One teacher had used the book ‘Your Fantastic Elastic Brain’ to help children see the different regions of the brain. They built an elastic band ball to represent the brain. Children can now talk about the different regions of the brain and know that they can affect their brains.
The Clip of Charlie and Lola (Too many big words) was shown to two classes resulting in children giving strategies to Lola and then promoting a positive attitude to mistakes. One child said ‘I saw Klaister had made a mistake-it was great-we worked together to fix it.’
All teachers were using the bullseye zones diagram. Three graded challenges were being offered for maths lessons with mixed ability and children were using coloured cubes to visualise the zones and put one out in front of them to say how they were feeling. This had given children more control over their choices. One child in particular was really stretching himself. If children chose the hardest challenge they easily moved to a less challenging sheet. It was thought that children are probably guessing which one to choose. Teachers were enjoying having mixed ability and children are more motivated.
One teacher removed rewards, golden time and dojo points and focused on learning skills instead. Children voted 24 for and 8 against removal of Dojo points. They did not appear to notice the removal of these or golden time.
Children now have an awareness of giving good feedback to the teacher.
Children had watched YouTube videos about how celebrities had overcome failures and barriers and displays had been made with positive and negative phrases to refer to. When they encounter challenge, children are more able to articulate their thoughts using appropriate language. They are making links to the ‘learning pit’.
Stuck strategies were co-constructed with children, which they make use of.
Children were also asked what they were proud of today with reference to the bullseye.
Three teachers used the learning toolkit, using characters which P4-7 designed, with a competition for the whole school. Class Dojo mindset videos were used to introduce the concepts. Children are using the learning language every day, they help each other by remembering the elements and encourage each other.
North Wales Team 1
Teachers had been using growth mindset thinking for a few years so classes were laid back about this.
The learning pit was really useful.
“My son was in the learning pit in a maths lesson. I stopped the lesson and we had a class discussion about being in the pit. We discussed ways for getting out of the pit. Pupils are less afraid now of being stuck and are more ready to discuss their panic.”
All teachers had displayed the zones bullseye and had coloured cups for children to show how they are doing at the moment. Pit stops take place and red cups are given a ‘how can we help?’ Children are helped to be in the learning zone. Children are now more comfortable with a more positive ethos. Teachers are more aware of children struggling with their learning and children are using learning language to describe their problems.
Some teachers use hot and cold tasks to help with assessment so that higher achievers can have a better suited task. Higher achievers are now more often in the panic zone as they are being challenged more often.
One teacher introduced the growth mindset by giving the children instructions for making an origami penguin. They said it was impossible and hard. They were shown a finished penguin, told to help each other and read the instructions. They created penguins!
Teachers were in the process of creating characters and stories for the learning powers.
North Wales Team 2
Four teachers had removed rewards which had led to slipped behaviour and difficulty in maths. It was felt that certain children still need them, as recommended by the Educational Psychologist.
One teacher trialled giving praise to the whole class which they loved.
In one small school, children were initially not pleased by having rewards removed but all accepted this and now don’t mention stars. They now focus on the quality of work and take pride in that.
All teachers were still working on the characters.
One teacher had used local people who embodied the various powers which had been very effective. They were learning one power a week, which had a positive impact on children’s understanding of the dispositions.
The learning power of the week was used for assembly, giving praise for using the skill so that all children then want to practise it. It had been good to make praise focus on a learning power.
Teachers had all introduced growth mindset thinking by talking about and showing clips of neurons, brain facts, discussing intelligence, discussing mindset stories and changing the language to include YET. The zones bullseye poster helped focus children, especially those more often in the panic zone.
Mistakes were celebrated and it was noted that children liked spotting adults’ mistakes!
These strategies had created a culture of confidence: ‘If it’s hard you’re learning’/’I’m so glad I made that mistake.’
School rewards were continued as this was school policy.
Mistakes have been celebrated and reinforced in lessons and used as a learning tool. Children now see mistakes in a positive light.
“I don’t feel sad when I get things wrong because I know I will learn from my mistakes.
“When I wrote the word ‘because’ I missed out a letter, but when I did it again I got it right.”
Michelle Coleman Peterhouse C of E Primary
The learning powers had been introduced via characters and stories.