Growth vs. Fixed Mindset

This topic of Growth Mindset versus Fixed Mindset has been floating heavily around twitter for about a year or so.  I was a little surprised, I always though how can people say you cant get smarter. I never thought about it relating to other aspects of life.  So come to find out I have a growth mindset and a fixed mindset, as of now! I AM changing my mindset. I have been raised to focus on letter grades, however my parents did teach me to study hard and never give up.  As a teacher I now see how some kids (because of their parents) stress way too much about getting an A versus getting better. I will use the “not yet” as a common saying in my classroom. Saying their grade is “not yet” gives them hope and inspires them to get better.  Also in my class I reward with brag-tags. Some are focused on academic achievement, however because of this program, I have added more growth mindset tags. Ex. “you’re getting smarter, or you’re on your way to success”. I don’t want kids or adults to think “its the end” when they get a grade.  I want them to know, no matter what there is always room for growth. I would like to get better at giving more growth mindset feedback, not just brag-tags. “Encouragement to continue” is going to be a new motto I follow! To correct myself when I say something that is a fixed mindset by adding the word “yet”.

To continue my learning of growth mindset, I will continue to read articles like Dweck’s off of social media links, continue to learn more through the Lamar program and research more Ted-talks about the mindsets.

One of my goals for the upcoming school year:

My goal for this school year is to focus on Growth mindset. I want my students to know the 4 steps from Carol Dweck’s book. Last school year I had posters up in my classroom, however never referred to them.

I want to add the “power of yet” to every aspect. I always thought I had a growth mindset then realized I was only applying it to my professional growth. I am a little confused about false growth mindset after reading the article, but I am doing some more research for clarification. I am also seeing “growth mindset” signs everywhere which leads me to read more!

The 4 steps to consider:

Step 1: Learn to hear your fixed mindset voice.

Step 2: Recognize that you have a choice.

Step 3: Talk back to it with your growth mindset voice.

Step 4: Take the growth mindset action.

COVA model: Giving students Choice, ownership and voice through authentic learning

I am a little nervous about starting the Edtech courses, now that I have been in this particular class.  I am one that does go by the bullet points of what is asked, one that does use the examples, one that looks at the rubric.  I don’t feel I have a fixed mindset about learning, however I am finding myself, talking myself up with a growth mindset voice saying “take it one step at a time, this is a challenge.”  I know this is probably normal when first starting this approach, but I keep saying, “what if this is not the assignment or way she is looking for the information, what if I am doing it wrong.”  

Mindset has changed, I do see the reason and importance for using COVA. I do think this is a way for our students to actually show what they know.  Mrs. Tilisa is right, we give students instructions on how to complete something and they do just that, no choice, no ownership, no voice. I know my students will feel just as I do now about this approach, and I also know they will learn more and enjoy the assignments in the long run.  They will be proud when they finish an assignment!

In the classroom I feel some choice is being given, just limited.  We give choice boards for stations and this is a good start. I do feel I will start off the year with choice boards as I am modeling different ways of learning.  Using the gradual release process, then after about a month, take the boards away. Now I am not sure how this will work with Kindergarten but we will see!

As for the programs I will/have used to give choice, and show voice in the classroom I like:

-seesaw               -tellagami -chatterpix        -youtube -kidblogs

-shadow puppet       -pic collage -toontastic       -flipgrid -powtoon

-google suite       -buncee -augmented reality


PLN (Professional Learning Networks)


I have been part of several Professional Learning groups for about 4 years now.  I enjoy getting on twitter and if I see something I am interested in, I click on that person’s profile and may chose to start following them.  I am a consumer, not a producer for the most part. I also like to follow educators on Instagram and pinterest. I have learned a lot from all these networks.  Some may say these are just “social Networks”, however to me they are learning networks where YOU get to use the COVA model, if you choose to. I am also part of several groups through google+.  Having these instant message options have been so helpful. I am able to send a question out while working and within 30 minutes have an answer on at least one network!

There are so many groups and people to list. I will just tell you my top 3.

Kids Deserve it! : this network is ran by Todd Nesloney from Navasota, Tx.  He also wrote the book “Sparks in the Dark” and “Stories by Webb”. This network is very encouraging and talks a lot about “my voice” and how important it is to “tell your story”.  

TCEA : This is the most helpful group.  There are so many people to connect with and many presenters publish their presentation url.  I have learned tremendous material for educators through this network. I have had the opportunity to go to TCEA conference in Austin and Galveston and have made connections each time.

Seesaw : This is more than just an online journal or portfolio.  I have connected with many educators through google+, twitter, facebook, etc. and have shared many ideas for the classroom.  My students also use this as a network platform for our classroom.

I would like to be able to stay connected with classmates from this class/cohert, to continue to share and learn ideas for educators.

Why and reflection

When I was growing up I would set up my stuffed animals and make my brothers play school.  They were always the students I was the teacher and my sister was the principal. My parents said I was always the bubbling outgoing one of the bunch and loved interacting with others.  I loved school. I loved riding the bus with my friends, eating in the cafeteria, going to different classes, having new teachers, and many more. I think the only thing I didn’t like about school was grades and chemistry. I loved learning new things, however I found more joy in teaching others new things.  I knew I wanted to be a teacher. I was determined and knew never to give up. Life happens and sometimes you go through different paths. During hIgh school, I worked at a daycare teaching young kids. Then at a chiropractic office while taking a course here and there in college. I found myself educating others about chiropractic.  I had my parents and my boyfriend’s parents as my cheerleaders and knew my son needed me to be a mentor figure. Another encourager that I met on my journey who became my boyfriend, said he would not marry me until I graduated. Fourteen years after graduating high school, I graduated from University of Houston Downtown, became a teacher and got married!

Now that I have been in the education field, my purpose has strengthened.  The children light up when they see you, they want to learn from you. They look up to you and love you.  They need you. I have been able to see growth in many students, academically, socially and mentally. Adults are the same.  They get excited when they learn something new. When they are able to bring something back to their classrooms and teach their students something new.  It is a ripple effect.

I will continue to be a lifetime learner and a lifetime educator.  My why is the joy of educating other learners and seeing the growth which in return is the ripple effect.  I want to inspire others because they want to, not because they have to. I want others to go inspire others!!! I will do this by keeping an eportfolio to track my learning and reflect back on for my personal growth.

“Strong teachers don’t teach content; Google has content.  Strong teaching connects learning in ways that inspire kids to learn more and strive for greatness.” – Eric Jensen

EDLD 5303

Week 1: Purpose of portfolios

I am excited to get to experiment with our eportfolio.  I used google sites last class, however I am going to look more into wordpress for this course and future courses.  When I graduated with my bachelor’s degree our education courses required us to do an eportfolio for our resume. This eportfolio included more of the activities we did in our education classes as well as our personal work as a current employer of a school district.  I was able to use it along with a paper copy of my resume. I think this was helpful for the hiring team. In the interview I observed for my practicum hours, the hiring team was able to meet with several candidates for only 20 minutes each. Then had to make a decision based on the 20 minutes.  How much can you get to know a person to see if they will fit into the school’s culture and climate of the team in 20 minutes. It would have been great to see a portfolio of each candidate to tell the hiring team more.

Also a few years ago our principal required us to do an eportfolio for that current year.  She gave us a few ideas, then let us explore. Therefore I am familiar with eportfolios, however this being a website idea is exciting and scary of the unknown of the web.  The eportfolios before were only shared by whomever I gave my “DVD” to.

I am looking forward to having classmates insight on the eportfolios.  The collaboration is important to growth!

Week 2: Why are portfolios important

I think electronic portfolios are important for growth.  In any field, being able to have a lesson or thought, then able to reflect on the lesson or situation lets you grow from it.  Whether the reflection is good or bad, it gives you the opportunity to change to make it better the next time. I enjoyed reading the benefits, this gives me many ideas about using a portfolio.  I already use Seesaw in my First grade classroom and the students are able to see their work from when they first entered first grade and when they leave first grade. Students are so excited to show the change of them “getting bigger and growing up” to their parents.  This year I want to use it in my kindergarten class for the same, however I want the students to add more story-telling as a reflection. This stood out to me

” Part of the reflective process is to have students tell stories about their experiences which brain research shows can help students embed these experiences into their long term memory”.


Reflection4Learning –

41 Benefits of an eportfolio

Week 3: Who owns the portfolio

I think it is very important to own your own work. This being said, eportfolios are meant to be the owners and if you make it, it should be yours.  However most eportfolios out on the web are not owned by the person creating them. The person creating the portfolio gathers information or content from other sites and then stores the information on that website. Just like an assignment.  Teachers and instructors give assignments and students complete the template given to them and then turn it in for a grade. This does give them a say in their work, however if a template is given to the student, is the work that is completed truly theirs?  To truly own an assignment

Gardner Campbell (2009) proposed that we move beyond the template-driven, plug-and-play, turnkey web applications where we point students to data buckets and conduits we’ve already made.

In order to give students ownership, it has to be authentic. For eportfolios this ownership needs to start with the data and domain being owned by the student.

In “A personal Cyberinfrastructure” article the part that stood out to me was

“Suppose that when students matriculate, they are assigned their own web servers—not 1GB  folders in the institution’s web space but honest-to-goodness virtualized web servers of the kind available for $7.99 a month from a variety of hosting services, with built-in affordances ranging from database maintenance to web analytics.”

This article was wrote almost 10 years ago and the ownership is currently taking place by college professors.

Campbell, G. (2009). A Personal Cyberinfrastructure-ERM0957.pdf

Week 4: Show me yours and I’ll show you mine


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