#CyberPD Final Thoughts on Opening Minds by Peter Johnston

Today is a “Final Thoughts/What Next?” post to wrap our thoughts up (and around) Opening Minds: Using Language to Change Lives

Today’s wrap up/reflections can be found at Carol’s Corner.  If you are interested in reading what others had to say about chapters 1-3, please see Cathy Mere’s blog, Reflect and Refine for a roundup there and for a roundup of chapters 4-6, check out Jill Fisch’s blog, My Primary Passion.  Laura Komos has a roundup of chapters 7-9 at Our Camp Read A Lot.    


I’ve been trying to use the language suggested in Opening Minds: Using Language to Change Lives.  Just the other day, my six year old daughter was reading to me.  When she made a mistake, she would go back and re-read correcting her mistake.  I started to tell her, “I like the way. . .” and stopped myself.  As I was struggling to find the right words to praise the process instead of her, she blurted out, “You like the way I re-read.”  I had to laugh.  Yes, I did and explained that she was using her fix up strategies very well.  I didn’t quite get to use the correct language with her.  I’m not there . . . yet.    

This book has really opened my mind (yes, I used this phrase on purpose) to our use of language with children.  I will go back to this book again and again as I work with students (and teachers) this year.  I will really need to, it’s just too meaty. 

As a result of reading this book, I will add the word yet to my vernacular.  I will employ dialogue in classrooms to engage students in civic understanding and moral development.  My feedback will sound different.  I will work to create dynamic mindsets and try to do away with fixed mindsets.   I will use books as “Tools for Growing Minds” to build community through multiple perspectives. 

I want to thank Cathy Mere, Jill Fisch, Laura Komos and Carol Wilcox for this amazing cyber PD opportunity.  It has been nothing short of fantastic.  I was challenged to think beyond my own perspective.  For that, I am grateful.   

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