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Summer Book Study: Growth Mindset Chapter 1

I am super excited to be teaming up with my friend Abigail from Kindergarten Chaos for our summer book study!  This summer our book is Mindset by Carol Dweck.   I am uber excited to read this book and study along with all of you.  
This week Abigail and I are teaming up to host chapter 1 of the book study!  So, you ready to hear my thoughts on chapter 1?

CLICK HERE TO READ ABIGAIL’s POST ON CHAPTER 1

After reading chapter 1, I have 3 takeaways and questions to ponder….
Dweck writes that there are two mindsets we can have:  a fixed mindset or a growth mindset.
A fixed mindset is a mindset that you have qualities that are carved in stone and unchanging.  Dweck says that people with a fixed mindset feel the need to prove themselves over and over again.
A growth mindset is a belief that with effort you can grow your basic qualities.  Everyone can change through application and experience!
So, do you have a growth mindset or a fixed mindset?
I have a growth mindset.  I firmly belief that I can change and grow and improve through hard work and experiences.   I know that I can be a better teacher next year than I was this year because I will put in the time and effort to learn new and better strategies and methods for teaching.    Not because I have to…but because I want to.  I want to be better and improve so I’m going to work as hard as I can to make that improvement.  
I do not believe that I have anything to prove to anyone.  When it comes to teaching, I am doing what’s in the best interest for my students.  That requires constant growth, study, knowledge and effort on my part.  If I want to give them the best, I have to be willing to work and grow so I’m being my best.  
On page 7, Dweck asks this question:
“…why seek out the tried and true, instead of experiences that will stretch you?”  
For me, this question is my AHA moment of chapter 1!   Why do we stick with the tried and true?  Why are we afraid of change and risk?  Why aren’t we stretching ourselves?   Everyday we expect our students to take risks and engage in experiences that stretch them…so why aren’t we doing that?

We are we still using 45,972 worksheets a month?  Or following our basal readers word for word?  Or sitting quietly in desks in neat rows and working in isolation?   Let’s break out of the “this is how we’ve always done it” attitude and start taking risks…thinking out of the box and stretching ourselves to become better and better!
As a teacher, what are your strengths and weaknesses?  
Research shows that exceptional individuals have the ability to identify their strengths and weaknesses….so let’s identify our strengths and weaknesses!
My strengths in the classroom:
Classroom management
Literacy Instruction
Engagement
Taking Risks
High Expectations
My weaknesses in the classroom:
Perfectionist!
Unwilling to listen and learn from others in my own building
Higher Order Questioning
Vocabulary Instruction
What are your strengths and weaknesses?
How will you address those weaknesses?
On page 6, Dweck recalls a story about a teacher who created a fixed mindset in her by the actions of the teacher.
So, by our actions, are we creating students with fixed mindsets?  Students who can’t enjoy learning or school because they’re so focused on proving that they’re smart enough or good enough?   Do we only call on the “smart” kids or give those kids responsibilities such as running errands???
Or are we creating students who believe they can grow and learn if they work hard and not give up?
In our classroom we talk a lot about exercising our brains.  If we want to be smarter…or better at reading or writing or math or sight words…we have to practice and exercise our brains.  Our brains can’t be couch potatoes if we want to be our best.   We have a growth mindset because we know we can be better if we put in the effort.  
Class Dojo has a great video series about growth mindset for kids…I love the video about exercising our brains!  

Feel free to link up your blog posts for Chapter 1!

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