Friday, April 17, 2015

Growth Mindset Experiment--part 2

My Growth Mindset Experiment!

I chose archery as my skill to try to improve.  My kids and husband started archery about 5 years ago.  They have bugged me, literally, to give it a try.  Two years ago I decided to give it a whirl.  So, I signed up for the outdoor summer JOAD (Junior Olympic Archery Development) program---adults can sign up for this too.  My family all shoots compound bows.  This is what a compound bow looks like:

So I thought I would try a recurve bow--mainly because I think they are pretty cool looking--good reason, huh?!  Or maybe because of the movie, The Hunger Games?  Here is a picture of Katniss Everdeen from the movie shooting her recurve bow.

Shooting a recurve is H.A.R.D.!!!!!  I felt frustration, pain (when the string hit my arm), embarrassed, frustration, confused, excited the one time I hit the target, tired (of looking in the grass for my lost arrows), and FRUSTRATION!!!!  I wanted to quit but I couldn't because we have told our kids they can't quit when they start something---give it a good try first---quitting partway through the summer season was not allowed!  So, I had to toughen up and stick with it.  AND I did, but I did not enjoy it.  I tried, believe me, I really did.  Deciding to give archery another try was kind of difficult but I thought that it would give this growth mindset thing a true test.
So....how has it been going?  Well, I actually think pretty well!
Here is the assignment I gave my students.  I am doing it as well.  The students of course had to fill in their own "thing" they wanted to get better at.

My Plan
by Mrs. K.
The one thing I would like to get better at is archery.

I am going to do the following things to get better at it:

1.practice 4 times or more a week.

2. ask experienced archers to critique my shooting form.

3.watch experienced archers as they shoot.

4.listen to instruction during an archery class.

5.watch archery videos on how to improve shooting.

I will measure my “growth” by charting my scores:
(Scoring is 12 rounds of 5 arrows each. Points are 5-1, with an X being 6)

320



















310



















300



4















290





4
3
0











280280 280








3
4









270


2

5














260



















250



















240



















230
4
2

















220



















210



















200



















April  4     5 6      7      8 9     13   14   15   16

The cool thing is I can't wait to practice!  Last night when I was practicing, I shot 4 arrows right on the X!  Wow!  I was so pumped and the pressure was on as I stuck my last arrow for that round into the bow.  I was so focused and was holding it a bit too long and my arm started to shake.  So...I thought I would let down my draw, give my arm a rest and re-draw.  It didn't work out like I planned.  When I let down the arrow fired and hit the wall below the target.  Well, that was a big "0" for points and yes, I was BUMBED!!!  But then I thought: "Hey, I have never had 4 X's in one round and I just did!"  I so easily could have fallen right into fixed mindset!

The question I asked my students today in 6th grade was this:
What can you do now that you couldn’t do before? How do you know?
I told them they had to think of something they can do now that they couldn't do at the beginning of this school year (which took out walking and riding a bike right away).
Great answers from them and great discussion too!
Think about question and answer it for yourself.  When you get done answering that one, then answer this one from Steven Jobs:
"If today was the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do with my life?"
I think I'm going to plaster these on my wall!  Seriously!
So...how is your mindset doing today?
Be sure to stop back and check out some more on Growth Mindset and some great interviews I plan to do with my students.