Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Growth Mindset Experiment-part 1

I have been so busy teaching my students about growth mindset and I am extremely excited about it!  The best part are they!  They remember the words and terminology that I have been teaching them.  In 2nd grade I shared the story of the rabbit who wanted to enter the swimming race, the flying race and the running race.  He always would win the running race because, of course, rabbits run fast.  He thought if he could win all 3 races that he would be good and it would make him a good person.  I'm sure you can predict the rest of this story:  he got washed a shore when his floaty got a hole in it during the swimming race, he went down after flapping the wings he had attached to himself during the flying race and ended up in the top of a tree.  When the running race was going to start all the other animals looked for him because he was such a fast runner but he was stuck in the tree.  They got him out of the tree and he was too bruised and cut up to run so he got to be the best cheerer for everyone.  He learned it isn't about being the best at everything, it's about being the best YOU!

My 5th grade class is learning also about growth mindset.  We watched some inspirational videos in the last couple of days about the difference between fixed mindset and growth mindset.  The favorite video for fixed mindset was The Escalator.

We also talked about failing and the importance of failing at something.  When we fail at something, we learn how NOT to do something.  Sometimes we learn that over and over for the same thing.  We enjoyed the video on Famous Failures.  I paused before they said who each person was and the kids did a pretty good job of guessing who they were telling about.

Today we talked about choosing something that we would like to improve on.  Of course, the list should be endless because we can always improve on things we do.  I have challenged the students in my 5th/6th Exploratory class to choose one thing they want to get better at.  They need to identify what their steps are to improve and how they are going to measure their growth.  We talked about the fact that their success will probably go up and down because that is normal, but it will have a trend that goes up (hopefully)!

Since I challenged my students to try to improve at something, I thought it was only fair if I chose something and did the same thing.  I will share my story and how I am doing in my next blog entry.  I hope you stay, off to practice!