Monday, February 27, 2017

We all struggle.

This cat was inspired by a useful article about stress: How Harnessing the Positive Side of Stress Can Change Student Mindsets by Katrina Schwartz.

Quote from the article; "McGonigal" is Kelly McGonigal, a health psychologist and lecturer at Stanford University.
“If you are able to look back on your life and tell yourself a story about your stress that includes how you learned from it, it continues to create a narrative of strength, learning and growth,” McGonigal said.
An easy intervention to help students build a growth mindset about stressful situations is to break into small groups and share stories of facing challenges and persevering through them. The stories don’t have to be academic, but it should be a time when the student got better at that skill or learned something. Then students can write about the strengths they drew on, reflect on who or what supported them, and think about what they learned and how they grew. This is particularly powerful when adults share, too.
Sharing with a group can help students see that struggle is common to everyone. It can also help highlight different strategies people used in those moments of adversity and how productive challenges can be.

We all struggle.


(image is from cheezburger)

I enjoy the process of learning.

This cat is inspired by Anya Kamenetz's article, The Difference Between Praise and Feedback. The idea is that you don't want praise to interfere with a person's intrinsic joy in learning:
The idea is that parental praise is manipulative, intrusive, and undermines both children’s intrinsic enjoyment of what they’re doing and their own internal sense of whether they are, in fact, doing a good job or trying hard.

I enjoy the process of learning.





Feedback tells me to try harder.

This item was inspired by an article in the InPraise blog: Overcoming The Fear Of Feedback.
People with growth mindsets, on the other hand, are more likely to take risks and overcome obstacles by seeing failure as a signal to try harder, rather than time to give up.

Feedback tells me to try harder.





Sunday, February 26, 2017

Errors are portals of discovery.

I saw this quote come through Twitter yesterday: "A man's errors are his portals of discovery." - James Joyce

I checked Wikiquote, and found the fuller version there: A man of genius makes no mistakes. His errors are volitional and are the portals to discovery. It is from Joyce's novel Ulysses.

So I made this cat with cheezburger:

Errors are portals of discovery.



Saturday, February 25, 2017

Take time to recharge.

In order to grow, you need to take time to recharge your personal batteries!

Take time to recharge.



Made for the MemeGallery with cheezburger.


Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Find the reason why you made a mistake.

This cat was inspired by this Edutopia article: Teaching Students to Embrace Mistakes by Hunter Maats and Katie O'Brien.
Mistakes happen for concrete reasons. A student didn't memorize all the requisite facts, didn't execute the steps of a process, or perhaps just ignored the directions. The red "X" is just a simple assessment of the actions that student took -- actions he or she can easily fix next time. Sharing that clarity and causality with your students is the best way to teach deliberate practice, instill motivation and help them develop a more constructive relationship with mistakes. 

Find the reason why you made a mistake.




Sometimes you win; sometimes you learn.

Sometimes you win; sometimes you learn.



Made with cheezburger. I started with this graphic:


Sunday, February 19, 2017

Every day new and larger dragons come along.

This is another cat inspired by a quote from Carol Dweck's Mindset: "Because every day new and larger dragons come along and, as things get harder, maybe the ability they proved yesterday is not up to today's task." More cats inspired by Carol Dweck.

I couldn't find dragons, but I thought this might do:

Every day new and larger dragons come along.


(image from cheezburger)

Seven Things to Remember about Feedback

There are some very useful ideas here! Re: item 2, I personally don't think it's practical to separate praise from feedback (I'm more of a believer in Carol Dweck's notion of "process praise"), and re: item 6, I know students can learn to give excellent feedback (although that takes practice, too, like any kind of skill). Read through the items transcribed below and see what you think.


1. Feedback is not advice, praise, or evaluation. Feedback is information about how we are doing in our efforts to reach a goal. (Grant Wiggins, page 10)

2. If students know the classroom is a safe place to make mistakes, they are more likely to use feedback for learning. (Dylan Williams, page 30)

3. The feedback students give teachers can be more powerful than the feedback teachers give students. (Cris Tovani, page 48)

4. When we give a grade as part of our feedback, students routinely read only as far as the grade. (Peter Johnston, page 64)

5. Effective feedback occurs during the learning, while there is still time to act on it. (Jan Cappuis, page 36)

6. Most of the feedback that students receive about their classroom work is from other students - and much of that feedback is wrong. (John Hattie, page 18)

7. Students need to know their learning target - the specific skill they're supposed to learn - or else "feedback" is just someone telling them what to do. (Susan Brockhart, page 24)

Source. The collecdtive wisdom of authors published in September 2012 issue of Educational Leadership, "Feedback for Learning" (Volume 70, issue 1).






Because I feel safe, I can learn from my mistakes.

Because I feel safe, I can learn from my mistakes.




The cat was inspired by this infographic: 2. If students know the classroom is a safe place to make mistakes, they are more likely to use feedback for learning. Complete transcript here.



Saturday, February 18, 2017

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Ask me about what I'm learning!

This cat is inspired by the strategy presented in this article: The Difference Between Praise and Feedback by Anya Kamenetz.
In addition to assuring children of your continuous love and regard, “You want to understand what your child is thinking and feeling, to be respectful toward them. Asking questions is a far better idea than giving praise”—or criticism for that matter.  The idea is to support the development of a child’s autonomy by taking his perspective.

Ask me about what I'm learning!


Feedback is a relationship: you and me.

This cat is inspired by The Simple Phrase That Increases Effort 40% by Paul Sohn, where he is quoting Daniel Coyle:
I love how Coyle follows up with these insights: “The key is to understand that this feedback isn’t just feedback — it’s a vital cue about the relationship. The reason this works so well has to do with the way our brains are built. But when we receive an authentic, crystal-clear signal of social trust, belonging, and high expectations, the floodgates click open.”

Feedback is a relationship: you and me.




Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Don't echo negative thoughts inside your head.

This cat was inspired by an article about the critical voices you might hear inside your head: Silence the Critical Voices in Your Head by Sabina Nawaz.
There’s one debilitating behavior that most of us fall victim to with great regularity: listening to critical voices in our heads. Whether they originate from external criticism or our own fears and doubts, these negative voices tell us we’re not good enough, kind enough, or productive enough. Research shows that echoing negative thoughts inside our heads increases our chances of depression, isolates us from others, and inhibits us from pursuing goals.


Don't echo negative thoughts inside your head.





Feedback tells you that you can go higher.

This can was inspired by 5 Tips For Taking Feedback Like a Champ by Megan Bruneau.
I was recently talking to a professional athlete friend, who was sharing the areas of his game that needed work. In response to his coaches' feedback, he felt anxious, discouraged, and ashamed. "But isn't it wonderful," I told him, "That you have areas to work on! It means you haven't reached the peak of your game and can still improve as a player. Imagine if you had no areas you could improve upon? You would have maxed out your potential and wouldn't have the chance to secure a starting position!" The same goes for our career trajectories. Remind yourself that those deficiencies and growth areas mean you still have potential to develop — and there's no telling what you're capable of once you acknowledge and bring attention to those areas!

Feedback tells you that you can go higher.




Sunday, February 12, 2017

Feedback is helpful: don't fear it.

This cat was inspired by a post at the Impraise blog: Overcoming The Fear Of Feedback.
Stanford Professor Carol Dweck’s studies into what she terms ‘fixed and growth mindsets’ also provide valuable insights into this fear. According to her research, people with fixed mindsets view their skills as constant personal traits, while people with growth mindsets view their skills as malleable abilities which can be improved. For example, children who have been praised for being smart throughout their lives may face difficulties improving after receiving a bad grade on an exam. However, children who have been praised for getting good grades based on their hard work and dedication are more likely to see a bad grade as an opportunity to learn more. When we associate abilities with a part of our identity, receiving constructive criticism can feel more like a personal attack. People with growth mindsets, on the other hand, are more likely to take risks and overcome obstacles by seeing failure as a signal to try harder, rather than time to give up.

Feedback is helpful: don't fear it.




Feedback helps you know how far you can go.

This cat was inspired by How To Give Students Specific Feedback That Actually Helps Them Learn by Justin Chando:
I’ve learned that great feedback creates a roadmap for students; it shows them how far they can go in the mastery of a subject or skill by outlining specific places for improvement or highlighting successful behaviors/techniques. Great feedback pushes students to achieve more and it’s specific in helping them do so.

Feedback helps you know how far you can go.



Feedback is your cue to rethink and revise.

This cat was inspired by an article at the Impraise.com blog: Overcoming The Fear Of Feedback. One really intriguing part of this article is about creating a "feedback habit," and it describes the way that Starbucks uses the LATTE system to create a feedback habit for its employees for handling customer complaints. Here's the paragraph that introduces the topic of feedback habits:
An important part of overcoming your fear is creating a feedback habit. In Pulitzer prize-winning journalist Charles Duhigg’s book The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business, he describes how neuroscientists and psychologists discovered the impact of habits on rewiring the brain towards certain behaviors. Marketers and CEOs have used the key elements of creating a habit - cue, routine and reward - to induce certain behaviors in consumers and employees. Duhigg contends that by creating a routine and reward system triggered by certain cues, we can rewire our brain to create new habits and behaviors.

Feedback is your cue to rethink and revise.



Feedback reveals your potential.

This feedback cat was inspired by 5 Tips For Taking Feedback Like a Champ by Megan Bruneau (Forbes):
I was recently talking to a professional athlete friend, who was sharing the areas of his game that needed work. In response to his coaches’ feedback, he felt anxious, discouraged, and ashamed. ”But isn’t it wonderful,” I told him, “That you have areas to work on! It means you haven’t reached the peak of your game and can still improve as a player. Imagine if you had no areas you could improve upon? You would have maxed out your potential and wouldn’t have the chance to secure a starting position!” The same goes for our career trajectories. Remind yourself that those deficiencies and growth areas mean you still have potential to develop — and there’s no telling what you’re capable of once you acknowledge and bring attention to those areas!


Feedback can help you focus.

This feedback cat was inspired by 5 Tips For Taking Feedback Like a Champ by Megan Bruneau (Forbes):
I was recently talking to a professional athlete friend, who was sharing the areas of his game that needed work. In response to his coaches’ feedback, he felt anxious, discouraged, and ashamed. ”But isn’t it wonderful,” I told him, “That you have areas to work on! It means you haven’t reached the peak of your game and can still improve as a player. Imagine if you had no areas you could improve upon? You would have maxed out your potential and wouldn’t have the chance to secure a starting position!” The same goes for our career trajectories. Remind yourself that those deficiencies and growth areas mean you still have potential to develop — and there’s no telling what you’re capable of once you acknowledge and bring attention to those areas!

Feedback can help you focus.


Saturday, February 11, 2017

Feedback can cause discomfort.

This cat was inspired by this very useful article about feedback in Forbes: 5 Tips For Taking Feedback Like a Champ by Megan Brueau.

In particular, see item #1 in her list:
1. Realize that feeling uncomfortable is healthy, normal, and part of the growth process — this includes the discomfort we feel when we receive feedback. [...] Feeling uncomfortable is a normal and necessary part of life , and when we make space for the discomfort and permit ourselves to feel the difficult feelings that come along with growth, that’s where the magic can happen. [...]

Feedback can cause discomfort.


Friday, February 10, 2017

Your abilities are NOT carved in stone.

Today's cat is about one of the most fundamental elements of the growth mindset: believing that your talents are not carved in stone.

Carol Dweck quote: "You believe talents and abilities can be developed, or you believe they’re carved in stone." The quote comes from this podcast: Carol Dweck Says Theory of Educational Mind-Set Is Often Misunderstood by Goldie Blumenstyk. You can also read the transcript at the Chronicle of Higher Education (subscription required; no subscription required for the Soundcloud podcast).

For more cats inspired by Carol Dweck's writings and talks, see the Dweck Collection.


Your abilities are NOT carved in stone.



Thursday, February 9, 2017

Connect with others to reduce stress.

This cat was inspired by a useful article about stress: How Harnessing the Positive Side of Stress Can Change Student Mindsets by Katrina Schwartz.

Growth and other challenges can sometimes lead to stress, but there are ways to cope! This advice comes from the first item in Katrina Schwartz's article; read more:

1. Caring for others builds resiliency against stress. To help people reset their mindsets about stress, encourage them to care for others. The biological reaction to stress naturally includes a desire to connect with others. Nurturing that inclination can dramatically reduce the harmful negative effects of stress.


Connect with others to reduce stress.


Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Trust yourself.

John Spencer has a lot of good advice in this article; I've listed the seven main points below, and you can read the article for details about each one: Seven Ways to Crush Self-Doubt

1. Don’t Compare Yourself to Others
2. Abandon Perfectionism
3. Be Vulnerable to a Trusted Community
4. Embrace a Growth Mindset
5. Set Goals that are within your Control
6. Treat Your Work Like an Experiment.
7. Trust Yourself

Trust yourself.


(image from Cheezburger)

Confront the unknown with curiosity.


Confront the unknown with curiosity.



Today's cat is inspired by a great article by Linda Flanagan at MindShift: How to Spark Curiosity in Children Through Embracing Uncertainty. The specific quote from the article is: "Confronting what we don’t know sometimes triggers curiosity." The article is very much worth reading!

The image is from cheezburger.

And for a kitten confronting apples... with appropriate soundtrack! ... watch this YouTube video:


Thursday, February 2, 2017

A goal to aim at.

YOUR GOAL:
you won't always reach it,
but it's something to aim at.


Today's cat was inspired by this Bruce Lee quote; you can find more great Bruce Lee quotes at Wikiquote.

A goal is not always meant to be reached, it often serves simply as something to aim at.
— Bruce Lee, martial artist and actor, born November 27, 1940.


(Cat image from cheezburger.)

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

You might need to try another strategy.


You might need to try another strategy.


From Carol Dweck Says Theory of Educational Mind-Set Is Often Misunderstood by Goldie Blumenstyk (Chronicle of Higher Education). See more at the Chronicle site  (subscription required) or at the Soundcloud podcast. For more cats inspired by Carol Dweck's writings and talks, see the Dweck Collection.

Here's the context:
I heard a banking executive say, "Yeah, when I’m in a crunch. I have a deadline. Dwayne shows up." This is what Dwayne does, and how Dwayne makes me feel. This is how Dwayne effects people around me. Then the final step is talk to Dwayne. Get Dwayne on board with your growth-mind-set goals. Don’t try to get rid of Dwayne. Don’t disrespect him, but whatever you name your fixed-mind-set persona, say, "Thank you for your input." Or, "I appreciate your contribution, but why don’t we try it this way? Why don’t we take on that challenge?" There’s a setback, Dwayne comes rushing back, laughing at you. You say, "OK, that’s one way to look at it, but I think I learned something from that setback. What if we try this other strategy? Dwayne, you think you can bear with me on that?"
The image is from cheezburger.