New Year, New Mindset

After a very long hiatus, I have been drawn back to blogging by a challenge.  Though there are no prizes, Sam’s New Blogger Initiation was reason enough to jump back into this community.

Something new I have wanted to integrate into my classroom culture for several years is mindset coaching as developed by Carol Dweck.  The diagram below is a good summary of her work comparing students who have a fixed mindset to those who have a growth mindset.  The question is how can a teacher influence a student to change their mindset to a more growth oriented one?

My Berkeley colleague Marlo Warbuton developed a curriculum
based on Dweck’s book.

All of the documents below which I plan to use this fall were made by her.  During the first week of school, I’ll give the brainology survey and then allow students to share out their reactions.  After reading their responses that evening, I’ll share out my initial reactions and show them the fixed versus growth mindset diagram.  They’ll each get a copy to keep in their interactive notebooks (a place for both important class documents and math notes). For more on interactive notebooks, Sarah at Everyone is a Genius is the most organized crafty teacher I have ever come upon.

Then, once a week, we’ll spend 10 minutes discussing a quote.  These are quotes which Marlo compiled from Dweck’s book.  We’ll follow the same protocol each session:

Structure of the Coaching Lessons:

1.Students listen to the quotes of the day

2. Students think silently

3. Students share their thoughts in small groups

4. Students participate in a whole class discussion

5. Teacher shares her own personal response

 6. Students write a reflection

Last year, when Marlo did mindset coaching in her classroom, she used two quotes per session and tried to do it several times a week.  She found that it began to take up too much class time and has recommended to me that I do just one quote per class period, and one session per week.  I think that’s how I’ll start.

If you are familiar with Dweck’s work and have done similar mindset coaching with your students, I’d love to hear about it.  Also, I’m especially interested if anyone has done mindset coaching with adults.  I’m coaching my school’s math department this year and want to go through a very similar protocol each time we meet.  Not so that they’ll necessarily do this with their students, but so that my staff will begin to think about their own mindset in terms of how they approach teaching and their attitudes towards their students.  Now THAT is a work in progress…