Saturday, July 29, 2017

English. I can do it too!

This quote is inspired by a passage from Chapter 2 of Laura Ritchie's book, Fostering Self-Efficacy in Higher Education Students (2015). Ritchie writes: "A learner has a vicarious experience when observing others accomplish tasks."

So, as others grow, you can grow also.

I can do it too!

(The image is from cheezburger.)

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

English: Look boldly ahead.

This is another one of Brad Esau's lovely photographs of Mrs. Bean. For more about Brad and Mrs. Bean, see this earlier post. You will be able to see all the Mrs. Bean posts as I add them using this link: more Mrs. Bean memes.

Each word of today's growth mindset advice is important:

LOOK: Look for yourself; don't wait for others to tell you. Use your eyes and your mind to see what's going on around you.

BOLDLY: Set aside your fears; fear is the mind killer (yes, that's from the Litany Against Fear in the great sci-fi novel Dune).

AHEAD: Don't worry about the past; look to the future instead. Growth goes forward. :-)

Look boldly ahead.

Helping Learners Move Beyond “I Can’t Do This”

I was excited about the references to growth mindset in the Twitter stream from #InstCon today, and here's a fantastic new infographic from Jackie Gerstein that has a lot of relevance to the growth mindset approach; read the blog post for details about each item in the infographic: Helping Learners Move Beyond “I Can’t Do This” — and here's the infographic, with the transcription below:

Helping Learners Move Beyond "I Can't"
  • Help learners focus on “I can’t do this . . .  YET.”
  • Teach learners strategies for dealing with frustration.
  • Encourage learners to ask for help from their peers.
  • Give learners tasks a little above their ability levels.
  • Emphasize the processes of learning rather than its product.
  • Reframe mistakes and difficulties as opportunities for learning.
  • Focus on mastery of learning; mastery of skills.
  • Avoid the urge to rescue them.
  • Provide multiple opportunities to learn and build upon previous learning.
  • May need to push learners beyond self-perceived limits.
  • Help learners accept an “it’s okay” when a task really is too hard (only as a last resort).
  • Build reflection into the learning process.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Hard work leads to positive results.

Today's cat is inspired by Jackie Gerstein's infographic on the maker mindset / growth mindset intersection:

Hard work leads to positive results.

The Intersection of Growth Mindsets and Maker Education

Jackie Gerstein's blog is a fabulous resource for both growth mindset and maker movement ideas, and this graphic explains why the two fit so well together!

(visit the blog for the full-sized version)

Effort is valued.
Hard work leads to positive results.
Growth & development are at the forefront.
Everyone can do.
Focus is on the process of learning.
One’s personal strengths, creativity, curiosity breed results.
Challenges are seen as opportunities.
Capabilities and skills can be developed, improved, and expanded.
Failure is approached as iterative.
Feedback, positive and constructive, is openly accepted and used for growth.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

I made a new thing!

This cat was inspired by Jackie Gerstein's "making reflection" below.

I made a new thing!

Infographic: A Making Reflection

I found this graphic at a blog post by Jackie Gerstein: The Mindset of the Maker Educator. The cycle of production and reflection that is a natural part of the making process is a great example of the growth mindset in action!

(visit the blog post for full-sized version)

  • Was I resourceful in terms of finding information, resources, and materials?
  • Did I ask other people for feedback and information, to collaborate?
  • Did I share my work and findings with others?
  • Did I learn something new?
  • Did I play and have fun?
  • Did I try to either make something better or create something new, rather than just copy something that already exists?
  • Did I approach learning as an open-ended process, open to new and all possibilities?
  • Did I accept failure as part of the process and use it to inform my learning?

Saturday, July 15, 2017

I like to try new things.

It's a "stop-and-smell-the-roses" kind of approach, but not just limited to roses! :-)

I like to try new things.

I used this infographic for today's cat; see transcript here.

Failure is an opportunity to grow.

I used this graphic in a presentation this week (slideshow and video here), so I thought it would be a good one to transcribe. As always, it's important to remember that you are not one or the other (in fact, that "either/or" thinking is a sign of a fixed attitude). Instead, the idea is that you are on a spectrum, with a growth mindset attitude being more strong in some areas of your life than others, and with different fixed mindset triggers that might bring out those limiting beliefs at any time. Learn what your fixed mindset triggers are so that you can be aware of them when they happen and think your way through them!

Failure is an opportunity to grow.
I can learn to do anything I want.
Challenges help me to grow.
My effort and attitude determine my abilities.
Feedback is constructive.
I am inspired by the success of others.
I like to try new things.

I'm either good at it, or I'm not.
My abilities are unchanging.
I can either do it, or I can't.
I don't like to be challenged.
My potential is predetermined.
When I'm frustrated, I give up.
Feedback and criticism are personal.
I stick to what I know.

Growth Mindset for Taming the Polar Bears

I was really excited to do an online session with Brad Esau of Taming the Polar Bears this week! Below you can see the quick slideshow presentation I used for that, along with the video of Brad and me talking about growth mindset!



Friday, July 7, 2017

How do I do it?

This cat is inspired by the "steps" graphic (see below).

How do I do it?
I can do it.
I will do it!

For more versions of the steps and a transcription, see this post.

Step by Step

This is not exactly an infographic, but you will see it in different forms online... and sometimes on real steps! Here are some examples I have found:

Which step will you reach today?
I won't do it.
I can't do it.
I want to do it.
How do I do it?
I'll try to do it.
I can do it.
YES, I did it!

Thursday, June 29, 2017

English. I shape the technology; it does not shape me.

This quote is inspired by a passage from Chapter 1 of Laura Ritchie's book, Fostering Self-Efficacy in Higher Education Students (2015).

Ritchie writes: "By taking responsibility, having purpose, and believing in their actions, students ultimately will be in a position to shape the technologies they use, instead of allowing technology to shape them. Without this outlook, the empowerment of having information at students' fingertips is false, as they are not being empowered to creatively use their own agency."

I shape the technology; it does not shape me.

(The image is from cheezburger.)

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Genius means you like to explore.

Genius means you like to explore.


This cat was inspired by Grant Snider's wonderful cartoon: Genius Is. He credits 15% of genius to exploration; I would probably give it an even higher number! :-)

Genius is...

You've probably heard that famous quote "genius is 1% inspiration, 99% perspiration," right? (More about that at Quote Investigator.) Well, here is a great take by the wonderful cartoonist Grant Snider on that classic quote; you can find out more about the cartoon at his blog. Yes, the numbers are made up (but hey, let's face it, a lot of numbers you see on infographics are not very reliable) — but the key thing here is that he shows you so many different ways to understand the sources of your own genius. Maybe you could make up a list of your own, showing your own take on just what it takes to be "a genius" at something.

Genius is...
1% inspiration
29% perspiration
5% improvisation
8% aspiration
7% contemplation
15% exploration
13% daily frustration
11% imitation
10.9 desperation
0.1% pure elation

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Curiosity breeds curiosity.

This quote comes from Aaron Davis's ReadWriteRespond blog, in a post about Daily Habits. These are some really nice thoughts here prompted by this question: What are the daily habits that you do as a learner? Here is the paragraph with the curiosity quote:
Another habit that I do every day is be actively open to interesting ideas. Curiosity breeds curiosity. In part I pick up some of this perspective from the blogs I read, but I think that it also comes from engaging in the world around. David Culberhouse describes this as spending time at the idea well. This might involve chatting with people at lunch or asking clarifying questions of others. I think that this is why I love professional development sessions and conferences so much. It isn’t always the intended learning opportunities, but the often ‘hidden’ incidental learning at the periphery.

Curiosity breeds curiosity.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Mind, brain, and energy work together.

This quote is inspired by an interview in the London Guardian newspaper with Norman Doidge, who is one of the leading proponents of neuroplasticity: The man teaching us to change our minds. Here is an excerpt:
The thing is, there are no lights, colours, smells or sounds inside the brain. There are patterns of electrical information and our sense receptors, our retinas, the cochlea in the ear are, in energy terms, transducers. Meaning that what they do is translate one form of energy – sound, light, heat – into another. It is the latter – electrical patterns of energy in the brain – that in one way or another help or cause the brain to sculpt itself, neuroplastically. Somehow or other, thought itself can do that work. It became apparent that this link between mind, brain and energy really is central to who we are and what we do.

Mind, brain, and energy work together.

The beautiful cat is Mrs. Bean as photographed by Brad Esau; this one is from the album Bean in Hope (used here by permission). Brad's blog is where I have learned a lot about neuroplasticity, and he writes in this post about how important Doidge's work was for him: Credentials and Sources. And here are some more Mrs. Bean memes.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

When I face a new problem, I think creatively.

When I face a new problem, I think creatively.

Today's cat was inspired by this very useful article in the Harvard Business Review: How to Spark Creativity When You’re in a Rut by Priscilla Claman.

The same things the article says about "newness" at work can apply to school too!
Remember your first day at work? You were excited. There were new people to meet, new skills to be learned, new processes or products to understand. If you are like most people, something else was different then — you. When you weren’t sure or didn’t understand, you asked questions, persistently. You compared what you were supposed to do on this job with what you had done in the past, and you made suggestions. You observed what your new colleagues were doing and evaluated what you saw. As a new person, you felt entitled to look at things differently and ask questions — that was a sign of your creativity.
After a while, though, you can get stuck in a rut and lose that sense of newness and freshness, and thus lose the creative energy that goes with it. Read the article for some specific suggestions about how to bring that sense of "newness" back into your school experience.

Infographic: Personal Accountability and Reflection

This infographic comes from a very useful blog post by Jackie Gerstein: Growth Mindset: Personal Accountability and Reflection. Instead of looking for a grade or some other kind of external assessment, you can use the questions in the infographic to reflect and assess on your own.

Did I work as hard as I could have?
Did I set and maintain high standards for myself?
Did I spend enough time to do quality work?
Did I regulate my procrastination, distractions, and temptations in order to complete my work?
Did I make good use of available resources?
Did I ask questions if I needed help?
Did I review and re-review my work for possible errors?
Did I consider best practices for similar work?
Is my work something for which I am proud – that I would proudly show to a large, global audience?

Monday, May 15, 2017

With effort, I can develop new skills.

A fundamental part of growth mindset is believing that through your own efforts, you can grow your intelligence and develop new skills. So, I made a cat for that:

With effort, I can develop new skills.

For more about the basics of growth mindset, see this infographic from the GoBrain website, with transcription here.

Infographic: Growth Mindset v. Fixed Mindset

I found this in a post by Jackie Gerstein: Growth Mindset: GoBrain and Making a Splash, and it comes from the GoBrain website by Carol Reiley (visit the site to see the full-sized version).

I'm personally not a big fan of talking about "fixed mindset" since that, even unintentionally, reinforces the idea that it is an either-or thing, as if people have a fixed mindset or a growth mindset. My preference is instead to focus 100% on growth mindset attributes, helping people to see it as a continuum, so that everyone is always striving to apply growth mindset beliefs to different aspects of their lives: school, work, hobbies, relationships, etc.

But... it's handy to have a chart that does take this contrast approach, and I think this is one of my favorites among charts showing growth v. fixed.


Growth Mindset
intelligence can be developed
leads to a desire to learn and therefore a tendency to:
embrace challenges
persist in the face of setbacks
see effort as the path to mastery
learn from criticism
find lessons and inspiration in the success of others
reach ever-higher levels of achievement

Fixed Mindset
intelligence is static
leads to a desire to look smart and therefore a tendency to:
avoid challenges
give up easily
see effort as fruitless or worse
ignore useful negative feedback
feel threatened by success of others
may plateau early and achieve less than their full potential

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

The Big Picture

I really liked this quote from one of my students in reflecting about growth mindset:
Always remember your why. If you can see the bigger picture, like the sick kid in the hospital you are going to need to give medicine to when you’re a nurse working the night shift, and you’re going to need to know how to do it because his life is at stake, so that is why studying for that nursing exam is so important.

Look at the big picture
and remember your why.

Learning Zone and Performance Zone

My classes emphasize the "Learning Zone" more than the "Performance Zone," but the semester-long writing projects definitely have some performance-like aspects. That is something I can try to highlight by using this helpful infographic! See transcript below, and be sure to read this very informative article: Learning and Performance Zones in Sports by Jeremy Frith (at Twitter) and Eduardo BriceƱo (at Twitter). It contains some great observations about coaching and about learning in general.

Learning Zone    versus    Performance Zone
improve    GOAL    do as best as we can
improvement    ACTIVITIES
we haven't mastered yet    CONCENTRATE
    we have mastered
expected    MISTAKES
low stakes    REQUIRED STAKES    any stakes
challenge    COMMON SOURCE
    lapse of focus
or unpreparedness
growth mindset    OPTIMAL MINDSET    growth mindset

Sunday, April 30, 2017

I will write without fear.

This cat is inspired by a student quote about growth mindset:
I want to continue to grow in the regions of creativity and the process of getting ideas on paper. I want to be fearless about my writing and improve.
I will write without fear.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Working in a team, I can learn more.

Today's cats were inspired by a comment from one of my students about teamwork (more comments from my students here); she is planning a medical career and when she thinks about her specialty, she wants it to be some area of medicine where there is a lot of teamwork:
Overall, I want to work in a team. If I work in a team, my growth mindset can develop because I am willing to listen to others to learn more from them as well as helping each other out. What the growth mindset is doing in teamwork is that it is forming a connection between mentorship as well as learning new things!

Working in a team, I can learn more.

What is this? I don't know . . . yet.

Inspired by this infographic about the power of "I Don't Know," I combined it with the power of "Yet" to create this growth mindset cat:

What is this? I don't know . . . yet.

The image is from cheezburger.

The Power of "I Don't Know"
with text from Heather Wolpert-Gawron and drawing by Rebeca Zuniga
see a transcription here

The Power of I DON'T KNOW

You can combine the power of "I don't know" with the power of "yet" to get that great learner attitude: I don't know ... yet.

You can find Heather Wolpert-Gawron's article at Edutopia: The Power of "I Don't Know" and then see Rebecca Zuniga's infographic (full-size) at TeachThought.

I've provided a transcription below. It's a non-linear sort of infographic, but you will find all the text there somewhere or other!

Teachers are no longer the carriers of knowledge, giving it to students and assessing if they can repeat the facts successfully. They are,instead, tasked with teaching students how to find answers.

Changing Attitudes.

It's OK to say I DON'T KNOW. Teach your students how to develop QUESTIONS. It helps to conquer their own confusion.

Online Literacy.

Internet Literacy.

In the Classroom.

Make GOOGLE do the work. Create a time scavenger hunt. Verify the evidence.

"Google doesn't make people stupid. It just does what you ask it to." Think about how to be specific enough to make Google do the work for you. Advanced Search. Keywords. Filter for fair use.

"We need to cultivate a certain excitement in not knowing something."

Group students with a short list of question about a particular topic. They need to work together to develop efficient keyword combinations to make Google do the more accurate searching for them. Make a contest using a Google Document to post answer and citation.

Triangulating Data.

Assembling Keywords into their own question and Google it.

Finding at least three other websites to corroborate the fact.

Embrace Wikipedia and all it can teach, BUT make sure that a student knows the steps to verify what's legit, biased, or even outright false. Main Facts. Data. Keywords.

"Modeling an exciting I-Don't-Know attitude is the brass doorknob that opens the portal to finding answers together!"

Monday, April 24, 2017

My effort and attitude are everything.

My effort and attitude are everything.

Today's cat was inspired by this graphic; for a transcription see: In our class we say...

In our classroom, we say...

For a transcription, see below:

In our classroom, we say...

How can I improve?
Instead of... I'm not good at this.

Let me try a different way.
Instead of... I give up.

Mistakes are part of learning.
Instead of... I failed.

Have I done my best work?
Instead of... I'm all done.

Learning takes time.
Instead of... This is too hard.

How can we learn from one another?
Instead of... He/she is smarter than me.

I like a challenge.
Instead of... I'll stick with what I know.

My effort and attitude are everything.
Instead of... My abilities determine everything.

From: We Are Teachers. Apperson.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Just do it! Confidence will follow.

Just do it! Confidence will follow.

The cat is inspired by this Carrie Fisher quote: Stay afraid, but do it anyway. What's important is the action. You don't have to wait to be confident. Just do it, and eventually the confidence will follow.

What Great Listeners Actually Do

This infographic is inspired by research presented in this article from Harvard Business Review: What Great Listeners Actually Do by Jack Zenger and Joseph Folkman.

Here are the four main conclusions emphasized in the article:

  • Good listening is much more than being silent while the other person talks.
  • Good listening included interactions that build a person’s self-esteem.
  • Good listening was seen as a cooperative conversation.
  • Good listeners tended to make suggestions.
Be sure to read the article for many more valuable observations!

The sketchnote is by Tanmay Vora: Leadership and The Art of Effective Listening.

What Great Listeners Actually Do
Jack Zenger, Joseph Folkman
1. Ask questions that promote discovery and insight. Two-way dialog. Constructive.
2. Interactions that build self-esteem. Create a safe environment.
3. A Cooperative Conversation. Feedback flows in both directions. Challenge/disagree without making other person defensive.
4. Make suggestions skillfully. That open up alternative paths.
Good listener is not a sponge that absorbs, but a trampoline to bounce ideas off.
Levels of Listening:
1. Create a safe environment to discuss.
2. Clear away distractions and make eye contact.
3. Understand the substance. Ask questions. Confirm.
4. Observe non-verbal clues. 80% of communication.
5. Understand emotions and feelings about topic. Empathize.
6. Help other person to see issue in different light.

* One disclaimer: I am not a fan of these faux statistics like "80% of communication is non-verbal." All components of communication are important, and any mindfulness you can bring to bear in communication is valuable, no need for faux percentages.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Study to learn

Inspired by this quote from Carol Dweck's MindsetThey were studying to learn, not just to ace the test.

Study to learn, not just to ace the test.

Now is the time to go beyond your comfort zone.

Now is the time to go beyond your comfort zone.

There are lots of reasons to get outside your comfort zone. This infographic comes from: 10 Things that Will Happen When You Start Stepping Out of Your Comfort Zone by Oscar Nowik. See this blog post for a transcription:

Stepping Out of Your Comfort Zone

10 Things that Will Happen When You Start Stepping Out of Your Comfort Zone

Lifehack article and image by Oscar Nowik, with sketchnoting by the ever-awesome Sylvia Duckworth. Read the article for comments about each of these possibilities:

1. You’ll start growing quickly
2. You’ll begin to love challenging yourself
3. You’ll realize all your fears are fictional
4. You’ll replace regret with excitement.
5. You’ll laugh at your past self.
6. You’ll find out more about your strengths and weaknesses.
7. You’ll boost your self-confidence.
8. You’ll create a new source of satisfaction.
9. You’ll realize the only way to success leads through discomfort.
10. You’ll begin inspiring people around you.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Stay focused and pay attention.

As the semester gets more hectic, it gets harder and harder to stay focused and pay attention. But growth requires awareness...and you have to keep aware!

The image is from cheezburger.

Stay focused and pay attention.

All learners are smart in their own unique ways.

This cat was inspired by Jackie Gerstein's infographic below.

All learners are smart in their own unique ways.

The infographic is from a blog post by Jackie Gerstein: How Educators Can Assist Learners in Developing a Growth Mindset. And I've prepared a transcript of the infographic also:

How Educators Can Assist Learners in Developing a Growth Mindset

This is from a blog post by Jackie Gerstein: How Educators Can Assist Learners in Developing a Growth Mindset. Visit the blog post to see the full-sized version, and see the transcript below:


How Educators Can Assist Learners in Developing a Growth Mindset
by Jackie Gerstein, Ed.D.
User-Generated Education

I believe that all students can learn and be successful.
I believe that I should assist students in believing that they are good and powerful learners.
I believe that all learners are smart in their own unique ways.
I believe all students should be challenged and be rewarded for taking risks and rising to challenges.

Growth Mindset Reflection Questions for the Educator:

Were my expectations clearly presented to learners?
Did I set and maintain a climate to learn from mistakes and failures?
Did I set a forum for learners to receive authentic feedback from me, peers, and experts?
Did I provide the resources and scaffolding if and when needed?
Did I provide the time and resources to address learner questions and confusions?
Did my learners and I consider and use best practices for similar work?
Did I praise effort, resourcefulness, and resilience?
Did I ensure that learners were engaged in and motivated by the work?