I kinda got really busy over winter break and didn’t read or write anything, even though I had every intention to. I missed Week 1 from https://exploremtbos.wordpress.com/, but I’ll start up again with Week 2:
So after reading through the list of soft skills prompts, I’ve confirmed to myself that I still have to work on soft skills. I fully believe that once I have my own children I will get better at this, but I still wish I was better right now. But there is one thing I am doing much better at this year: encouraging perseverance. And it’s all because of Alex and Sara.
So I’ve always talked about in the beginning of the year how everyone has the ability to do math and all the growth mindset stuff and then I would just never talk about it again. I’d have kids give up and then say something like “Don’t give up! Keep trying!” and they’d roll their eyes and pretend to keep working for a few minutes. And I still have my Mindset Moment List, but that’s just one day every so often. But this year has been different.
The first thing that was different was that I started using Vertical Non-Permanent Surfaces and Horizontal Non-Permanent Surfaces. Alex did a great TMC16 presentation about Flow and using VNPS, so I built my own white boards to use with the few in my classroom and my students have been using them. I wrote about it here. Dry erase is such a great tool for encouraging making mistakes and perseverance. I used to think pencils and erasers were the best, but now I think dry erase is the best. My students typically pick up some markers (or bring their own) at the beginning of class so they can write everything they practice on their desks.
The other things that’ve helped for perseverance are two videos. Sara posted about a Week of Persistence where she showed a video about people stuck on an escalator and a beagle going after a chicken nugget. I showed these right at the start of second quarter before we were going to start factoring. I tweeted about the effects:
— Marissa W (@viemath) October 26, 2016
Heard my first student say to another, “Yeah! We were just like the beagle!” @saravdwerf
— Marissa W (@viemath) November 1, 2016
Just like Sara, I have these posters up in my room at each end of my Promethean Board and reference them often. I love hearing other students encourage their peers to “get off the escalator!”
I just started my new semester and get some new students and keep some of the same. I’m hoping I’ll have the same results as last semester.
J’espère m’améliorer mon enseignement des qualités personnelles.