School Name: Charlie Lake Elementary School
School District: SD#60 Peace River North
Inquiry Team Members:Cheryl Ranger: firstname.lastname@example.org, Danielle Coccola: email@example.com
Inquiry Team Contact Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Type of Inquiry: NOII (focus on core competencies, OECD learning principles, etc.)
Grade Levels: Primary (K-3)
Curricular Area(s): Mathematics / Numeracy
Focus Addressed: Growth mindset
In one sentence, what was your focus for the year? Will focusing on growth mindset improve our students abilities in math?
Scanning: We noticed that our classes were low academically and that students were scared of trying and lacking in motivation.
Focus: We wanted to help our students at the start of their school journeys. We wanted to give them skills that would benefit them in all areas of learning. We wanted our students to try and actually recognize the effort they put into learning.
Hunch: Students seem to be less independent, and requiring more one-to-one support. There seems to be a fixed mindset that math is something that you either know or don’t know.
New Professional Learning: We explored Growth Mindset and we used Adrienne Gear’s Powerful Understanding.
Taking Action: We used the Celebrating Me section of Adrienne Gear’s Powerful Understanding. We wanted our students to have a good understanding of themselves – what they can do/what they are good at, as well as what they can’t do yet. We then incorporated as many different lessons on growth mindset as we could. We used many picture books and videos to explore perseverance, effort, and mistakes. With our classes we created a 4 Star Effort chart which we built into our daily practice. Students were able to assess if they were giving a 1 star effort (no effort at all) or a 4 star effort (kept trying even when it got hard).
Checking: Overall, there was some improvement in their math abilities. We used our district’s diagnostic math assessment – at the beginning of the year, neither class was successful with the assessment and at the end of the year, both classes completed it and showed significant improvement in the effort they put into it. We surveyed our students at the beginning and the end. We noticed a big change in their answers to the question “When math gets hard, I keep trying” – 81% chose always, compared to the 64% at the beginning.
We were both encouraged by the results.
Reflections/Advice: We learned that focusing on growth mindset does make a difference – not just in academic results but in students attitudes and efforts. We both plan to continue this focus next year, but start right in September, so we can build on it throughout the entire year. We would plan to start in September with Adrienne Gear’s Powerful Understanding, as we think it’s a great way to build community and celebrate our diversity.