My summer was filled with a variety of professional reading, including:
In addition to reading this book, I took an online course in blended learning. This book showed me that many models fall under the umbrella of blended learning. The most powerful blended learning models involve making a school from the ground up and leveraging technology as a tool for teaching and individualizing instruction. Little did I realize that “flipping the classroom” (something I started doing 4 years ago from time to time) is a blended model.
I first heard about Carol Dweck’s book when I took a Stanford MOOC course by Jo Boaler called “How to Learn Math” in the summer of 2014. People with fixed mindsets think their ability to do math is based on their intelligence or innate ability - that they are born with it. These people get frustrated when learning doesn’t come quickly to them. Failure or risk of failure leads them to take an easier path. Growth mindset people see failure as a part of learning and the effort needed to reach success makes them smarter. Great ideas, even though the reading felt like a stream of consciousness at times.
This book looked at innovators in several areas – social innovators, entrepreneurial innovators and innovators in education. Allowing children time to play and experiment was seen as important. Letting them work together to fail and learn from their failures was necessary. The book looked at several college and grade school programs that do this successfully. The short video clips were interesting, but were a repeat of what could be read within the body of the text.
This was actually my daughter’s summer reading book. She did not like it at all, but I told her I would read it and I did. If I did plan on writing a memoir, it would have been a very helpful book. A list of suggested memoirs found at the end of the book looked interesting. Perhaps I will read one or two of these memoirs next summer.
But the most powerful and practical book was...
Make It Stick: The Science of Successful Learning by Peter C. Brown, Henry L. Roediger III and Mark A. McDaniel. Thanks to Daren Starnes (AP statistics teacher and super math presenter) for sharing this book during Best Practices Night at the AP Statistics Reading this past summer. Daren's presentation can be found at http://apstatsmonkey.com/StatsMonkey/ReadBestPractice.html. It is the fifth presentation in the list.
My Plan to Make It Stick
Evaluating the Plan and Reapplying the Glue to Make It Stick
Additional Resources from Some Other Cool Teachers
Global Math Department
Attend their sessions weekly at 9 PM EST. Even if you have already begun your school year, you can still use some of the ideas in this recording of the Global Math Dept. webinar.