughts into your head.
For example: One day, Katniss ... hmmm I wonder what Joao is doing over there.  He's so cute.
The Reciting Voice is the one that actually just reads the words in your head.
For example: One day, Katniss Everdeen went into the woods to kill a squirrel.  She was worried about the Hunger Games.
The Talking to the Text Voice is the one where you actually interact with and think about the text as you read.  If you aren't doing this, you aren't reading.  To do this you need to jot down your thoughts, opinion, questions, connection, inferences in the margin of the text.

As we read as article called If You Believe you'll Grow, You will Grow, we  practiced talking to the text.  We first turned the title into a question to set a purpose for reading: Why do you grow if you believe you will?  Then, we continued to interact with the text.  At one point, Marcos made an insightful connection to the following quote:
“People who believe in the power of talent tend not to fulfill their potential because they’re so worried with looking smart and not making mistakes. But people who believe that intelligence can be developed are the ones who really push, stretch, confront their own mistakes and learn from them.”
Marcos explained to his partner that this reminded him of many students who try to look smart or cool instead of actually working hard to become smart.  It is human to want to look smart and make mistakes, but students need to realize that if you are going to learn and grow, you have to make mistakes.

Finally, we defined the terms fixed and growth mind-set together.

A fixed mind-set is when someone thinks they were born smart or dumb and that they will stay that way.
A growth mind-set is when someone believes that if they work hard they will get smarter and better at whatever they are working at.

For homework tonight we had to complete questions 3, 4, and 5 on page 4 of the Growth Mindset Packet.

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