Practice, Practice, Practice

Standard

How to define goals and implement deliberate practice in order to grow professionally – based on the ideas in chapter 7 of Grit by Angela Duckworth.

“Each of the basic requirements of deliberate practice is unremarkable:

• A clearly defined stretch goal

• Full concentration and effort

• Immediate and informative feedback

• Repetition with reflection and refinement”

~ Create a goal for professional growth – identify a weakness ~

“…experts strive to improve specific weaknesses. They intentionally seek out challenges they can’t yet meet.”

“Even the most complex and creative of human abilities can be broken down into its component skills, each of which can be practiced, practiced, practiced.”

~ Target efforts toward growth goal ~

“…with undivided attention and great effort, experts strive to reach their stretch goal.”

“…experts practice differently. Unlike most of us, experts are logging thousands upon thousands of hours of what Ericsson calls deliberate practice.”

~ Seek out and utilize feedback ~

“As soon as possible, experts hungrily seek feedback on how they did. Necessarily, much of that feedback is negative. This means that experts are more interested in what they did wrong—so they can fix it—than what they did right. The active processing of this feedback is as essential as its immediacy.”

~ Repeat, Reflect, Refine ~

“And after feedback, then what? Then experts do it all over again, and again, and again. Until they have finally mastered what they set out to do. Until what was a struggle before is now fluent and flawless. Until conscious incompetence becomes unconscious competence.”

Advertisements

Believe that the Best is Yet to Come

Standard

This is the second time this week I’ve come across this message. The first time was early in the week during my prayer time and now as I look back at previous blog posts I see it again…walking-emoji

Always believe the best is yet to come. – Trust the Process

Rethink | Rebuild | Renew

Standard

Rethink

If you could find an inexpensive and healthy way to improve the lack of learning engagement, focused study and positive social interactions in your classroom and school, would you use it?

The good news is there is something out there that will improve learning, attitudes and social-emotional issues. It’s not a pill. It’s not an app for your phone. It’s not a new book of strategies from the latest education guru.

What is it?!

It’s a combination of EXERCISE, EATING nutritious foods and APPLYING the wisdom of God’s Word.

To increase brain capacity, focus and memory, we all need exercise and healthy food. Neuroscientist Wendy Suzuki discovered just how important exercise is not only to physical health but for achieving a healthy mind.

“…to celebrate her birthday, she booked an adventure trip that forced her to wake up to a startling reality: despite her professional success, she was overweight, lonely, and tired and knew that her life had to change. Wendy started simply—by going to an exercise class.

Eventually, she noticed an improvement in her memory, her energy levels, and her ability to work quickly and move from task to task easily. Not only did Wendy begin to get fit, but she also became sharper, had more energy, and her memory improved. Being a neuroscientist, she wanted to know why.” –  http://www.wendysuzuki.com/the-book/

 

How well are you feeding your brain?  Yes, What You Eat Affects Your Brain – Huffington Post

How well are you applying God’s Word each day?

“…Fix your thoughts on what is true and good and right. Think about things that are pure and lovely, and dwell on the fine, good things in others. Think about all you can praise God for and be glad about. Keep putting into practice all you learned from me and saw me doing, and the God of peace will be with you.” Philippians 4:8-9 (TLB)

Rebuild

I’m an avid fan of criminal investigation shows and documentaries exploring the minds of violent criminals. Recently, I stumbled across the video by Dr. Suzuki after watching the video below entitled Violent Minds. Notice the areas of the brain which light up on the scans (most notably the prefrontal cortex)  –  normal brains compared to those brains which have a propensity toward violence.

The violent minds video is around 50 minutes long so fast forward it and watch minutes 17:34 – 21:02 which highlights what has been discovered from studying the scans of impulsive individuals who often have ADHD.

Today, I found this research from Professor Jim Fallon. You may be like me and wondering how and why criminal behavior starts? Does it start in the mind or soul? Is it a matter of good vs. evil? Is it nature or nurture? Watch this…

Since the minds of impulsive criminals (not the organized and calculating minds of psychopaths) do not properly activate certain areas of the brain and exercise promotes activity in those parts of the brain, shouldn’t exercise play a major role in rehabilitation, mental health programs as well as teaching and learning?

What is the best way to use exercise throughout the school day? How might exercise and social-emotional learning be embedded across classrooms in an effort to improve mental health? What do teachers need to know about social-emotional learning in order to implement best practices in their classrooms?

How might you rely on God’s grace to rebuild your mind and your life each day? How might this help you to support your students?

You will be rebuilt.” –  Blog post which highlights Jer. 31:4 where God promises to rebuild our ruins – Joni Eareckson Tada at Joni and Friends

Renew

In no way do I want to oversimplify issues of learning or social-emotional and mental health. But in a day and age in which teacher workdays begin with preparedness training for what to do in the event of an armed intruder, social-emotional health has to be of upmost importance in schools and classrooms. It’s critical that educators notice the signs which indicate a student may be hurting emotionally or may be mentally unstable. We must do all that we can to support not only the mastery of academic standards but to support the CHILD.

Today’s education landscape is vast and complicated and educators face challenges unlike any before. I believe it’s time for each of us to reboot and reconnect:

  1. do more by doing less (do only what matters most)
  2. connect offline more than online (spend more time with people than with their social media profiles)
  3. exercise
  4. eat right (buy local; grow or raise your own food)
  5. be kind and loving
  6. connect to Father God daily

“And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” Romans 12:2 (KJV)

Photo Credit: flickr

Pick Yourself Up

Standard

“I’m positive that if you do the hard work and never quit—and pick yourself up when things go sideways—good things will be waiting on the other side.” – Chip Gaines, Capital Gaines: Smart Things I Learned Doing Stupid Stuff

Writing is Innovation

Standard

Reading By Example

As an idea, innovation is getting tossed around a lot in education lately.

Anytime I see something accepted en masse, I get suspicious. I find it helpful to go back to the meaning and origin of these concepts. Merriam-Webster defines innovation as “something new or…a change made to an existing product, idea, or field”. The Latin root of innovate is innovatus, meaning “to renew, restore; to change”.

Given this understanding, I believe innovation is used too loosely in the context of teaching and learning. Will Richardson aptly points this out in his article for The Huffington PostStop Innovating in Schools. Please.:

Our efforts at innovating, regardless of method, idea, or product, have been focused far too much on incrementally improving the centuries old structures and practices we employ in schools, not on fundamentally rethinking them.

I would continue this argument by stating that innovation should not be limited to science…

View original post 421 more words

Coach to Personalize Student Learning

Standard

This morning I read an article posted to the Getting Smart site entitled, Instructional Coaching for Secondary School Transformation and I’m intrigued by the idea of the use of coaches in the process of building personalized learning pathways for middle and high schools. My high school’s current problem of practice is centered around the notion of real-world and authentic learning experiences so our teacher leaders could definitely benefit from seeing the possibilities of designing personalized learning.

During a vision-setting day, the coach was able to lead discussions to determine teacher understanding of the concept of personalized learning, student need as evidenced by data and potential directions for building their instructional model of personalized learning.

“..the teachers began by identifying the differences between teaching for achievement and teaching for growth.  Through reflective conversation Lori asks probing questions to guide teachers towards a model of personalized learning to address both teaching for achievement and growth.”

PL-Pathways-forHS

“After much discussion and brainstorming they determined as a team that students will move through tasks or learning zones based on student formative assessment data. This is the foundation for teaching both achievement and growth.”

After the initial vision setting, the teachers implemented the plan and the coach used questioning and data to support professional growth among the teachers. The coach also monitored teacher growth by outlining the currently reality for each teacher and, in an adjacent column, the next steps the teacher had committed to trying to move the plan forward.

“Early in the semester a veteran teacher was inspired–she moved desks and launched a station rotation model the next day. The teacher told Lori, ‘In one day I met one-on-one with more students than I talked to last week in my classroom.'”

That first step of changing a simple practice led to adding another simple change and another with one teacher then another then another – over time, those small steps added up to big gains in achievement and shifts in culture.

“The simple classroom innovation served as a slingshot, others saw her success and it helped propel the culture shift. “


For me, the following quote is the takeaway from this article which provides the direction and encouragement to determine the vision, start small and press forward.

“Think Big, Start Small and SCALE FAST.”

Increase Grit through Growth Mindset

Standard

Enjoying reading Grit this morning… 🙂

“Students who graduated on schedule were grittier, and grit was a more powerful predictor of graduation than how much students cared about school, how conscientious they were about their studies, and even how safe they felt at school.”- Angela Duckworth, Grit

“Grit is about working on something you care about so much that you’re willing to stay loyal to it.” – Angela Duckworth, Grit

Motivation trumps intelligence. Duckworth TED Talk

“The highly accomplished were paragons of perseverance.” – Grit