Tuesday, May 20, 2014


People with growth mindsets believe that our intelligence increases as we learn, Carol Dweck said last month when she spoke at the San Francisco-based research organization WestEd’s annual forum. Challenges are welcomed as opportunities to work hard and figure things out. There is a lack of self-consciousness about making mistakes.
In contrast, a “fixed mindset” is the belief that we are born with a certain amount of intelligence and talent and “that’s it,” Dweck said. A fixed mindset is a mental trap, Dweck said, that can cause talented people to avoid challenges for fear of losing their identity as “smart.”
The fixed mindset approach is to “look smart at all costs,” she said. “Even more – never look dumb.” This is the mindset that saps students’ motivation, she said.


We read Dweck's book, Mindset, as well as used her online program, Brainology, with students. These have helped us praise effort over outcome.  As a result, children start to see mistakes in a different way, evidenced by their willingness to take on harder academic tasks.

It is exciting to read in the article that seven districts in California are adding to their accountability systems, among other factors, a growth mindset, and collecting data over the next two years.

In one particular classroom where the growth mindset is already being used, the following was reported:

“L., who never puts in any extra effort and doesn’t turn in homework on time, actually stayed up late working for hours to finish an assignment early so I could review it and give him a chance to revise it,” wrote a math teacher who participated in the study. “He earned a B on the assignment (he had been getting C’s and lower.)”


As a company, we work to include social emotional skills and growth mindset attitude to all we do, and are very excited to share this information with you.

From Edsource.org:

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Communicating with your children

Stacey attended a lecture by Michael Brandwein at the end of last week.  He was a dynamic speaker who spoke about parenting.  Here are a few of his recommendations:

1.     Turn around and respond to your child the first time they try to get your attention.  
You can respond with your full attention, or by asking the child to please wait until you are ready.

2.  Practice putting feelings into words.
When a child says something like, “I hate math/reading/sports,” you might be tempted to say, “Oh that’s not true” or something of that sort.  Instead, he suggests you try, “It sounds like you’re feeling frustrated about math/reading/sports. Tell me more.”

3. Imagine W.A.I.T is on your childs forehead to remind yourself Why Am I Talking? 
He suggests thinking about being paid per word so that you are a better listener, and don’t confuse a child or the situation with too many words.

4. “Tell me more.

This was perhaps his biggest take away. Whether your child tells you some fabulous news or something sad or difficult, he suggests that when you respond the first time, say “Tell me more.”  You can add, “I want to hear about ….” 

Using these techniques will help children know that you are being authentic with them and help to open the lines of communication between parent and child. Strong communication skills are lifelong assets.