Gator Gazette

February Newsletter

What is a False Growth Mindset?

Carol Dweck, the mindset guru, has written this clarifying article on recognizing and overcoming behaviors that are not Growth Mindset. Jennifer Bisballe has this Growth Mindset thing down. Today I was eavesdropping as she was talking to a student about their effort and growth. Her words were a masterful blend of truth, encouragement and praising the effort that was being made, a great example of Growth Mindset. In this article Dweck warns that are not all teachers are as careful with their words and shares some strategies for overcoming these behaviors. Dweck warns against not including the truth in your conversations with students. Other pitfalls are telling every student that "you can do anything" or blaming a student's mindset for their failure to learn. Often just an awareness can keep us on the right track.

Students Pay Students

I just had a conversation with Lynette who is doing something amazing in writing and gives all the credit to Linda Fullhart (Owner of Owl Publishing). When her students complete a writing composition they are paid 10 Gator Bucks in advance for their for their completed work. They then have to hire 3 editors to edit their work and pay them each 1-3 Gator Bucks depending on their skills. The students fill out a contract with the editor that they choose. Editors edit the paper based on their area of specialty which includes; grammar augmenters, plot perfectionists, vocabulary boosters and fact checkers. Editing is done through comments in Google Docs. If the writer felt that the editor did not meet expectations they could fill out a dispute form called a Breach of Contract Complaint and meet with the owner of the publishing company (the teacher). For a final conference the author meets with the owner to compare all of the drafts of the composition. The final draft is then published. Lynette made some changes to make this work in 3rd grade. Linda gives credit to Ian Byrd but would be happy to talk to anyone about this great idea.

Sherlock Visit Yourself!

Let me video you teaching! You will be surprised at what you see. I have done it and had to muster up some bravery to agree to having it done. I don't regret it and would certainly do it again. It is an incredible reflection and growth tool. Please consider it. I am not your evaluator so I would not ever come to judge, just to hold the iPad. You could choose to have me sit with you to listen as you talk through it afterwards or not. I promise you won't regret it. You are all great teachers and better at your job than you think you are.