Over the past two years at our school we have been working hard to build a growth mindset among our staff and students. We began discussing growth mindset two years ago when we began to read and discuss the work of Dr. Carol Dweck, a researcher from Stanford University who talks about a growth mindset - the idea that our brains continually grow and develop. Individuals with a fixed mindset believe that their intelligence is being set and often judged (and often found lacking) when they make a mistake. Those with a growth mindset see mistakes as an opportunity; a challenge that they cannot conquer YET, but that they can come to understand given time and opportunity.
The video below introduces this new way of thinking about Mathematics as a learning opportunity, rather than a doing one. This is an important message not just for our students, but for all of us as lifelong learners.
The video I share below is of Dr. Jo Boaler (Dweck's colleague at Stanford, and the author of the book, Mathematical Mindsets: Unleashing Students' Potential Through Creative Math, Inspiring Messages and Innovative Teaching). She is working with a group of students who are explaining their math thinking through a Number Talk. As they view dots on a screen and are asked to describe what they saw, they subitize the number in different ways. Subitizing is the ability to immediately recognize how many items are in a small group; for instance looking quickly at dice and knowing the number represented. While they have different ways of recognizing the number of dots, they are all correct, and it is the discussion that follows that allows students to share their thinking that helps them all come to understand this process.
Last Week's Math Solutions
I heard lots of feedback about the dice challenge from a few weeks ago. Everyone thought this one would be easy, but it was more challenging than it looked; especially to describe your thinking!
Hopefully your family has had the chance to play the game everyone learned. It sure was fun!
This week's Math Challenges
This challenge comes from http://nrich.maths.org/9692
What does it mean to be symmetrical?
Could it be symmetrical if there was an uneven number of beads?
How do you know that it is symmetrical?
Have students record their thinking in their math journal.
What if there were two strings and each had to be unique?
What if you were making a bracelet and there were 20 beads? How many of each bead colour would you need?
What if there were three types of beads?
Have students use a mira or look in a mirror to see what the symmetrical opposite of their necklace would be.
Hello from the music room!
At Douglas Harkness, all students are musicians. As the music teacher, it is my job to help the children understand what they already know and what they need to understand in order to expand their musicianship skills and knowledge.
At a level that is appropriate to the grade, all students learn basics about the elements of music – beat, rhythm, melody, and harmony. All students learn something about the special way musicians write music and all have begun the process of learning to read music.
All students use songs and non-pitched percussion instruments and barred instruments (xylophones and glockenspiels) to help them learn more about music and express musical ideas.
Once students reach Grade 3, they begin to work with pitched instruments such as the recorder and the ukulele. This year, the grade 3 and 4 classes learned how to pluck melodies on the ukulele. They also learned how to strum a chord so that they could accompany themselves while they sang the Rock Song.
Grade 5/6 students are beginning to develop an understanding of what is meant by musical harmony. They are learning how to blend their voices when two groups sing two different melodies at the same time. We will continue to work with this concept by learning how to strum chords on the ukulele and discovering how chords can create harmony with the melodies we sing.
There were several music clubs offered to students who wished to continue working with music outside of regular class time. We had a Division I choir for students in Grades 1, 2 and 3. Grade 4 students could join a beginning handbells choir. We also had an advanced handbells choir for Grade 4, 5 and 6 students.
Our winter concert was held on December 1. The EDC, Kindergarten and all grade groups made presentations. Division I choir and the two handbells clubs performed for us. Also included were the two dance clubs directed by Ms. Engelman. Beautiful art work, made especially for the occasion, dressed up our gym. Thank you to all students and teachers for all their hard work and thank you to all the parents who came to watch us perform.
PE FOCUS – Basketball skills
Playground schedule - Division 1 on playground before school and at recess and Division 2 on the playground at lunch time.
Remember to check us out on Twitter for updates and important information. -@DHarknessCBE or search for our new hashtag, #DHSCBE.
Don't forget to check our school website - schools.cbe.ab.ca/b34
Remember to check out our school website - http://schools.cbe.ab.ca/b347