Teaching growth mindset can change the culture of a class.
Last year, I was part of a team of teachers who decided to spend a week of our homeroom/advisory time teaching sixth graders about growth mindset. Our decision to teach about mindsets was made toward the end of the school year in an effort to respond to some of the negative fixed mindsets we were noticing. While I would recommend starting the year with an introduction to growth mindset with follow up throughout the year, even starting it three-quarters of the way through, we saw positive changes! All of the students in the sixth grade received the same message about challenging themselves and being more aware of their learning. If a task was particularly easy for a student, others in the class would remind them to challenge themselves. It was the beginning of a change in culture.
Standards-based grading makes a lot of sense. So why does it end up being so hard? It seems so simple. You have a set of standards to teach and you want to ensure that every student has multiple opportunities to learn, practice, show growth and ultimately show proficiency for each standard. Not all students will learn in the same way or need the same amount of practice so you want to be flexible and patient, but also creative because you need to keep the students who show proficiency engaged in extending their understanding or moving them on to the next thing.
I want this blog to be about you, the teachers. I taught for 13 years. I know there isn’t one best way to do things and that teaching styles and learning styles vary. So if there is an idea posted here that you know can be adapted to reach more students, by all means, use it as you see fit. I want this to be a place for teachers to share what they know and learn from each other.