Don't laugh. But a plastic potato just might be the coolest and single most memorable lesson your students (or faculty!) has ever had about the importance of goal-setting, collaborative learning, actionable feedback, and using data to get a proper handle on all of this nebulous talk about what we mean by seeing "Growth Mindset" in action.
I stumbled onto this amazing teaching tool thanks to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation's Teacher Advisory Council. Turns out the plastic potato activity is a game-changer for teaching an audience about the value of a well-executed iterative design loop of Plan, Do, Study, Act (PDSA) for professionals in all sorts of industries ranging from higher education to global healthcare reform! The applications are endless -- from teaching students about the value of good prototyping and feedback, to working with colleagues or a PLC to demo the power of data-informed pedagogy, all the way up and through a full on schoolwide professional development day where an entire faculty works together to discover, share, and grow in their teaching practice while developing a common language for success.
(Think all of the energy and collaborative excitement of "The Marshmallow Challenge."
All the excitement and none of the mess!)
The plug-and-play activity provided can be "mashed" into any course or content area, with participants anywhere from ages 8 to 80 (no joke. We ran it with our entire high school teaching faculty and had entire tables of septuagenarians laughing up a storm)! The resource includes 10 fully illustrated Google Slides and a detailed step-by-step instructor manual to help you facilitate the activity with your students or staff. Guaranteed to get people talking, laughing, and LEARNING together, this download has everything you'll need to run one heck of a teaching activity -- just add plastic potatoes (you'll need one for every 6-8 people in the room. So 24 students = 3 or 4 potatoes. Fifty faculty members = 8 potatoes or so, which you can always turn around and give away as teacher door prizes).
Have a blast with this resource, and thanks again for checking out my TPT store!