July is half way through and I am reveling in the long days and hot temperatures that have me finding a quiet place to keep on reading. This week I tackled chapters 1-3 of Opening Minds by Peter H. Johnston. This book has been on my “To Be Read Pile” for a couple of months, so the #cyberPD was just the prodding I needed. I have to say though now that I have started this is a book that is not easy to put down.
My take-away thoughts:
· Using “Already”: that one little word suggests that what a student knows has the potential to be ahead of what is being assessed, and at the same time establishes that there is “nothing permanent about what is known and not known.” (pg. 2)
· Mistakes happen at the edge of what we can do, when we are learning! So helping students to be comfortable with accepting mistakes as part of the learning process is essential.
· MINDSET keeps coming at me from so many different directions! (Carol Dweck’s book Mindset is waiting for me on my Kindle ap.) I was fascinated by the idea that fixed mindsets tend to choose performance goals and dynamic mindsets tend to choose learning goals.(pg. 12)
· Influence: as a teacher I can contribute to my students developing a dynamic mindset in the ways I use feedback and praise, the way I frame activities, and lastly in continuing to teach students about how the brain works. (pg. 18) While I work hard with the last one, the first two are definitely areas I can grow and improve.
· The Power of “YET”: “I am not very good at my multiplication tables, YET!” Helping students to understand that they can achieve it, that they can grow and learn. (pg. 27)
· I feel like I want to list some phrases to refer to for easy access until I have them imprinted on my brain.
· I am going to add the charts on pages 17 and 23 to our work with growth and fixed mindsets with our students. While last year Celina and I worked this into some groups we saw struggling with challenging themselves, this year I feel like it will be essential information for all of our learners. I also want to talk to our class about what they think it means to be smart.
· Spend more time focusing on causal processes (pg. 31) “Causal process comments are the most effective way of promoting the belief that the important information is how someone did (or could do) something, because that’s what we learn from.” I am going to try this one out on my own kids this summer! (Action-based research!)
· Ah, and now to blog hop the others reading this book and then on to chapters 4-6!