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!
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Thanks for stopping by! See you Thursday for Chapter 4!