February 22

Thank you!

Thank you all for joining me on the learning journey brought about by the book study! I have really enjoyed reading the comments and learning from you all! I hope that everyone has enjoyed the book and has learned much!


If you have any requests for possible books to look at in the future, I would love to hear from you!


The grants for those who have participated in the book study will come to you in the near future. I will email you if I require any more information 🙂 Please keep posted!


For now, continue to GROW in your mindset and LEARN many new skills!

February 12

Chapters 9 and 10

Chapter 9- What are Some Ways School Staff Can Maintain a Growth Mindset School Culture?

In this Chapter, Mary Cay Ricci discusses the importance of the classroom environment in a Growth Mindset school culture. Classrooms that are safe, caring learning environments are integral in developing and maintaining a school culture that is steeped in a Growth Mindset. This is something I have always striven to achieve for all students. Whether it be in my Learning Assistance classroom or my Grade 5 classroom, I hope that all students feel welcome, safe and secure. How can you tell? Well, my students Grade 5 are not afraid to ask questions or ask for help. The students support each other in their learning and socially. They are there for each other. My students have made the classroom their own, adding their own personal touches (usually mess!). They are happy, cheerful and full of life when they enter the room, throughout the day, and when they leave at the end of the day. The students that come in to my Learning Assistance classroom show that they are in a safe, caring learning environment by dropping in for help when they need it. Students feel comfortable to enter the room to work in groups as well. When a child is having a difficult day, they visit to self-regulate, have a break or just to talk. My Learning Assistance classroom is also used for physiotherapy activities for one student. Even when there are numerous other students in the room, this student feels comfortable in completing her physiotherapy needs. The students are respectful, helpful and polite. They are there because they know it is a place where their needs can be met, they can get support or simply calm down from a difficult situation. It is so very important to ensure that those spaces exist for the students in our school. It is my opinion that no learning can occur when there is not comfort, feeling of safety, or of care by the people within the classroom.

The other piece to that is having a classroom that is differentiated. Ms. Ricci gives a list of “look fors” for differentiated classrooms. All of these “look fors” are fully outlined in Chapter 3. I believe that I am on my way to a differentiated classroom, but I know that I have a long way to go. Especially in the area of  acceleration and enrichment. This is an area I will continue to work toward for the rest of the year.

The most important take-away from this chapter for me was when the author said ” The importance of continually reinforcing the growth mindset message every day cannot be emphasized enough. Maintaining perseverance and effort is a challenge for some students and they need to be continually reminded that they can achieve success.” I have taught the students in my class about having a growth mindset and what that means, but I do not remind them near enough. I will make more of an effort to do so, knowing that I have some very fixed mindset students within the classroom.


Chapter 10- Summary

“Educators teach students, not curriculum. It is time to meet students where they are, expect the best from all of them and provide opportunities for each and every student to succeed.”

This quote nicely sums up the entire book. Every student is capable of learning. Every student deserves to learn. Every student needs to have materials  and opportunities that allow for success. Every student deserves a teacher who believes that they are capable of learning and succeeding. This goes for the students we classify as gifted to the student with the most challenges. No matter who the child is, we need to meet their learning needs in a way that allows them to be successful at the activity.

Although this is the last post for the Book Study , I truly hope that it is not the end of your journey with Growth Mindset. Continue to push yourselves in those areas in which you believe you have a fixed mindset. Remember that you can do anything you put your mind to, anything that you practice, anything into which you put effort. I personally will continue to work on my parenting skills, as well as differentiating my teaching more effectively.


  1.  What ideas do you have for implementing a sustainable school system for maintaining a growth mindset culture in your own schools (or at least your classroom)?
  2. What are some “take-aways” you have brought from this book?
  3. Would you suggest this book to your colleagues? Why?

I wish you all very well in your endeavors! I hope that you have learned as much from this book and book study as I have. Thank you all for your time and your input!

I would also like to invite you to join us for a special luncheon at Crosscurrents. We will be meeting for lunch at Harold’s with Crosscurrents speaker Kristin Wiens, on Friday during the lunch break, to further our discussions about growth mindsets. If you are able to attend, please let me know! I look forward to meeting many of you in person!



February 5

“I Can’t….yet!”

Brandi made a comment in the Chapter 1 and 2 post about am “I Can’t…yet” board. She has sent me a copy of the board for me to share with all of you!


As a staff, we often put up a bulletin board with our pictures and names for any new students who have come to join us. I would love to do something like this next year. I think it would be great to show the students that we are all working towards different goals.

Thank you so much for sharing Brandi!

February 5

Chapters 7 and 8

Chapter 7- Gifted Education and Growth Mindset

All children deserve to have an education to meet their needs, be it below grade level, at grade level or above grade level. Differentiation, as mentioned it Chapter 3, meets all of these educational needs. Is there a need to put a name to above average students if their needs are being met?

According to this Chapter, the word “gifted” comes with similar connotations to “talent” and “smart”. It implies that a child’s intelligence is set in stone, not something that can change. A gifted child is a gifted child, they should not experience any difficulties in the area in which they are gifted. Telling a child that they are gifted may end up being a negative for them, causing them to stop taking risks and playing it safe to ensure that they can keep their gifted status.

Instead of calling a child gifted, Mary Cay Ricci suggests changing the wording. Saying that a child has high potential or is a highly motivated student, in her opinion, would be more akin to allowing for a growth mindset.

  1. What are your thoughts on the terms Mary Cay Ricci suggests using instead of using the term “gifted”?
  2. Does your school or district have any supports in place for “gifted” students? Do these programs support a growth mindset? If not, how might you change it to support a growth mindset for these students?

Chapter 8- What are Some Ways To Help Students Adopt a Growth Mindset?

In my opinion, this is the most important section in the book as it sheds some light into how to teach this topic to the students. A huge part of teaching students about growth mindset is to teach them about the brain. I found this to be a very fun unit for my students. We learned how different pathways are formed and how we can change our pathways with practice and repetition.

We have also been doing a lot of STEM projects and it is very interesting to see which students are beginning to adopt a growth mindset and which students have a fixed mindset. One of my students has such a fixed mindset that when she came up against a challenge, she turned her back on her group, crossed her arms and very adamantly said “I give up!” While other students, when faced with an impossible task- less than 10 minutes to create a working model, when nothing has worked up until that point- said “I know that this is not going to work, but I am not giving up! I am going to use all of my time and try to get it figured out.”

Mary Cay Ricci has also published a book entitled “Ready to Use Resources for Mindsets in the Classroom”. I have not yet taken a look at this book, but I have purchased it and it should be here very soon. I am interested to see what is in this book and how it can help me to support my students on their paths to growth mindsets.

  1. Do you have any students that have demonstrated any moments of growth mindset? Do you have any students that demonstrate a real fixed mindset?
  2. What are some ideas you have for implementing lessons on growth mindset? How or where would you integrate it into the curriculum?
  3. Have you already tried to implement growth mindset lessons? What went well? What might you change?
  4. If you have not implemented  any of the growth mindset lessons, where will you begin?