VSLA Summer PD

Join us for a summer of #VSLAPD

Connect with educators from other states!

Eleven members in the Virtual School Leadership Alliance have joined together to bring you an amazing summer of free professional learning. Mindset by Carol Dweck helps educators analyze their own mindsets, their students and peers. Whether you are in a traditional classroom, blended, or online, educators need to help motivate students and help them succeed and understand that failure can be very beneficial. We hope you will join us for one or all of the online discussions in our VSLA Summer Book Study 2016 Google+ Community about changing mindsets to help our students succeed! We will be using Twitter to share resources and will host two Twitter chats.


June 1-11, 2016

Title: Intro to Google+ and Twitter

Description: This session will help teachers navigate through our Google+ Community and Twitter. Facilitated by Indiana Online Academy.


June 12-18, 2016

Title: Chapter 1: The Mindsets

Description: Chapter 1 presents the two different mindsets - fixed and growth. Ms. Dweck reveals that she came upon the idea of researching mindsets by stating, "I never thought anyone loved failure." Failing and continuing to attempt are cornerstones of the growth mindset. It is important for educators to discuss this mindset as it relates to the presence of failure and perseverance in education.

Facilitated by Montana Digital Academy.


June 19-25, 2016
Title: Chapter 2: Inside the Mindsets

Description: In learning about the two mindsets, it is crucial to remember that you have a choice. Even if your mindsets are fixed in some areas, they are beliefs and can be changed. If you can change your mind you can change your mindsets. This is important because mindsets affect many aspects of life - how you view success and failure, the effort you put into what you do, how you approach a challenge, how you communicate with your students, and more.

Facilitated by Wisconsin Virtual School.


June 26-July 2, 2016
Title: Chapter 3: The Truth About Ability and Accomplishment

Description: There are many myths about ability and achievement. This chapter is about the real ingredients of achievement and what makes some people achieve less and some more. Many people think achievement comes effortlessly to talented people, but that is not typical. The fixed mindset limits achievement, fills people’s minds with interfering thoughts, and turns other people into judges instead of allies. The same is often true of praise and positive/negative labels. When people are praised for their ability, they may be afraid of damaging that perception if they struggle and stop challenging themselves. Conversely, when people are praised for their hard work, they often embrace future challenges. Overall, a growth mindset encourages people to develop their minds fully by embracing challenges and avoiding limiting thoughts which might hold them back.

Facilitated by Georgia Virtual Learning.


July 10-16, 2016
Title: Chapter 4: Sports - The Mindset of a Champion

Description: This chapter gives background information on numerous sports successes and talks about what made each successful. While physical attributes and natural ability might make it easier for someone to become a successful athlete, it takes character (or a growth mindset) to remain successful. Sports researchers have come up with three important findings. First, those with the growth mindset found success in doing their best, in learning and improving, and in the process of preparing for competition. Secondly, they found setbacks motivating—if they discovered a weakness they would work to overcome it, or develop other skills to minimize the weaker area. Finally, athletes with a growth mindset took charge of the process that brought and maintained success. Character and heart are words used to describe champions and come from the growth mindset, with its focus on self-development, self-motivation, and responsibility.

Facilitated by IDEAL - New Mexico.


July 17-23, 2016
Title: Chapter 5: Mindset and Leadership

Description: Successful business leaders typically possess a growth mindset. Rather than trying to prove they are better than others, they focus on trying to improve. Leaders with a fixed mindset believe that some people are superior and others are inferior and their companies are a reflection of their own superiority. These leaders don’t bother building strong, collaborative teams because they may see themselves as geniuses who only need helpers to implement their ideas. A danger this type of business leader faces is the development of “groupspeak” within the organization which can discourage creativity and limit improvement. Business leaders who have a growth mindset are more likely to encourage similar mindsets among employees, thereby encouraging innovation, hard work, and productivity.

Facilitated by North Carolina Virtual Public School.


July 24-30, 2016

Title: Chapter 6: Relationships: Mindsets in Love (or not)

Description: Explore handling rejections, view of relationships, conflict resolution, introversion, and bullying.

Facilitated by Illinois Virtual School.


July 31-August 8, 2016
Title: Chapter 7: Parents, Teachers and Coaches - Where do Mindsets Come From?

Description: This chapter focuses on the people who impart, often inadvertently, a certain mindset to children and students. Every day teachers send messages to students about how to think of themselves. These can be growth-mindset messages: you are developing and I am interested in your growth. Or they can be fixed-mindset messages: your traits are permanent and I’m going to judge them. Of course no one sets out to do the latter. This is why it’s important to learn to distinguish between these two types of messages and purposefully help students develop growth mindsets. Praising ability or intelligence often harms motivation and performance because students become afraid of making mistakes or appearing less than smart. The best thing we can do is to teach students to love challenges, see mistakes as opportunities, and enjoy effort.

Facilitated by Idaho Digital Learning.


August 7-12, 2016
Title: Chapter 8: Changing Mindsets

Description: Mindsets frame the running account that constantly takes place in people’s heads. These mindsets guide the whole interpretation process. A fixed mindset creates beliefs focused on judgment. A growth mindset creates beliefs focused on change. It is possible to help people/students replace the judging going on in their heads with a growth mindset in which they ask, “What can I learn from this? How can I improve?” Simply teaching about the mindsets helps people to shift their thinking about intelligence and talent. The brain does not have a fixed amount of intelligence. Instead, it is more like a muscle in that it changes and gets stronger when used. The more you challenge yourself, the more the brain grows. When students learn this they end up feeling empowered to know they can be in charge of the growth of their own brains. Changing your mindset doesn’t occur by learning a few tricks, however. The goal is for students to change from a judge-and-be-judged framework to a learn-and-help-learn framework. Students benefit when adults model this mindset, make comments that reflect a growth mindset, and who reward student behavior that aligns with a growth mindset.

Facilitated by Virtual South Carolina

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