Growth Mindset Activities for Students

There has been a lot of talk about Growth Mindset around the education scene in New Zealand over the past few weeks. Stemmed by the visit of Carol Dweck for a series of conferences in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch. This can obviously apply to both staff and students in schools, and some people have been asking how to introduce Growth Mindset to their students.

An obvious place to start is the TEDx talk by Carol Dweck on the Power of Yet followed by a discussion with the class.:

Here are a couple of activities that I have done with my Learning Hub during Term 1 on Growth Mindset: Continue reading

Making Learning Visible at Stonefields

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Yesterday Di, Kylee and I had the privilege of visiting Stonefields School for a couple of hours. Stonefields have a great reputation for making learning visible and as I blogged about a couple of weeks ago, our team have a focus on developing the usage of our common learning language at HPSS. This post will cover the major takeaways for me from this visit – Sharing progression, seamless use of learning process and learner qualities, vision/leadership, familiar tensions and a collaborative future. Hopefully it will also encapsulate how inspiring Sarah Martin and her team are.

Sharing Progression

Students have Learning Progression documents for Mathematics, Reading, Writing and the Stonefields Learner Qualities. These documents break the curriculum own into student-friendly language and demonstrate what all students need to understand as they progress through the school. One awesome student sharing his progressions with us described them as a learning bucket list. Continue reading

Getting to Know My Learners

Day 2 of #28DaysofWriting and it was Day 1 of school for the year. That meant that today was spent with the 12 Year 9 and 10 students in my Learning Hub (our HPSS version of Learning Advisories). Part of the day focused on getting to know each other and part of the day on a challenge introducing them to one of our Hobsonville Habits.

I have 2 aims in the first few days of school every year:

  1. Get to know my learners
  2. See them go home happy

Today I got to know my Hub through a range of activities involving them speaking to each other, writing answers, drawing pictures and creating sculptures out of material such as play doh, paper, straws and pipe cleaners. I also learned a lot (possibly more) by watching how each of them approached each activity. Continue reading

How Might We encourage young people to stay hopeful, without sweeping hard questions under the carpet?

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I am currently reading Key Competencies for the Future by Rosemary Hipkins, Rachel Bolstad, Sally Boyd and Sue McDowall and have found it incredibly inspiring. At the end of a chapter about making meaning across the different disciplines, they pose 6 questions for educators to discuss. One of these questions is the (very slightly reworded) question for today:

How Might We encourage young people to stay hopeful, without sweeping hard questions under the carpet?

To me, this is a key challenge as we strive to make learning more authentic. So many of the issues facing the world at the moment and into the future can be such powerful learning prompts but so overwhelming.

As a social scientist I completely believe we have to embrace controversy and complexity in the classroom and have always striven to do so. This term I am co-teaching a module with Danielle Myburgh called Apocalypse Now which is Continue reading