Even More Mindset!

Our faculty started studying mindset a couple years ago, and after the first sessions in the How To Learn Math course, I knew I was on the right track with teaching about mindset, but I need to do much more. I just finished session 4 of the course, and one of the questions asked what can we do to communicate positive messages to our students.  We presented something to our faculty last year, I've practiced in my class this year, so that question was an easy one to answer.  As a reminder to myself and to solidify my thinking, I wanted to share my responses here.
One thing I've already prepared for next year is a slideshow of mindset, failure, and mistake quotes. I plan to show this power point during transition times, passing periods, or maybe on days where we have challenging lessons.

Last year, my students regularly used #growthmindset when they were struggling on concepts or problems.  I would also write #growthmindset on the bottom of tests/quizzes or class problems.  The students also would call me out when I said something with a fixed mindset. (ME: "Oh, I'll never get my old computer to work with this projector, I give up!" STUDENT: "Fixed mindset, Ms. Laster, keep trying!")

For something new, I've toyed with the idea about creating a "Growth Mindset" digital badge for my students. They would need to watch videos, reflect on mindset, and demonstrate how they've shown a growth mindset in our class and in another area in their lives.  It hasn't happened YET...but I still have one month 25 days until school begins. :)  I also LOVED the idea @karlfisch created of the letter before school and this "assignment".

Ideas shared with our faculty and what I've tried...

  • Guide the students through the 4 steps to changing mindset. (The example I shared with our faculty and students was my first attempt at Wii Zumba--definitely heard my fixed mindset voice then!) 
  • Present students with brain research and its potential to grow.
  • Provide students with role models of individuals who have succeeded because of a growth mindset. (love the Michael Jordan failure commercial)
  • Provide opportunities for students to reflect on their growth mindset experiences (student blog example and teacher blog about the "Power of Yet").
  • Model your own growth mindset.
  • Praise for strategies, effort and processes instead of for intelligence and ability.
  • Create a Failure Quote wall in your classroom.
Quotes about failures & post-its of mistakes & how teachers/kids learned

Giving Feedback

  • “You really studied for your test, and your improvement shows it. You read the material over several times, outlined it, and tested yourself on it. That really worked!”
  • “I like the way you tried all kinds of strategies on that math problem until you got it.”
  • “It was a long, hard assignment, but you stuck to it and got it done. You stayed at your desk, kept up your concentration, and kept working. That’s great!”
  • “I like that you took on the challenging project. It will take a lot of work – research, designing the machine, buying the parts and building it. You’re going to learn a lot of great things.”

I'm still looking for ideas, and I'm still learning and growing.  Using scoop.it, I continue to curate blog posts and articles I find using #HowToLearnMath.

Any other ideas to share?  
What are you doing in your classrooms to help change your students' mindsets?
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About Kathryn Laster

I love teaching, learning, and sharing!
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3 comments :

  1. I first learned about mindset in college, and now three years later our principal just introduced this concept to the staff yesterday. I'm going to try to embed the resources you've provided during my first week of classes. I really love the #growthmindset idea!

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  2. I loved your growth mindset slideshow. I have been reading Mindset by Carol Dweck and I have been trying to think of some ways that I can introduce the ideas in the book to my students. I was thinking of showing a video of a baby learning to walk and I found this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qENMEyeP_No. Having the quotes about making mistakes around the room or in a slideshow is a great idea.

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    1. Thanks, Sara! I loved the video you found, and listening to the family feedback was a great reinforcement, too. I also found this short video that is a quick introduction to growth vs. fixed mindsets http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o8JycfeoVzg, and we're sharing this with our new teachers.

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