Growth Mindset and the Power of Yet

Growth mindset is not new but is increasingly quoted and held up as good practice as part of teacher training and development and with good reason. However making it actually work or embedding it into the way we teach and therfore how students think is not something that is easily done. While posters and videos may inform us and our students of how growth mindset works it is how we use the concept in our daily lessons (reflected through our attitudes) that will change our students thinking.

Read how Carol Dweck says “We’ve totally missed the point” on Growth Mindset (how it can be misused).

The Power of Yet – Carol Dweck

Sesame Street: Janelle Monae – Power of Yet

How do our brains get stronger?


Book Creator – What’s New?

book creator

Book Creator is a quality app that is simple to use (the Year 1/2 class would have no trouble getting the hang of it). It is the most versatile literacy based app we have on the iPads – it is a great way for students to present their learning.

The latest update to Book Creator provides a significant addition to this great app, the ability to create comic books. The thing I have always liked about Book Creator is its simplicity while still producing a great product. The comic book addition continues these qualities making it easy for your students to produce their own.

Step 1: Select a format

IMG_0032Step 2: Add the number of panels you would like. There is a wide selection of panel formats.


Step 3: Then select your photos or own drawings, stickers, text, speech bubbles and shapes. You can also select from a range of comic book style backgrounds. I didn’t have time to put together a traditional comic so I put in some photos from our family trip to New Zealand.

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Once the students have finished their comics (or regular book) there are a number of ways to share the completed product:

1. Using the share button in the app students can put their book into the iBooks app on the iPad. Select the share button in the app and choose Export as ePub then Open in then iBooks. The comic can then be read similar to a traditional book by turning pages. Any audio and video will be able to be listened to and viewed in this format. This does not remove the comic book from the iPad.

2. If you want to remove the comic from the iPad there are 4 options.

  • Using the share button in the app select Export as Video then Save Video (or alternatively select Open in and select File Browser and use this to save to a student or teacher folder to our network). A video of the book will be saved to the camera roll through the Save Video option. This video can then be removed using File Browser or connect the iPad to a Mac computer and remove it directly onto that computer (any audio and video embedded in the book will be preserved).
  • Export as PDF then Open in then File Browser. Exporting as PDF will lose any audio or video embedded in the book. A great option if you want a hard copy of the final product.
  • Airdrop can be used to export the book as a video, PDF or ePub file to any other Apple device that supports Airdrop.
  • If you wish to save the book as an ePub file onto a computer so that it can be transferred to another device select the share button in the app and choose Export as ePub then Open in then File Browser. This ePub file will be saved but not viewable on a Windows PC. The file can then be put onto any other device that has iBooks.

I have included a video of the comic book I created.

Any subject can use this app to allow students to demonstrate their learning. It produces great digital evidence (no storing paper in a tray or cabinet) for teachers to use at a later date when making judgements about student learning.

If you are interested in learning more about Book Creator and have a device that has iBooks (iPad, iPhone, MacBook) you can get the “Book Creator Teacher Guide” for free (log into the iBooks store with your Apple iTunes id).

cover225x225 Book-Creator-Teacher-Guide-choose-your-subjectThe guide provides a wide range of ways to use the app and can be accessed by subject area from the contents page. Just because your subject area does not appear on the above page don’t be put off by this, any subject can use this app.

The teacher guide will help you with creating:

  • Illustrated audio books
  • Instructional writing
  • Illustrated and audio poetry
  • eBooks in different languages – the language setting can be changed to Spanish so students will be writing and reading in Spanish!!
  • Contents, reference and bibliography pages with links
  • Character motives and opinions
  • Interactive eBook to teach languages or nouns
  • A phonics resources
  • Comic books
  • Newspaper pages and video reports
  • Interactive stories
  • A random story generator
  • Numeracy vocab books
  • Problem-solving processes
  • Science investigations
  • Interactive science books
  • A book to capture the different stages of a technology project
  • Artwork portfolio
  • Interactive maps
  • Compare then and now
  • Biographical books
  • Chronological timelines
  • A record of progress when creating programs or an instruction book for programming (using apps like Hopscotch)

Here are some other links to ways in which teachers have used Book Creator in their classrooms.

  1. 2nd Graders use Book Creator to share their family history with grandparents
  2. Maths – combining the Geoboard app with Book Creator
  3. Publish a photography book while this post is not about students publishing their work the idea of keeping a digital portfolio in a practical subject like photography is a good one.
  4. Writing up a science experiment with Book Creator


PBAS iPads updated and ready to go


Over the holidays, the operating system on the iPads and apps were updated. If you are keen to use the iPads and are wanting to know what is currently available on them then refer to the list of apps further down this post (click on the links to read more about what each app does).

I have also purchased four iPad tripod mounts to use in PE lessons with the school tripods. If anyone else wants to borrow one let me know. Useful for recording oral presentations, performances or a practical demonstration.

Example – display a science experiment up on the whiteboard via the Apple TV using a tripod and iPad (camera app) rather than have the whole class crowding around to see. Record the demo for any absent students to use in a future lesson.

Ask yourself if you can use the iPads to enhance your teaching by doing things that were not previously possible before the iPad (or so difficult and time consuming you never attempted them). How can you use them in addition to your traditional content and teaching methods, giving students another way to access the content and present their learning?

As well as the list of apps below here is a link to a range of examples showing how the iPads can be be used in the classroom:

iPad ideas for the classroom – PBAS R-12 Curriculum and Pedagogy.

Also see how Tanya used the iPads in her math and science lessons by clicking here.


Creativity – presentation of content, arts, photography, video, music

Document Creation

QR Codes

Programming/Digital Technologies






Whiteboard apps/recording audio and text-based presentations

Problem Solving



I have also included two questions from last years iPad survey around how often the iPads are accessed and teacher beliefs about the iPads as a resource for student learning.

Thank you to the 9 teachers who responded.

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