Monday, November 30, 2015

Promoting ownership of learning

At our school we talk a lot about having a growth mindset in all aspects of life, especially in ones educational career. We encourage our students to look at each problem, situation, activity as a way to grow as an individual and think about mistakes and "hardships" as positive ways to learn and grow. Here is a great article on Carol Dweck's growth mindset.

Since I spend most of my time teaching students in small group settings and I focus on 4th and 5th grade math, I have a section of my bulletin board dedicated to their "I can" statements, growth mindset poster and my kid friendly version of our Marzano scales. 
Every time we begin a new unit or start working on a new standard I change the "I can" statement posters and we discuss it and look at the examples. If you like this idea- check out my teachers pay teachers store for the 4th and 5th grade math standards in the I can statement poster format. 

Throughout the unit we address our growth mindset statements because I tend to get a lot of these statements: "This is so hard," "I'm never going to get this," or the occasional, "This is so easy." 
I have also just started having the students informally assess themselves on where they believe they are on our Marzano scales. Some days I will have them hold it up on their fingers (4, 3, 2, or 1), other days they will check it off on the scale with expos, write their initials, etc. This helps them to reflect on their own progress and learning. Some people may think, "oh well of course they are going to say they are at a level 3 or 4 even when they are not." But you would be surprised at how honest students actually are when they feel safe and comfortable. Also, if they say they are a 3 or 4, they then have to prove it by completing tasks related to that standard! To read more about Marzano and the scale process, check this out.




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