Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Tools to Help Students Build a Growth Mindset

“Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.” By Thomas A. Edison

Growth Mindset = the belief that intelligence can be developed. Helping students build growth mindset helps motivate students and improves student achievement. So how can we build growth mindsets in the classroom? Below are five ways and a toolkit of resources to also help.

  1. Teach students about the malleability of the brain and how it works. For example: The brain is a muscle. Also see Brainology® infomation below.
  2. Give authentic feedback (also known as process praise) verse praise. For example: You completed that project well vs you are smart.
  3. Value mistakes! Did you know…our brain is more active when we make mistakes.
  4. Change our language. For example:  Adding ‘yet’ to our words. – I am not good at fractions. vs I am not good at fractions yet. 
  5. Purposeful and meaningful learning that is relevant. 
    1. Pointless = de-motivating & frustrating
    2. Meaningful = motivating & energizing


Perts Mindset Toolkit and Perts Mindset Meter

Mindset Works – Especially the Brainology®


The Power of Believing That You Can Improve 

How Mistakes Make You Smarter

You Can Learn Anything

Kid President Videos


Mindset: The New Psychology of Success by Carol Dweck

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change By Stephen R. Covey

Daniel Pink’s Books


Six ways to teach growth mindset from day one of school

Growth Mindset: How to Normalize Mistake Making and Struggle in Class

Mindsets and Student Agency

If you have any resources to share to help educators build growth mindset, please share them in the comments.

Building Empathy From the Start: A New First Day Tradition?

“Inside every great teacher, there is an even greater one waiting to come out.” By Author Unknown

An excellent post from my friend and ASCD Emerging Leader colleague Brianna Crowley.  Source: Building Empathy From the Start: A New First Day Tradition?

Non-Cognitive Skills in the Classroom

“Dispositions to learning should be key performance indicators of the outcomes of schooling. Many teachers believe that, if achievement is enhanced, there is a ripple effect to these dispositions. However such a belief is not defensible. Such dispositions need planned interventions.” – John Hattie (2009), Visible Learning

Teaching non-cognitive skills (also known as life skills, soft-skills, dispositions, habits of mind) are just as important as teaching our students the cognitive skills. Non-cognitive skills are traits and skills that help students (really everyone) facilitate success in everyday life. Non-cognitive skills are attributes teachers strive to foster in students. These skills seldom stand alone and are even more important in this day of age where almost everything we do is working with others.

There are many non-cognitive skills such as the famous four C’s of critical thinking, creativity, collaboration, communication but we need to go beyond just them and think about how learners need to also be reflective, adaptable and flexible as well.

3 Quick Strategies to Embed Non-Cognitive Skills into the Classroom:

1. Praise effort, not ability and have students reflect on their work.

2. Highlight skill and talk about it purposefully. This could be done in morning meeting, classroom meeting or part of a lesson. It could also be when you notice a student, character or someone famous doing an exemplar job at one of the skills you could make it apart of a discussion.

3. Have a Genius Hour, Makerspace and/or Experiential Learning area where students can explore and tinker.

More Books/Articles on Non-Cognitive Skills:

The Need to Address Non-Cognitive Skills in the Education

My #ISTE2015 Round Up

“Learning never exhausts the mind.” By Leonardo da Vinci

It is hard to believe that a week ago was the first day of #ISTE2015! There was over 18,000 educators from all over the world at the conference in Philadelphia, PA. There was great sessions, keynotes and my favorite networking with my PLN! Below are my top three ‘items’ from ISTE that I rounded up from my notes:

Google Cardboard Expedition

1. Google Reveals: #GoogleEdu
  • Google will allow developers to embed a “share” button that allows teachers and students to share resources to Google Classroom. More than 20 educational content and tool providers have already committed to integrating the Classroom share button.
  • Google is rolling out an API that lets developers integrate their tools with Classroom.
  • Google Expeditions (using Google Cardboard) allows you to take a virtual tour through museums.
  • Google Classroom mobile notifications: In the next few weeks, Google will be adding mobile notifications in their iOS and Android app. Students can immediately see when they’ve got a new assignment or grade, a note from their teacher or a comment from a fellow student.
2. Resources for STEM schools and Makerspaces:
  • MakerBot launched an education site. You also can have a free download of ‘Makerbot in the Classroom’ which includes an introduction to 3d printing and design along with lesson ideas etc. and @makerbotedu
  • IgnitEDLearning features teacher designed projects around making and circuits.
  • The Autodesk Design Academy features collection of materials that help educators teach creativity and design.

3. These are app/sites I am going to be looking more into:

  • Periscope – I have used this to watch video but have not created one myself for others to view.
  • 81 Dash – A new way to back channel that also integrates with Google Classroom.
  • Twine – is an interactive story telling site. (You can also challenge your students by adding coding to it as well)

5 Ways to Improve Your Practice This Summer

“Without continual growth and progress, such words as improvement, achievement, and success have no meaning.” By Benjamin Franklin


With summer starting for some educators and for others it is right around the corner. I wanted to take a minute and offer five ways to improve your practice over the summer.

1. Take Time for YOU: Take this time to do things you love as it will help you get refreshed and ready for the new school year. When I take time for me, I find it happens to be when my best ideas formulate without even realizing it.

2. Read: It doesn’t have to be books but it can be blogs, articles, magazines and it also doesn’t have to be an education item. When I read outside of education, I get just as many ideas of things I can try to implement. It helps me think outside the box and be creative.

3. Participate in Professional Learning/Development: Take at least one class or course this summer that can help you improve your practice. Instead of your traditional face to face class try an edcamp or a virtual course such as a MOOC or book study.

4. Build your PLN: Connect with other educators and build your PLN through Twitter, G+, Instagram and Voxer. I am not saying you have to do this every day but take a few days out of the summer and connect with others to see what they are doing in the classroom and also share out what you are doing or plan on doing.

5. Reflect: Take time to reflect on your teaching practice. Think about what worked in your classroom last year and what didn’t. Before diving into what you plan on doing the first few weeks back to school, think about the year as a whole, what do you want to accomplish? What do you want for your students? What is something new you are going to try?

I would love to hear how you plan on improving your practice over the summer, share with me in the comments.

#edcampldr NC – Connecting and Learning to Improve Leading

Originally posted on mccoyderek:

Edcamp LeadershipJuly 10, 2015 promises to be a historic day of learning and connecting for North Carolina educators!

Friday July 10th, we are hosting the first ever Edcamp for School Leaders! Edcamps are not new to North Carolina – for years, dedicated educators have been coordinating and hosting these ‘unconferences’ across our great state. These edcamps have brought in educators from different school districts to share, connect and ultimately help others improve the learning and teaching in all our schools. Talk to any participants in these edcamps and they will tell you that these experiences have been incredibly valuable and significant to their personal/professional development.

Edcamp Leadership NC [held Friday July 10 at the @FridayInstitue] is the first of its kind in NC and we have some great reasons to be excited:

This is a first NC unconference targeted for school leaders across the state. Make no mistake…

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Creating Culturally Responsive Classrooms

“A nation’s culture resides in the hearts and in the soul of its people.” By Gandhi


Last week #21stedchat on Twitter was about creating Culturally Responsive Classrooms. Throughout the chat I could see many educators ‘favoriting’ a lot of the tweets/resources but were not participating with their own teacher voice. I soon realized it was because educators are still not comfortable talking about culture diversity in the classroom. In response to this I want to share all the resources from the chat to help educators start feeling more knowledgable around this topic because the more we discuss and share, the better we will get as an education system to become more culturally responsive.

What is a culturally responsive classroom? It is a classroom that purposefully acknowledges the presence of culturally diverse students and the need for relevant connections among them and the content being taught.


Five-Minute Film Festival: Culturally Responsive Teaching

Creating Culturally Responsive, Inclusive Classrooms

A Framework for Culturally Responsive Teaching from ASCD

Teaching Tolerance Website 

The Best Sites for Learning About the Word’s Different Cultures by Larry Ferlazzo

Relationship Building Through Culturally Responsive Classroom Management

Uncomfortable Conversations: Talking about Race in the Classroom

How Cultural Differences May Affect Student Performance

Culturally Relevant Teaching Resources

Cybrary Man’s Culture Resource Page

Culturally Responsive Lesson Plans


Cultural Proficiency: A Manual for School Leaders

Other People’s Children by Lisa Delpit

Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria: And Other Conversations About Race by Tatum

Please share any resources you have in the comments to help educators have a more culturally responsive classroom.


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