October 30, 2014

Teaching Students to have a Growth Mindset

Ever since I read the book Mindset by Carol Dweck a few years ago, the whole idea of a growth mindset has really stuck with me.  I highly recommend reading it if you haven't yet!  After reading the book, I've tried to make little changes in the way I praise and talk to my students.  For example, instead of saying, "You're great at ___!," I try to highlight effort and hard work.  Instead of talking about strengths, I try to talk about how persevering and effort is what leads to success and learning.  But until this year, I hadn't explicitly taught this kind of thing to my students.

I absolutely love using Quantum Learning in my classroom, and this year I decided to introduce my students to the Eight Keys of Excellence.  One of my favorite keys is Failure Leads to Success, and I decided that this key was the perfect way to finally teach my students about a growth mindset.  We started by watching this amazing video from Kahn Academy about how we are all born to learn:
Then, our class had a conversation about how this video connected to the Failure Leads to Success key.  The video shows a baby learning to walk, and we talked about what would happen if every time a baby fell, he or she decided to give up.  We talked about all of the times we've said, "I'm not good at ____," or "I can't ___," or "___ just isn't my thing."  Then, we made this anchor chart to help us re-frame our thinking and create a "Failure Leads to Success Mindset."
Last, we read one of my all-time favorite picture books, Salt in his Shoes.  I had the kids listen for times that Michael Jordan showed a "Failure Leads to Success Mindset" in the story, and to give me a thumbs up when they heard an example.  All in all, it went great.  I loved explicitly teaching my kids how to re-frame their thinking and inner conversations, and I have already loved referring back to the lesson with my kids when they start to get frustrated and give up.  My students even remind me that "failure leads to success" when I make a mistake during teaching!  Awesome. :)


  1. Love it! Teaching my students to have a growth mindset was probably the best thing I could've done for them, especially being in SpEd. They will reap benefits from your teaching for years to come :)

    Glitter and Gradebooks

  2. I'm doing this with my class tomorrow! They need some motivation!


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