Reflection: High Expectations Grit, Common Core, and Working Together - Section 5: The Big Idea


This lesson was inspired by two things.  The first was the homecourt advantage school-wide strategy that we use at my school. The second was the TED talk by Angela Duckworth.  I'm sure you've seen it by now. If you haven't, I've oh so thoughtfully embedded the video for you.  You're welcome. 

In the talk, Duckworth talks about what motivates people to succeed.  According to her, it's not beauty, intelligence, or talent.  It's grit.  She also talks about growth mindset.  I haven't done a tone of research, but in a quick Google search, I found this website about a book by Carol S. Dweck.  She talks about how intelligence is not a constant.  According to her, intelligence can be changed, but only if you believe it can. You can develop talents, but only if you believe you can. If you believe that talent and intelligence are a fixed thing, then your mind works against you. 

I've certainly seen that mindset in my classroom.  The kid who thinks they know everything and don't need to listen to anyone, including the teacher, and then is surprised that they're getting Cs or Bs. I've also seen the kid who didn't seem too confident, but worked hard, and ended up with As.

Even though today's activity with the helium stick wasn't really difficult, it did give students a touch of failure. Only one group succeeded in getting the helium stick all the way up and down.  So what does the failure mean?  Does it mean that they can't succeed?  No.  It means that we can learn from mistakes and failure so we can communicate, work harder, keep on being gritty, and become more than we were.

I wonder if that's what grit is all about--becoming more than we were.  And in order to become more than we are, we must communicate.  We must write, read, speak, and listen with others.  We must persevere when things get rough so we can become more than we were.

  Motivating Students to Motivate Themselves
  High Expectations: Motivating Students to Motivate Themselves
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Grit, Common Core, and Working Together

Unit 1: Laying the Foundations: Teaching Routines, Procedures, and Expectations through Authentic Activities
Lesson 7 of 11

Objective: Students will be able to engage in academic discussions (including: following rules for discussions, posing questions, and acknowledgment of new information) by giving and receiving homecourt advantage.

Big Idea: Students need emotional support from teachers, classmates, and themselves to effectively learn. Homecourt advantage gives them the framework to support each other throughout the year.

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