The 5th grade cohort was identified through building leadership data reviews as our lowest performing group on the Smarter Balanced Assessment (SBA) in math. This trend was identified when this cohort were 3rd graders with only 43% of students meeting standard on the math (SBA). I worked with their classroom teachers in 4th grade to deliver lessons related to growth mindset. The Smarter Balanced Assessment data growth showed that the coordinated efforts of strong instruction coupled with growth mindset lessons supported academic growth. To continue support for this cohort as 5th graders, I set the program goal ‘By June 2017, there will be 15% increase in the number of 5th grade students meeting standards in math as measured by the Smarter Balanced assessment.“ To accomplish this I coordinated with classroom teachers to deliver a 5 lesson unit focused on growth mindset to all 5th grade classrooms. A specific gap was found among the students receiving Resource and Title 1 supports. To address the additional learning needs of these students, collaborated with Title 1 and Special education to deliver additional instruction in small group sessions during existing intervention groups to reteach the classroom concept each week. SBA scores for the full cohort this year showed strong growth with 80% of students meeting standard in math, a 23% increase exceeding the 15% goal. The gap focused students aslo showed a 23% growth in the number of students meeting standard with 7 students meeting, up from 4 students the prior year. In the study, Implicit Theories of Intelligence Predict Achievement Across an Adolescent Transition: A Longitudinal Study and an Intervention by Blackwell, Trzesniewski and Dweck they posed the question “ Do students, having been taught to think of intelligence as malleable show more positive motivation and greater effort in the classroom. At the conclusion of the research intervention the mindset group showed an increase in motivation and effort as well as a grade rebound. This research combined with what science understands about neuroplasticity lead me to design the first lesson focused on teaching students how their brain works and the role that neurons play in the learning process. Emerging research states that students who understand how their brains work, in particular that neuron connections happen when they struggle with a concept and keep trying, have better academic outcomes. This particular lesson was effective with an increase in gap group reporting they understood how their brain works (21% pre,71% post an increase of 50%)
. Observations by teachers were that many students did not have persistence skills and it was a large impediment to their academic progress. Pretest data supports that with 78% of the gap group stating that they get easily frustrated (pre) and only 21% stating they got easily frustrated post, a reduction of 57%. One of the lessons focused on strategies to develop persistence and determination. Students were introduced to the concept of the dip. The dip is the place we all get during the process of learning challenging materials that can cause us to get frustrated and quit. Students reflected on emotions management strategies and asking for help strategies learned in previous lessons - 100% of students were able to complete the worksheet with at least two strategies they could utilize. During intervention time with the target group students, we reviewed the concepts from class, spent more time practicing the strategies and then with the assistance of staff, set specific student growth goals related to intervention instruction topics. Moving forward, I realized that the pretest does not address the skill of persistence, I will plan to modify the pretest to measure this portion of the unit. This unit proved to be effective with 80% of the grade level meeting standard on the SBA up from 57% last yearThe data for the gap group students also showed a 23% growth in students meeting the standard. Sharing progress towards this goal with staff has resulted in schoolwide interest in a focus on growth mindset as a way to support all students and our schoolwide AVID elementary implementation. Professional development will be focused on this and I will deliver this unit as core curriculum for grades 3-6 in the upcoming year. This grade band will need continued support to maintain their progress so their classroom lessons have been moved to the fall to ensure continued focus on growth mindset. In particular our team will need to address the data that shows no growth for the gap group students scoring level 1.