Mindsets in the Classroom: Chapter 3

Chapter 3: Mindsets in the Classroom 

by Mary Cay Ricci

WHY IS A DIFFERENTIATED, RESPONSIVE CLASSROOM IMPORTANT TO A GROWTH MINDSET CULTURE?

I have to admit, when I picked up this chapter I said to myself, "Oh good, I already do this!"  Well, after reading the chapter I may need to re-evaluate my take on differentiation.  There were so many times while I was reading that I said to myself, "Good point", or "Oh gosh I need to rethink that!"  The host for today's chapter, Debbie from Crockett's Classroom, made a good point.  You really have to read this one yourself and do some reflection to get it. 

I started with the quote from chapter three for that reason.  "Educators who value differentiated instruction (which I do) need to be very aware (I don't think I was aware before) about the beliefs they hold deep within themselves (really, I don't know if I even knew they were there!) regarding student intelligence."  Mindsets in the Classrooom, Ricci Chapter 3

The biggest take away from this chapter, for me, was grouping.  I always think I am differentiating instruction by working with my struggling students the most, and giving my high students an independent activity to work on alone.  When Ricci discussed spelling in terms of pre-assessment I cringed.  Literally cringed!  When I taught 5th grade that's EXACTLY how I did spelling. I really thought I was doing those "high" students a favor by giving them more words.  What was I thinking?  Maybe that's why I don't teach 5th grade anymore!  

So my "use it" is really going to be utilizing pre-assessments to revamp my flexible groupings in my classroom.  And for my students that "have" it, I'm going to make sure I find ways to challenge their thinking instead of just giving them an independent activity.  Math is really the area that needs the most help with this.  I do flexible small groups during reading time and I do stretch those high groups into more complex text and deeper discussions.  It's really easy to let those groups slide though because they are so independent!  No more of that! 

Don't forget to link up with Hello Sunshine teachers with your ideas about Chapter 3 from Mindsets in the Classroom.  If you link up with us during the month you will be entered into a drawing to win a gift card!  Use this template to record your ideas! 
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Thanks for stopping by!  See you Thursday for Chapter 4!