Monday, August 26, 2013

The @ASCD Arias Series-Teaching With Grit

Recently ASCD released 4 short books that are aimed at packing a big punch in a small package. Each are less that 100 pages but have loads of quality information. Over the next few posts we will look at each one to see what they are all about. Then we will give away 1 copy of each. Sound like fun? 

Whenever I hear the word Grit I think of the John Wayne movie True Grit. I see John Wayne's character helping the young lady find the person who took her father. And nothing was going to stop him from achieving his goal. Thomas Hoerr takes this same point of view in his ASCD Arias book, Fostering Grit. As he points out learning is more than our core subjects that students need to succeed. Learning means developing Grit. This is the tenacity, perseverance, and willingness to take risks and learn from failure.

In this Arias, Hoerr lays out the 6 steps needed to teach students to have grit:

Establish The Environment
Set Expectations
Teach The Vocabulary
Create The Frustration
Monitor The Experience
Reflect And Learn

Accompanying each of these steps are real-classroom examples of how to achieve this. For example in "Create The Frustration" Hoerr points out that when completing tasks it is easy for frustration to take over when we fear failure or don't have the correct knowledge set to complete the task. Hoerr offers suggestions to ease students into the frustration like focusing all effort for 5 minutes. At the end of 5 mins if success is had, keep going. If it isn't, step back and reflect on what different effort is needed.

Also included is a ready-to-go lesson plan that can be modified to be used in most every grade level to help students understand grit and how to use grit to their advantage.

I absolutely love the Arias because of their short yet fully covered subject matter. Fostering Grit does not disappoint. At 38 pages its a quick read but the takeaways are immediate and impactful. And while Hoerr focuses on fostering grit in students there is something here that could be used by teachers and administrators as well. It is definitely a multipurpose book.

You can check out Fostering Grit here. At $7 for the eBook I think the cost is well worth the learning. Definitely check it out! 
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