School leaders using the EL Education model respect teachers and other staff members as creative agents in their classrooms and as professionals continually seeking to improve their craft. The EL Education model supports leaders to demonstrate a growth mindset and a commitment to continuous professional learning in themselves and all faculty members. School leaders build capacity in teachers in order to improve student achievement and to sustain teacher commitment, motivation, retention, and performance. Leaders establish and communicate high expectations for learning in the classroom. They conduct classroom learning walks to ask “what’s working?” and use evidence from their observations to inform professional learning, formal coaching cycles, and evaluation systems. They conduct regular walk-through observations to assess whether professional learning is being applied effectively and continually improve professional learning systems to impact student achievement.
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Much of what EL Education knows about the mindsets of adults and students was learned through more than 20 years of experience and, more recently, from Carol Dweck's book Mindset: The New Psychology of Success. This is an excellent resource. You will see where we have drawn from this resource and others throughout our materials.
This collection illustrates practices and ideas to implement that foster a growth mindset in students. Though these practices and ideas can be implemented by individual teachers, there is power in consistency across a school community. You are encouraged to connect with your colleagues and leadership teams about your reflections and ideas about next steps for your schools.
Students explore the concept of a growth mindset through readings and videos. They write annotate texts, discuss, write reflections, create graphics as they explore and examine the topic. Finally they form and express their own voice in an essay.
A growth mindset is critical in establishing a data-driven culture. Often data surfaces realities that are uncomfortable. Students might not be achieving after long months of teacher and student effort. Teachers who feel powerful due to their positive, productive classroom culture might not see data results. Students often arrive far behind grade-level in their skills and knowledge. Teachers who see the expected level of rigor and who become aware of how students align (or don’t) to these high standards may look at the gap and see a chasm – leading some educators to blame students, the system, the test, or be self-critical in unproductive ways. This ailment is a huge obstacle in a data-driven culture.
Literature Based STEM - Book List & Corresponding Activities:
Looking for grab-and-go elementary STEM lessons? Looking for a read-aloud to hook an existing STEM lesson? Trying to build a STEM library? Search the spreadsheet by titles, authors, big ideas, themes, and lessons. Whether you are a STEM specialist or a classroom teacher, these lessons will work for you.
Students enter our math classrooms with anxiety about performance, misconceptions about what math is, and a lack of confidence that can limit their ability to have meaningful learning experiences. In response to this challenge, Stanford researcher Jo Boaler has focused on some key tenants to help students transform their mindset to find more success with math teaching and learning. Some of these mindset shifts include recognizing that: (1) anyone can learn math, (2) making mistakes is essential to learning, (3) math is about fluency and not speed, (4) math is visual, (5) being successful in math requires creativity, flexibility, problem solving, and number sense.
In order to start building these mindsets, Boaler advocates, among other strategies, that students build a habit of being mathematical through common routines, tasks, and puzzles.
This guide will introduce 3 of those routines/puzzles including tips on how to successfully implement these tasks in a face to face, blended, or distance learning setting.
Many adult education students had difficult (and often negative) experiences with math teaching and learning during their time in the K-12 system. Without addressing their math trauma and helping them to build a mathematical mindset, our students may continue to struggle and be limited in their ability to succeed in math class, on the equivalency exam, and in college and career settings. So our program views math mindsets as the greatest challenge and largest opportunity for transforming the experience our students have when returning to school. Without this shift, we could share the best lesson plans, the most engaging OERs, and the most transformative teachers, and students will continue to be held back by self-limiting perceptions about math and about their ability to succeed.
In order to use data effectively in schools, we must be intentional about creating the right culture around it. A no-blame data culture that emphasizes safety and collaboration requires a growth mindset and relational trust. When all members of the group believe that ALL people can grow, change, and improve their craft, then looking at data is not about pointing fingers, but about finding solutions.