I just finished reading Mindset by Carol Dweck, Ph.D., a book that explains how our thinking determines our progress in education and other fields. Dweck shows that sometimes we have a fixed mindset about a subject, and sometimes we have a growth mindset. Statements such as, “I was never very good at math,” or “I was born with no musical talent,” reflect a fixed mindset. It is the idea that our intelligence is fixed and static. Some have a talent for this and some have a talent for that, but there is very little we can do about that. On the other hand, “yet,” is a favorite word of the growth mindset. “I’m not good at math yet.”
I give up!” How often do we hear our students say that in the classroom? What causes them to quit so quickly in the learning process when they will persevere for hours on a video game? How do we foster perseverance in our students?
These are questions that teacher, author, and consultant Rick Wormeli addressed in an article published recently in Association of Middle Level Education (AMLE) magazine.
He based his answers on the work of psychologist Carol Dweck who promotes a growth mindset
Recently I saw a link on Facebook to a YouTube video by Taylor Mali titled “What Teachers Make” (link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h5yg0u1MkDI). In this pointed video, Taylor makes us all proud of our contribution as teachers. In my early and challenging years as a new teacher many decades ago, it seemed that no matter how tough the school year had been, there was always one student who said something that made it all worthwhile.
Mistletoe School, where I teach, is transitioning to a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) academy for the upcoming school year. In STEM curriculum these four domains are integrated during instruction. Language arts, history, and electives can also be interwoven if desired. Students work on project-based instruction that incorporates a loop of research, design, building, testing, evaluation, and improvement. Aside from the excitement our staff and students have in anticipation of this, here are our main reasons for making such a bold move.
Recently I had the pleasure of hearing 22 outstanding educators respond to this topic. I was at the California League of Schools state conference in Sacramento where the nominees for our state middle and high school educator of the year were being honored. As I heard their inspiring stories, I asked myself the same question. What are the three things I have learned from my students?
I’ve been teaching middle grades for over three decades, so you’d think this would be second nature to me. In some ways it is, but trying to understand adolescent behavior is like pushing spaghetti upstairs – assuming you’ve tried to do that. I always learn
A dozen years ago I had an eighth grader who didn’t know his multiplication facts. That’s not unusual. What was surprising is that he was my top math student. Four years later he received a six-figure scholarship to a major university where he
That biting joke begs an important question: how do you think career options will look for your current students when they leave high school?
I just returned from the California League of Schools Technology Conference in Monterey and attended a session by John Merris-Coots (firstname.lastname@example.org) of the California Career Resources Network (CalCRN). Mr. Merris-Coots outlined the resources
How would you respond if your administrator suggested that mathematics instruction be dropped from the curriculum in the elementary grades? How would the parents of your students respond? Recently I ran across an article in Psychology
A new member has been added to the Endangered Species list; it is the math teacher of yesterday. At a recent conference I asked the attendees to consider how their teaching would change if their students had an app on their smart phones that would solve a math problem and show the steps simply by taking a picture of it. How much of what we do would be suddenly obsolete?
Brad Fulton is an award winning teacher and nationally recognized provider of professional development with over three decades of experience in education.
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