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How a Growth Mindset Changed Me

How a Growth Mindset Changed Me The growth mindset. What exactly is it? First, let's describe the opposite of it: a fixed mindset. A person with a fixed mindset believes that all of their skills are all born with them and cannot be changed. For example, let's say I am good at geography. I believe geography is the way to go, and I don't want to learn other education subjects. Why would I want to learn something I'm not going to be good at? The person with a fixed mindset does not want to evolve, grow, and learn everything there is to learn out there. Instead, that person wants to try and avoid disappointment from not being as good at new skills as they are with their natural talents, such as the beforementioned geography. The growth mindset is the opposite of the fixed mindset. It believes in the experience of learning and doesn't care about the goal or the final outcome. What really matters is everything that can be learned in the process of learning.  And without f
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Benefits of Learning to Play an Instrument

Music is so pervasive throughout our lives, from listening to the radio on our daily commute to putting on Spotify while we cook. Most people listen to music every single day in some form. A lot of people also play and create music themselves. They learn to play guitar, piano, or a medley of other instruments. But is it just a pleasant pastime?  There are actually lots of fantastic benefits to learning to play an instrument that will carry forward through your life!     Hand-Eye Coordination The first and easiest to see positive element to plucking some guitar strings is the improvement to hand-eye coordination. Reading sheet music, thinking about what notes you need to play, and then translating all of that to your fingers to play requires lots of mental effort. But the more you do, the quicker your brain gets at processing that information. When you perform an action you haven’t done before, a new neural pathway gets created in your brain. The more you perform that action, the faster

Learning with Lego?

Lego is a fun, colourful, and innovative toy. Contrary to other toys such as action figures or dolls, Lego provides kids with unlimited ways to build and play. The only obstacle is their imagination. With a large set of Lego bricks, individuals can reconfigure them into any shape or size they wish! The options are endless! Create buildings, design statues, and build worlds. B ut is Lego actually beneficial for kids? Can it teach them anything? And can they learn while playing? The answer to all of these questions is a resounding yes!   Lego is helpful for kids in a number of ways. I grew up on Lego and can attest to the usefulness of it for learning and creativity.  It’s a much better alternative to sitting on the couch watching mindless TV! So what does it help with? Read on!   Creativity The first thing that comes to mind is the creativity involved in building Lego. While having a small themed set won’t provide too much flexibility, having general bricks and larger themed sets allow

How Coding Helped Me in School

Computer programming is a pretty crazy thing when you think about it! At the base level, a huge string of 1s and 0s all collect together to form how a computer operates. That string tells the computer what to do when you click your mouse on an icon.  Now thankfully, as technology progressed, a much more straightforward way of programming was created. It took those 1s and 0s and put them into a programming language which is a heck of a lot easier to understand and manipulate! Over the years, the languages got easier to use and provided for more robust options. Today, there are languages designed for everything from building websites to teaching kids.   And that’s where I come in.  When I was younger, I often spent chunks of my time (probably too much time) playing video games. After playing for years, I decided I wanted to try my hand at creating my own. I learned several crucial lessons along the way that helped guide me in other areas of school and even my life in general.   The satis

How to teach coding without laptops and tablets

  In a perfect world, every school and classroom would have enough tablets, computers, and robotics kits for every student. But let’s be honest, the world is far from perfect, and unless you’re extremely fortunate, you’ll have to come up with strategies to prepare your students with 21st century skills with less resources than you’d like.  Yes, it is possible! Ideally you want your students hands on with a coding language such as Python, Javascript, Scratch, or Make-Code, but you can teach them the basics of coding without needing to touch a computer or tablet. Consider this: coding language will come and go, what’s most important is that your students understand the fundamentals of computer programming. Once they’ve got the basics, they’ll be able to take these to whichever coding language they encounter in the future.  What are the basics anyways?  No matter what kind of coding language your students are going to run into, the basics will stay the same. The first thing they need to u

Using Music To Teach Coding

  It’s extremely important that as educators we connect to students in whichever medium speaks to them. You may have someone who is an extremely talented musician but has little interest in coding and programming. You can use music to teach many coding concepts and engage more of your students. Music is a form of code Music notation explains to a musician how to properly execute a song, just like code explains to a computer how to properly execute a program. Both have strings (melody), they have loops (codas and chorus) and they have variables (key changes). Other music styles such as jazz also have conditionals as people will play differently depending on what their fellow players are doing.  Creating your own instrument Using a MakeyMakey and Scratch students can create their own instrument. Scratch has a wide variety of samples already preloaded that students can start off with, but students can go a step further and create their own sounds for wacky instruments that haven’t been he

Which tech is best for my school or classroom?

  It can be difficult to decide which technology you should purchase for your school, or classroom. As technology evolves, items that seemed indispensable in the past will start to feel dated, and you want to make sure that you’re using a piece of technology that will provide a strong return on investment. This article will provide you with a list of questions that will help you narrow down your options and help you make your decision (or write your proposal for a parent council or school board). What’s my current tech situation?  It’s important that you consider the situation at the school. Do you have laptops and tablets already? If so, are they needing a refresh? If so, you might consider refreshing those first. Do you have a lot of technology that’s not being used, if so perhaps you need to bring in some training to get it refreshed. Having a good understanding of your current situation will help you in making a good decision.  What are my needs? Look at your school, what are stude