Mindsets in the Classroom: Chapter 1

It's time! 
Mindset in the Classroom by Mary Cay Ricci: Chapter 1
What are Mindsets, and How Do They Affect the Classroom? 
I've been trying to hold back and not read too far ahead so I'm thankful the day is finally here to get started!  Let's talk about chapter 1!

Sum it Up: 

I read Mindsets this year with my Teachers as Readers group so I was already familiar with the growth mindset ideal.  I have to say, just from reading the first book I changed some of the things I said in the classroom, the way I approached problems with students when they were feeling frustrated, and just my overall attitude towards teaching and learning.   I'm thrilled to take that even further with this book that focuses specifically on the classroom.

To sum up the first chapter:
 I found this video on the Mary Cay Ricci's Twitter feed.  I thought it explained the growth mindset vs. fixed mindset really well!

Chapter Highlights: 

A few highlights for me were in the discussions about cognitive ability tests that we give to students to measure developed ability.  How many times have I heard someone discuss a child's ability like it was all they could handle, because the test said so.  It makes sense that if a child hasn't had the opportunities to develop reasoning skills then they will score lower on these tests.  Lightbulbs!

Another lightbulb....potential.  Have I ever told a parent, "I want your child to reach their full potential".  Of course I have.  That is my goal, just not the right wording.  I agree 100% that potential can never be full, our potential is infinite!   What I REALLY want is for your child to grow through challenges, make their goals, and continue to push forward to new goals.

As a Kindergarten teacher I have the joy of having those kiddos that come in with a growth mindset.  Although I have to say it's not always 100%.  If a child has been competing with another sibling or just not in a supportive environment they can already have a fixed mindset of "I can't" or "I'm not good enough".  My thoughts when I read the study were, "What can I do to make sure my students leave Kindergarten with a Growth Mindset?"

Take it and Use it:

As soon as I finished chapter one.  (Really, immediately after!)  I went to my computer and wrote a project for Donor's Choose for STEM materials in the classroom.  I had already been doing some research on this and I am enrolled in a 2 week PD session later this summer called "Making Sense of Science" so it was perfect timing for me!  I think to create a community of learners that have a growth mindset I need to ensure the opportunity to develop reasoning processes on a daily basis.  I believe that I already (try) to do that in my classroom but adding in some really hands on problem solving centers would be a good start.  I've ordered the STEM Bundle from Lakeshore (pending Donor's Choose approval) and hope to get funding by the end of the summer.

Now it's time to link up! 
Remember linking up automatically enters you into a drawing for a gift card at the end of the book study. Visit Hello Sunshine Teachers for details.