Friday, December 2, 2016

Growth mindset reflections, and nuts and bolts

Growth mindsets.  I'm sure that you've all heard the term.  The question is, how can we make sure that we help build growth mindsets for our students, ourselves, and the families we interact with?  It's something that I've been contemplating ever since I started reading "Mindset" by Carol Dweck, a book discussion through our Mustang University facilitated by Corinne.  We've had one face to face meeting and the rest of our learning has been reading and reflecting, something we should all find the time to do more often.  When we reflect, we have the opportunity to grow, celebrate the things we've done well and adjust the things that might not have gone so well.  A growth mindset helps us find ways of getting better by our effort and not our innate abilities.  I have tried my best to keep that in mind when I speak with our students and especially when I speak with Lauren.  Lauren has always had a mindset that she isn't good in math.  I've been working on speaking with her about her effort and preparation, not her ability or intelligence.  Here's our texting conversation from Monday.
Lauren- "guess what"
Me- "What?" (Did you notice that I used capital letters and proper punctuation?)
Lauren- "i got an 86% on my math test"
Me- "Woo-hoo! You worked hard for that."
Lauren- "i know so happy !!"
Lauren- "hopefully my grade goes up"
Me- "Keep working hard and it will."

As I have said to our students many times, it's not what you say but how you say it.  Think about how you praise our students or your own children and keep this growth mindset in mind.

Great things I noticed this week...

  • Great 7th grade field trip to see "The Christmas Carol".  The behavior of our kids was, and is, awesome!
  • Staff collaborating on projects for Innovator's Mindset book talk.  I hope to be able to share some of these, with permission, before winter break.
  • Encore choir and Jazz band performances on Thursday night's tree lighting ceremony.
  • Thank you video created for our PTO by our kids.
  • Kids really contemplating what tags to take off of the Giving Tree.
  • Reading, reading, reading!
  • Cool 6th grade Science/LA research about the impact of space on human body systems
(Please invite me in to your classrooms next week for any innovative, creative, or hands on activities I can share with everyone!)

Monday, December 5th
  • Primary School Holiday concerts (It would be awesome for you to consider donating baked goods to their annual Holiday concert sale.  Home made or store bought.  Thanks!)
Tuesday, December 6th
  • Intermediate holiday concerts
    • Bands at 5:30
    • Choirs at 7:00
Wednesday, December 7th
  • "12 days before Winter Break" begins (Look for announcements from me for special dress up and food days!)

Tweets, quotes, and blogs
Your assumptions are your windows on the world.  Scrub them off every once in a while, or the light won't come in.- Alan Alda, actor, writer and director

@mertonint on Twitter
#mertonint on Twitter
Merton Intermediate School Facebook page
Family smore for 12.2.16

And from A.J. Juliani about what is important
“Imagine life is a game in which you are juggling five balls.  The balls are called work, family, health, friends, and integrity.  And you’re keeping all of them in the air.  But one day you finally come to understand that work is a rubber ball.  If you drop it, it will bounce back.  The other four balls - family, health, friends, integrity – are made of glass.  If you drop one of these, it will be irrevocably scuffed, nicked, perhaps even shattered.  And once you truly understand the lesson of the five balls, you will have the beginnings of balance in your life.”  [James Patterson]

I hope you can find some balance this weekend.
Be the one!
Take care of the kids.  Take care of each other.  Take care of yourself (John Gunnell)