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  • Build Perseverance

    Posted by Bonnie Fox-McIntyre on April 13, 2020 at 8:28 am

    I find that some students are eager to take on a challenge, to investigate, explore and persist. Others are more passive bystanders, find ways to feign interest or think they can wait me out by doing as little as possible before the bell rings…..How do I make sure that students feel empowered to try, to fail, to try again (growth mindset)? How do I help them create that sense of the messy stuff being the real part of learning?

    George Garza replied 2 years, 9 months ago 3 Members · 2 Replies
  • 2 Replies
  • Tornette Franklin

    April 13, 2020 at 1:39 pm

    Bonnie, I feel ya! It’s been a continuous process to build such a culture in my classroom and even more challenging proposition with remote learning. I celebrate risk taking and mistakes just with the language used on our classroom interactions. I invite students to point out when I make mistakes and to walk through my thinking process with me… so I do a lot of pondering out loud- that way they can see what I’m thinking. I pause to ask them… “does that make sense because it does not make sense all the time in my head?” This seems to invite them into the conversation. They share their thinking and I often ask them to visualize it for me. I’m honest, and tell my students when I’m lost and that I need a picture. I’m super excited when one of my most passive students shares their thinking and when they get frustrated trying to explain, I encourage them not to give up. I encourage always their “aha moments”!

  • George Garza

    April 15, 2020 at 1:31 am

    It really is about culture. As the adult in the room, your leaners will value what you do. If you value the messy explorations, the thinking outloud and the explanations, so will they. Just keep in mind that there are a myriad of ways to tell the learners what you value, your words being only one way you are communicating.

    If you don’t always get around to making some learners explain their thinking, they learn that you want them to, but it’s not THAT important. You need to move beyond making the learners feel empowered to try, rather you need to make them feel like it’s expected that they try, and make mistakes. It’s expected that they won’t always have the words to explain their thinking. It’s not just okay to stumble and trip, it’s celebrated as a growth opportunity. If you read Jo Boalers work she spends a lot of time talking about these things.

    It IS a hard thing to do, because they will likely have come from years of hearing the message that the ONLY think valued in math class is the correct answer. You have to reprogram them, but kids are smart, and after pushing to find out how serious you are, they will join in.

    I’m a fairly new teacher, but these are things I have observed and read. I’ve seen it’s true in relation to my kids, and in relation to my learners.