- Project Overview:
The project sought to find out whether process praise and focusing on cooperative learning strategies, could develop a growth mindset in children towards mental maths. Not only would this improve pupil knowledge and numeracy attainment, but it would also change classroom practice. We wanted the children to become more engaged and confident in teaching each other and building on each other's ideas, knowing that they don't always have to rely on the teacher for help.
- Critically review your project and establish if you achieved the aim of your project?:
The main results of the project are set out below:
- children feel, on average, 4.44 out of 5 in terms of confidence using bridging to solve a problem. This compared to a baseline average of 1.77 out of 5
- children feel on average 4.8 out of 5 in terms of confidence using adjusting to solve a problem (compared to a baseline of 1.96 out of 5)
- the targeted group of children all improved between baseline and summative assessments
- knowledge, confidence and growth mindset have all increased
Overall, we were very proud to achieve such great results, both in terms of knowledge and attainment, but also in confidence and engagement towards learning. Upon reflection, if we had started the project earlier, then we might have had more time to further embed learning and mindset.
- Were you able to stay within the timelines you outlined in your project plan? Critique the key factors in whether this was successful or not.:
Despite contending with Covid and a lockdown, we managed to stay within the timeframe for this project. Unfortunately, we didn't manage to start in January as intended, but commenced in April instead. This worked well, undertaking explicit teaching once a week and implementation of new strategies throughout the term. Cooperative learning partners were used in lots of different contexts.
- Highlight any changes that were made to the project plan following the project start date:
A number of process changes were made to the project once commenced:
- cooperative learning partners were established, and a strong bond was formed with a variety of small activities
- partners were numbered 1 and 2, with 1 representing the learner with a higher ability and 2, lower ability
- a mental maths strategy was taught and then discussed among partners, with lots of scaffolding with explicit learning intentions and success criteria shared and referred to
- lots of praise was given for the processes and strategies used
- a focus was placed on jottings
- lots of cooperative learning strategies were also used, such as Think Pair Share
- Critically analyse the impact of your growth mindset project – what has changed? What has improved? Who has improved?:
The main insights that we would take away from the project were:
- establishing cooperative learning partners was significant in building relationship between pupils where they felt comfortable to share strategies and answers
- cooperative learning strategies have impacted on classroom practice. All children were held accountable for their learning
- baseline data was crucial to drive improvement
- focus on process praise and strategies worked very well as there were several different ways to achieve the same answer
- What evidence do you have that your project has had an impact in your school? Please provide details of pre and post measurements along with any other objective measures you can share:
The main achievements from the project are outlined in the section above where we critically review the project.
- Please share any impact evidence that you have collected during your growth mindset project – you can upload pictures / videos / worksheets / presentations:
Below are links to the responses to a survey conducted with the children about their attitude to mental maths, before and after the project.
Survey results before the project
Survey results after the project.
- Undertake critical review from your colleagues. What feedback have you had related to your growth mindset project?:
Working with colleagues throughout this project has been useful as we planned each teaching input together, and how to ensure cooperation among the learners. Feedback from colleagues was that they ‘thoroughly enjoyed the experience and saw some reluctant children get involved in class discussion and in the end, creating a short video teaching others how to use their favourite strategy’. Feedback from senior leaders is that they were ‘very pleased with the progress and excited to roll out similar growth mindset projects throughout the school in the future’.
- Please share the next steps you have planned for this project or to implement growth mindset within your school:
Other classes are completing small in-class projects. Once these are finalised, we will have a whole school approach to growth mindset as part of our School Improvement Plan.
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