There is a lot of talk about growth mindset in the last few years. It’s a great practice to use as an adult, but also great to teach our students as well. This blog post will outline some general information on teaching kids about growth mindset and some detailed ideas on how to make it work in your classroom.
1. What is Growth Mindset?
A growth mindset is a theory or an idea that our brains are not fixed at a certain intelligence level. We can continue to expand our minds and intelligence by pushing ourselves to do new things, try hard things, and redoing something until it’s successful. A fixed mindset is that either you can do it or you can’t. For example, either you can paint well or you can’t. There is no in-between.
A fixed mindset may be the idea that when something is difficult, we need to walk away from it because it is simply too hard. That’s the thought that our intelligence and our mind cannot complete the difficult task at hand. But as studies show and most of us have realized throughout our lives, we can continue to grow our intelligence and our mind. Growth mindsets are used in the workplace, in schools, and in everyday life.
2. How Growth Mindset Relates to Teaching
We can use growth mindsets in our classroom every single day. Since growth mindset is simply the ability to accept that our intelligence can keep growing, this is perfect for the school setting. Teachers can teach students to adopt a growth mindset when learning new things. Many students may shut down when it comes to difficult material, but practicing that growth mindset will help with their confidence.
Students may not immediately open up to this mindset, and it will take time. If they have a fixed mindset, when they see an assignment, they will accept they can’t do it. Or when it comes to the special area class, if they have accepted that they aren’t good at art, they attend that class thinking they won’t be successful. A growth mindset will help them adopt the thoughts that, with effort, they can achieve beautiful artwork in the art class.
3. The Benefits of Growth Mindset
The benefits of having a growth mindset are that you will be able to achieve more. Your successes will be easier to accomplish with a growth mindset. It will give you the willpower to continue pushing yourself. The benefit of teaching students a growth mindset early on in life is that it will help them as adults. It will teach them to see failure as an invitation to keep trying until their successful.
4. How Teachers Can Promote It
- Teach the science behind it.
- Practice constantly.
- Give tons of scenarios.
- Be a daily model.
- LOTS of praise for specific actions.
5. Ideas and Resources for Teaching Growth Mindset
I have collected online resources, mentor texts, free activities, and more to give you ideas on lessons and activities to start teaching growth mindset in your classroom tomorrow! Keep reading below to see all my fun and free ideas!
(Source: Class Dojo YouTube Channel)
This adorable video is an excellent introduction to a growth mindset. If you use ClassDojo in your classroom already, then this video is even better! YouTube has many other kid-friendly videos for growth mindset lessons!
Weekly Growth Mindset Reflection Anchor Chart
Laminate an anchor chart and hang it near the calendar or somewhere where your students can see it and have access to it. Ideally, this weekly growth mindset anchor chart will trigger your students to actively think about how they can use their growth mindset. Once a week or throughout the week, students will reflect on how they used a growth mindset, then grab a Post-it note, and stick it to the anchor chart.
Foldable Scenarios or Weekly Reflections
This free and easy foldable can be used in two different ways. One of the ways is to use it as a weekly tracker. The students will reflect on their past week and think of a time where they used a growth mindset. First, they’ll write their situation in the first box, then write a fixed mindset thought for that situation, and then, their growth mindset. OR you can use it when teaching growth mindset, and each student can come up with a different scenario and present their growth and fixed mindsets to the class.
Great Mentor Texts
Mentor texts and read alouds are always an incredible tool when teaching any topic. These six books that I’ve read and checked out are fantastic for teaching your students about the growth mindset. Below, you will find the six affiliate links to Amazon for these books to add to your library collection.
Your Fantastic Elastic Brain
The Most Magnificent Thing
What Do You Do with a Problem?
Making a Splash
Everyone Can Learn to Ride a Bike
Want a Freebie?
Here, I have a freebie flip book just for you! This special offer freebie will help your students learn exactly what growth mindset is and how they can achieve it.
My flip books are some of my favorite activities for kiddos. They include a reading text. The reading text under the ‘Let’s Read’ tab features kid-friendly information about fixed mindsets and growth mindsets. The ‘Let’s Think’ tab has three scenarios where the students have to brainstorm how each student can change their mindset. The ‘Let’s Sort’ tab has a cut and glue activity that distinguishes quotes said by students that are either fixed mindset or growth mindset thoughts. And finally, the ‘Let’s Write’ page has a space for illustrating a school scenario. Plus, a writing block for them to write what they’ve learned about growth mindsets. Read below about how to grab this special offer freebie!
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Here are a few other blog posts that I think you’ll like!
- Mentor Texts Suggestions for Literature Standards
- Informational Mentor Text Suggestions
- How to Use Google Classroom
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