Institute Blog (June)

June boot-campers!  you rock.  Go ahead and respond to the videos you watched…..right here!

22 Responses to Institute Blog (June)

  1. Instruction Strategies for Mindset and Grit – I was really struck by that idea that grit can be harmful if the student is extrinsically motivated. It reminds me yet again how important it is to find goals that are meaningful for the individual students so that I don’t push the students “in ways that are inappropriate for their needs.” I know I can personally fall into the trap of a fixed mindset around my own learning and look at my lack of immediate success as a personal failing. How I can I expect to keep a growth mindset for my students and help them to foster such a mindset if I don’t consistently maintain it for myself? The idea of explicitly teaching the concept of “growth mindset” to the students is brilliant along with using that fantastic “Student Grit Reflection Chart”. Just as we teach students to find independent reading books that are “just right” we can help them to determine “just right” learning goals that will provide enough challenge while still feeling “I’ll figure it out.” I would like to find a way to use this given my unique teaching situation of seeing many children only once per week.

    Educational Leadership
    Meaningful Work: Even Geniuses Work Hard – What does this mean to me as a learner? I need to develop a strong growth mindset and should probably check out the suggested curriculum at What does this mean for my students as learners? My colleagues and I have discussed an environment of learned helplessness we have witnessed and help create. Certainly not being a native English speaker can make learning even that much more challenging for our students but I need to develop a strong growth mindset in my students to help combat this. Figuring out a way to grade based more on process and progress and emphasizing that over final products may help these students believe they are capable of changing, learning and growing and invite them to begin to take on or even seek out challenges rather than waiting for someone else to answer the question or help them before they have even attempted the learning task.


  2. denner says:

    Emboldened indeed! I just found one incredible source of children’s literature of scientists, artists, writers, poets, activists, lovers, and chefs, all of whom we can celebrate for their courage, sense of justice, humility, creativity, passion, and playfulness.
    Creative Courage for Young Hearts: 15 Stories of Courage.
    Thank you, thank you, thank you~!~


  3. Day 2: 9 Ways a Theatre Degree Trumps a Business Degree – Nice read! A couple of quick thoughts- Though as a visual artist and having a degree in Interior Design, I find that this article could prove just as relevant with other art forms. In essence the designer markets a concept (or maybe several) to the client(s). What is the client’s budget and timeline? This is where resourcefulness (#6 in article) and deadlines (#3 in article) are critical to the development of the project and overall creative process. Regardless of artistic specialty, you ultimately have a specific role and task to contribute, which makes the teaching artist a valuable team player (#7 in article). Working with clients/other entities when designing a space is inherently collaborative. This is similar to the brainstorming that occurs within the teaching artist and classroom teacher. How can the designer/artist adapt to the goals and needs of the client/classroom teacher? Though the versatility may not span across all art forms. There should not be the assumption that because one is an artist, that they are adept to all art forms. In some cases, there are performing artists who cannot conceptualize visually and vice versa for visual artists.


  4. Creative Courage for Young Hearts: 15 Emboldening Picture Books Celebrating the Lives of Great Artists, Writers, and Scientists by Maria Popova
    LOVED all those amazing biographical books. Works of art in themselves and wonderful sources of inspiration and information. Cannot wait to check them out!

    Making Magic by Beth Olshansky

    Years ago I took a Picturing Writing Workshop with Beth in New Hampshire. It was a wonderful experience and reading about the results of her work is inspirational. I did use one of her processes with my first graders and was blown away with the variety of the stories created and the engagement of the students in writing and reading their own stories. I had forgotten about it and am thinking it may be time to revisit her approach!

    Austin’s Butterfly – Ron Berger

    I watched all the videos and this one was my favorite by far. To see the growth of that one child, to see the grit and growth mindset in action was inspirational. This is where I feel like I and many educators compromise breadth over depth. We are so anxious to get onto the next thing that we don’t take enough time on any one thing. When have I ever had a student make 7 drafts of anything? When have I had a student willing to make 7 drafts of anything? The use of peers, the use of “yet”, the goal of seeing like a scientist and an artist and the expectation that each child is capable of just that is really inspirational. I will have to think about/read more about how I can train children to evaluate one another constructively to harness the power of peer evaluation. I will also have to think about what activity merits that kind of revision. I can only imagine what Austin’s first draft will look like next time! Investing time upfront can save time and increase quality later. It’s an important lesson I have had to learn over and over again (so I guess I haven’t really learned it “yet”!)


  5. cuzcob says:

    I love that art inspires us, young and old. I watched the video about the boy drawing the butterfly. What an excellent way to illustrate grit and mindset to children (and adults) in a natural manner. I also read the article on the children’s books. I want to run out and buy them all! So many of these people are role models to me, EE Cummings, Frida, Neruda, and Julia Child! Another wonderful way to initiate conversations about perseverance and mindset.


  6. Peggy Wilkinson says:

    The Dream / Center Arts video clearly demonstrates students love for the arts. The students and parents expressed their motivation and enthusiasm regarding art in the school setting. It was a joy to see the students confidently performing on stage and recognizing their success.


  7. I also watched Austin’s Butterfly. The process and results of the lesson gave students a positive attitude about constructive criticism and multiple drafts. The students understood the value of peer collaborative conversation and purposeful revisions. They appreciated the clear direction for improving the artists rendering through specific language and polite prompts.


  8. Shannon Jones says:

    I ended up watching all of the videos (not my original intention), but the video on Austin’s butterfly was the most meaningful to me. It was a concrete example of how students can help other students build their grit and transition into the growth mindset. The new challenge of integrating art into my humanities classes has raised so many questions that I must address, but this video offered a few brilliant solutions, which I will definitely be implementing in my classroom this coming fall.


  9. esther peretto says:

    I loved “Taking Imagination Seriously”. The integration of technology and science with age old handicraft techniques was amazing and the resulting sculptures were breathtaking. However, I keep thinking about environmental impacts of having such a large net structure? I


  10. VYouso says:

    I watched Taking imagination seriously. It is amazing what can come from creativity and grit! This artist faced challenge after challenge and never gave up. The world would have missed out on her beautiful sculptures if she had said, “It can’t be done.”


  11. Lauren Brill says:

    After watching Austin’s Butterfly, it is evident in the critiques and feedback given by other students that completing one draft and having all the right answers is not the best way to approach art, and a great way for students to start interacting in a positive way. It was nice to see the support given by the other students, across all grade levels, toward Austin and his discovery of his scientific-eye. Constructive critique is a great way for students to help one another in developing their listening and speaking skills, as well as developing GRIT and momentum to keep working draft after draft, and knowing that it is when you make mistakes or fall short, that is when you start to learn and grow as an artist.


  12. Staci Urquizo says:

    I actually watched most of the videos and they were all full of great ideas and I was scribbling down a bunch of notes. The fixed vs. growth mindset is huge as is praising the process and effort rather than praising perceived innate ability or talent. There was one word mentioned that to me was so powerful- yet. Austin’s first draft of his butterfly didn’t look like the photo yet, it took him six tries and the thoughtful feedback from his peers. It reminds me of my kindergarteners – I can’t write my letters, I can’t tie my shoes, I can’t draw Pete the Cat. So important to tell them- maybe you can’t yet, but you will. With some grit.


  13. Karen A.M.Ellsworth says:

    Creative Courage for Young Hearts ….a gem!
    Grit is going to require modeling on a daily basis, so the innate growth for me will be as great a commitment for me as it will be for my students. My challenges will e the risk taking and the acceptance of feedback and criticism. I am at ease with my students, but often self-conscious and stilted with other adults.. However, Taking Imagination Seriously provides the inspiration to keep trying! Look what she was able to do! My job is not nearly as large…I can do this!


  14. G Nall says:

    Mindset and Grit were the topics discussed in Day 2 of the Arts Integration Boot Camp. I watched two videos. The first video entitled “Critique and Feedback: The Story of Austin’s Butterfly-Ron Berger” showed how having a growth mindset can help kids and adults overcome challenges. The video focused on students and their dialogue in providing positive, constructive feedback towards another student’s work.
    The second video, CenterARTES Tell Kids Speak!, featured the DREAM (Developing Reading Education with Arts Method) program and research in North County, San Diego. Dr. Merryl Goldberg quoted, “I’ve never met a kid who wasn’t capable or didn’t have enormous potential. What each and every kid needs most is opportunity.” The video showed that a growth mindset means believing in change, even in a Title I school such as Maryland Elementary School. The students, parents, teachers, and art coaches worked together. So inspiring to see the students and their performance on stage! The openness to learning, being creative, having a positive attitude, and taking risks with guidance helps in achieving goals.


  15. Susanne Hampton says:

    I watched Austin’s butterfly and was thinking of my students. Many of them give up so easily and aren’t willing to stick to it. They are used to being rescued. I think they would get a lot out of watching this video. Seeing how someone who is a first grader like them can make something so beautiful and detailed would be proof that if he can do it, they can too. Many of my students think once they are done they are done. Getting them to see the value in really looking at what they are making and being given specific feedback in a positive way would build their confidence in trying again. It has given me a lot to think about.


  16. Danielle Guimond says:

    Where the hell is Matt 2012
    I loved watching Matt go around the world and communicate through dance. It was fun and expressed a sense of joy and excitement. I noticed that each of the dances performed were influenced by the people performing them, bringing diversity through out the whole piece.


  17. Chritina Thurston says:

    Ron Berger makes a good case for growth mindset and grit. I watched both Austin’s Butterfly and Ron’s longer video. The exchange between the older students as they critiqued Austin’s butterfly showed me these older students have indeed learned to see with the keen artist’s/scientist’s eye, and know how to give constructive criticism. I am concerned, however, that having first graders (even third graders) produce realistic drawing, with multiple revisions and drafts, is not developmentally appropriate for 6-8 year olds. At this age, they are more connected to the meaning of the marks they make, and not technical perfection. That is why we ask them to speak about their work. In my opinion, pushing for realism at too young an age is precisely how young children get the idea they are no good at art. In the long run, I feel this is a creativity killer and makes it an even harder job to promote growth mindset when their minds have already been set by this kind of experience. Multiple drafts through constructive critiques are perfectly fine, fourth grade on up.


  18. I watched the “Story of Austin’s Butterfly” It was wonderful to see how thoughtful and respectful the students were when critiquing Austin’s work. This is something they clearly have a lot of experience already doing. I don’t know if this type of work would be age appropriate for Kindergarten students. I read the “DREAMS OF EDUCATION” article along with the “I wish my teacher knew….” Both these article resonate with me. My students live in a high poverty, high crime area and over 70% are English learners, some may have undocumented parents. We always have to remember to have eternal patience for our students and always encourage them.


  19. Evie Mantone says:

    I watched the video The Power of belief — mindset and success | Eduardo Briceno | TEDxManhattanBeach. I thought it was very interesting. As a teaching artist for CoTA, I am trained to promote a growth mindset. When a student asks me “Do you like y painting?” I respond not with “Yes! It’s beautiful! You’re a great painter!” but with ” I like the way you made the colors realistic, but add some more details.” I have seen teachers respond with the first “I love it!” and watched students stop dead in their tracks. With the growth mindset, students remain engaged in their work, searching for more details to add, critically thinking about what they are doing and adding to their painting and ultimately producing a more successful painting. In the video, I found it interesting that a growth mindset actually changes the function of how the brain functions and I am going to apply this practice to my very own mind so that I can achieve all the that I put my mind too.


  20. Brandie Maddalena says:

    Wow! Taking Imagination Seriously was exactly what I needed to see right now! Taking the leap from personal art to public art is a powerful and somewhat intimidating. Hearing her story at this point in my path reminded me to think more expansively, take the steps on my journey more boldly, and to follow the art making where it takes me. Perhaps this personal motivation was not the intent of our viewing this Ted Talk, but but that is my take away from it and I thank you for suggesting it!


  21. Jonathan says:

    I watched the Enrique Iglesias video. I really enjoyed the dichotomy of male and female dancing to tell a cohesive story. The blending of the crowd displayed a sense of joy and excitement as well as participation in the celebration. In English or Spanish, the dance delivers the story being told. Voice through visual art.


  22. Robert Ford says:

    Enjoyed videos on mindset and grit. I think of a poster in our counseling center that says “It’s all about your attitude”. I also thought about if leadership is something that comes naturally or is something that is learned.


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