Age 9-11: Y5/6 (4/5 Grade US) 2017 Feedback from Day 2

Cardiff

Growth mindset

One school had visited other schools to see how they were implementing the growth mindset. The ‘power of yet’ song had been introduced. Children in this school are exposed to the language and are using it themselves.

Growth mindset posters were displayed on the hall stairs. Children had also been shown the ‘fleas in a jar’ story on YouTube. Children were able to understand how ability grouping puts a lid on learning.

Three teachers had introduced the bullseye learning zones which resulted in children having more time to think about how they feel when they are learning. Children are thinking more carefully about being uncomfortable or grappling during activities. Some try two or three tasks before choosing their learning level task.

Four teachers had introduced ‘magical mistakes’. Children are now unafraid of getting stuck and are more likely to ask for help. They are excited to celebrate their mistakes.

One teacher had used a lesson from the Growth Mindset book (Katherine Muncaster). Teachers found that some children were initially negative about themselves. One child now makes less self-deprecating comments.

One teacher led a whole school assembly about growth mindsets. Children refer to a growth mindset now.

“Your fantastic elastic brain’ had been used with Year 6. Children were very interested in the brain and how it works. They kept diaries to write about how they felt in their learning. Discussions were had about whether people were born intelligent. This had encouraged self-belief and to reflect on themselves as learners.

Celebrities had been ordered by intelligence. Most put Einstein first. The discussion that followed changed their ideas. A follow on lesson delved into which person had been most successful. Higher achievers were able to talk about their learning more easily. Children do not give up as easily now and are more able to support their learning partners. Children were able to see that they were all successful in their own way.

Using the book ‘Growth Mindset Lessons’, and the lesson ‘Doom words’, these had been banned from the room. How do you feel when someone says ‘I’m finished?’ was discussed or ‘It’s easy’. Children created posters for the doom words. They now have a better understanding that everyone makes mistakes and they have realised that sometimes you need to change your approach to succeed.

The learning pit was discussed and children drew their own. They could explain how they felt in the pit and knew strategies to get out of it.

Learning Powers

Three teachers had introduced the characters across the school. Year 6 had written stories for the foundation stage children. This has improved their literacy skills. Learning language is used by all classes and children are able to relate the characters attributes to their own learning. They are taking ownership of the stories and seem to understand their relevance.

One teacher had changed targets from subject based to ‘attitude to learning’. She had a display of the London Underground and learning powers written on it. Children each had a photo of their face which they could place on the map if they identified that as their target. Children were able to use this effectively and it helped the teacher’s planning especially for lesson starters.

Two teachers developed the ‘habits of mind’, introducing characters with certificates for each character. Children are now aware of the learning habits they use. Stories for the learning powers made children more independent and allowed them to make links.