My brain is about to explode! I know it is summer vacation, but I have used the first few weeks of vacation for my own personal learning. I started out reading two amazing books. The first one is by Carol Dweck, entitled Mindset The New Psychology of Success.
The first time I had heard about this idea of mindset was during an SDAWP writing conference. One of the presenters talked about fixed mindset versus growth mindset. I won’t go into too much detail, but this quote is taken directly from the Mindset website.
In a fixed mindset, people believe their basic qualities, like their intelligence or talent, are simply fixed traits. They spend their time documenting their intelligence or talent instead of developing them. They also believe that talent alone creates success—without effort. They’re wrong.
In a growth mindset, people believe that their most basic abilities can be developed through dedication and hard work—brains and talent are just the starting point. This view creates a love of learning and a resilience that is essential for great accomplishment. Virtually all great people have had these qualities.
Reading this book had a profound impact in the way I view things. As a teacher, I want to make sure that I encourage the growth mindset in my classroom. As a parent, I want my daughters to understand the importance of a growth mindset in their learning.
When I finished this book, I read the book Drive, by Daniel Pink.
Wow! This book also made me more aware of the ways we use extrinsic rewards to motivate. Here is a youtube video that outlines his findings. However, I would highly recommend you still read his book.
Again, reading Pink’s book made me think about the implications of student engagement and motivation. How can I as a teacher make sure that students are involved in their learning? As I read the book it reminded me about all the work I did last year with my Genius Hour time. That whole experience lit a fire within me. How amazing would it be if I could create that spark in all subjects, not just Genius Hour time? What impact would that kind of learning environment have on students? It’s a lot to think about and implementing this inquiry-based learning would be hard work. But man, it would be so worth it in the end. Learning can be fun.
I also signed up for a massive open on-line collaboration (MOOC) through Stanford University. This MOOC was about how students learn math. It is not a free course, but anyone can sign up to take it. Here is the link to the site. I thought this course would give me some insight on how to teach math in more meaningful ways. I was not disappointed. Although I am not going to be teaching in my own classroom next year, I can still use the ideas I learned in my math coach position.
Finally, I know I have mentioned before that I am going back to school to get my administrative credential. I just completed a course in school improvement leadership. In this class we talked about change theory. We discussed the benefits of Professional Learning Communities and formative assessments. We learned how to create effective school growth plans. I just finished the final project and wrote a culminating reflective essay about my learning in this course. It feels good knowing that is one less thing for me to complete.
Did I mention that I feel like my brain is about to explode?? The beautiful part is that all my learning is connected. The principles I learned in each activity overlap with one another. I think I need to take a break from all this learning and read something light. However, I ran into a former colleague of mine, and she was so excited to talk to me about a book she was reading. It’s funny because I had just ordered the same book and it arrived the other day. It’s next on my list of school books to read. The book is called The Writing Thief, by Ruth Culham.
I can’t wait to cram more knowledge into my already packed brain. 🙂