Winsor Faculty Update

Mid-February Edition

The Power of a Growth Mindset

As a group, we have spent much time talking about how to ensure our students persist through difficult or challenging tasks. Aside from delivering content, perhaps our greatest responsibility is to instill the value of hard work, communicating to students that persistence is an essential skill that leads to positive outcomes, both in the short and long term. We do this through our curricular areas, be it FCAs from Collins Writing, to showing our problem solving process in Math. Students are expected to make their thinking visible and persist through challenging tasks. For some, sticking with a concept that is difficult can require some extra effort on our part. If we understand the power of a Growth Mindset and can effectively communicate this to our students, they will rise to meet the high bar we set for them. Those demonstrating a Growth Mindset will achieve more in the long term than those with a fixed mindset, as explained here:

One way to assess our current state of mind with regard to a Growth Mindset is to take a self-assessment, found here:

By first understanding our own propensities, we will be better off trying to influence the grit level of our students. I encourage our team to take the self-assessment and reflect upon where you stand at this time. Remember, it is not where we are right now, it is where we can go and what we can do for our students. As a reminder, our next Town Meeting, scheduled for February 22nd, will recognize students demonstrating persistence and effort. We want to continue to build and raise capacity for effort and progress. We will also be showing some videos at Morning Meeting in the coming days to encourage students to demonstrate a Growth Mindset.

Interactive Modeling

As those who have completed the full Responsive Classroom training know, Interactive Modeling is a powerful tool. Interactive Modeling has multiple uses, including academic instruction and the establishment of routines. Interactive Modeling is clear and specific. Thinking is made visible and requires multiple layers of student participation. The "recipe" for Interactive Modeling is as follows (taken from Margaret Berry Wilson's text Interactive Modeling: A Powerful Technique for Teaching Children):

1. Say what you will model and why

2. Model the behavior

3. Ask students what they noticed

4. Invite one or more students to model

5. Again, ask students what they noticed

6. Have all students practice

7. Provide feedback

Early adopters of RC utilize this methodology daily and have seen positive results. Please, if you would like to observe this effective tool in action, see me so that I can arrange an observation time. We also have copies of this text in our professional development area, located in the faculty dining room. Please feel free to use this, or any other Responsive Classroom texts.

Recess Rocks Update

A team of Winsor staff attended Recess Rocks training last Thursday and will follow up again this upcoming Thursday. Recess Rocks is a program that will make recess equal parts fun and productive for our students, building critical thinking skills, improving social outcomes, and developing the student skill of problem solving without an adult. This program will connect all students together and create authentic, fun games that all students will love. Please be on the lookout for an after school PD session, to be scheduled after the second day of training on February 14th. If you are interested in hearing more, talk to Brian, Michelle, Jessy, or Pete to get an overview of this awesome opportunity.

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