Beyond Working Hard: What Growth Mindset Teaches Us About Our Brains

Teaching practices around growth mindset have come a long way in the last few years. Common pitfalls have emerged, as well as strong examples of programs that work. And through it all, educators need support in developing their own growth mindsets.

Source: Beyond Working Hard: What Growth Mindset Teaches Us About Our Brains

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A source for teaching inferring…

Although this is geared toward teachers, I thought it had a good deal of information to help parents as well. Click here to visit minds in bloom.




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Free Online Book Group

I will be starting a free online book discussion, which will last from Feb 1st to March 21st. The book we will be sharing is Cynthia Rylant’s Gooseberry Park . It will be limited to 10 participants, and they must be Hackley students.  If you would like your child to take part, please let me know through email. After you have received an email back from me confirming registration, your child can stop by my office beginning Feb 1st to pick up a copy of the book. It will need to be returned after the March break.

Please note that your child should not read the book in advance. Each week there will be a two to three chapter assignment (the chapters are short). If your child has already read the book, please refrain from registering them- one of the skills we touch on is predicting.

Your child will need access to the Internet in order to post to our secured webpage. If they are in 4th they will use their regular HOL credentials. If in lower grades, the sign in will be the parent HOL log in.

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Formative Assessment Used to Its Greatest Advantage

This is a great article about formative assessment, and is one that we prescribe to here at Hackley.  The reading observations we make during the Fountas and Pinnell Assessment, guided reading, book clubs and conferring times all drive our instruction in making sure we meet the needs of our diverse learners.

Source: Formative Assessment Used to Its Greatest Advantage

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Improving students with every test

Another great post by Annie Murphy Paul.

What if every test students take included an exercise intended to help them grow as learners and as people?

I’ve been thinking about this question ever since I read an academic paper published earlier this year, titled “Mind-Set Interventions Are a Scalable Treatment for Academic Underachievement.” The research reported in this paper was conducted by a group at Stanford University called PERTS, which stands for Project for Education Research That Scales. PERTS conducts research on how students can become “more passionate, resilient, and successful learners,” and then partners with schools and other organizations to bring this research to large numbers of young people. Please click the link above to continue reading!


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The power of…… yet (Carol Dweck)

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Last Online Literacy Circle!

The last online literacy circle is about to start, so if you would like to enroll your child please contact the summer program office at 914-366-2675. We will be sharing the book Rain/Reign by Ann Martin, which has received phenomenal reviews. Please note that it is centered around a young lady with Autism (which many of you know is something I am very committed to) so if you are looking for a book to help your child understand others, this could be a great discussion starter for them. Right now we have three children for this circle, but would love to add more. If you have any questions, please just email me. Please remember that anyone can join, this is not just for Hackley students.

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Reading success test at 3 y.o?

Many thanks to Jed Dioguardi for passing this along this AM!

I think that this can be a piece of the puzzle, and could see it also making sense for children that have focus issues; as this would be the foundation for attention shifting and inhibition. Interesting study.

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Examples of our current online literacy circle….

I am currently leading a literacy circle with Hackley students, and we are sharing A Wrinkle in Time. These are a few excerpts of postings that have been made so far, and I hope they give you a better idea of what the experience is like for the participants. If you think you may want to sign your child up for the one of the next two circles, just let me know.

….After reading chapter one, I would like you to list a few questions that you have about what you have read. Remember that good readers are constantly asking good, well rooted questions from the text. Questions drive our curiosity and stamina going forward, help us to make connections as we go and also commit us to becoming an active participant in the text. An example of a question that I am wondering is: Why is Charles Wallace so different than the average five year old? Some examples of his “non-averageness” would be his elevated speech patterns, his ability to maneuver in a kitchen, his ability to know what Meg is thinking/doing…. and I’m also wondering why why isn’t he in school? I thought it was very interesting that Meg had gotten hurt defending him, as others called him dumb, when he is clearly not. Perhaps this was one of the first lessons that the author is trying to teach us: to not judge a book by it’s cover. Because he didn’t speak in front of others, he was perceived to be of lesser intelligence; however it is quite the opposite that is true. His family knew how “smart” he was (and I think we will revisit the idea of being smart and what it means to each of us as we continue reading) through their own interactions and some IQ testing his parents had done on him, but they did not do anything to change the publics perceptions of him.

…..I’ve wondered often how these amazing visions or thoughts come to talented authors like L’Engle; and how they cultivate their writing seeds to make them bloom into beautiful gardens on the page. I imagine that it can be much like our own writing process when we are in writing workshop in the classroom, and we are gathering our own writing seeds for our journals and notebooks. Anything can give us inspiration- quotes, pictures, friends, other books that we have read. That is why it is so important that as writers, we are also readers of many books and careful observers of the world around us. 

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Where has all the logic gone?

I was recently on a hunt in my local Barnes & Noble for some logic books to use with some of the children that I am seeing this summer. I did not think this search would be difficult; I know that these type of exercises exist as I have been finding piecemeal tidbits in different teacher resources. I was hoping to find a complete resource that was differentiated that I could pull from when appropriate for my learners.

I could not find a single book on the subject. Now, maybe it was the particular branch I was in, who knows. But do you know what I did find? TONS of texts of drilling practice and curriculum hints and tricks for Common Core and grade level testing. It made me a bit frustrated, and to be quite honest, angry. There were a few parents in the education section with me, accompanied by their children. They were purchasing some of these exercise workbooks, and would turn to their children asking, “Does this look familiar to you? Did you cover this in your class?” while their children looked either bored to tears or thrilled (sarcasm) to be faced with ditto fun with the parental units.

Please know that I am all for keeping skills sharp over the summer to make sure that summer slide is minimized. However, in my opinion, parents should not be faced with supplementing or even covering curriculum at home. It made me sad that instead of being able to share well loved and new, exciting literature with their children (and you can cover “common core standards” with traditional texts), mothers and fathers were pouring over short passages in workbooks with inappropriately leveled literature for their children.

I’m still on the hunt for some logic resources, however I have the suspicion that I may be creating my own treasure trove of resources on my own.

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