So far, I have covered what a Growth Mindset is and how to observe it happening. Next, I talked about the importance of modelling Growth Mindset and the power of Yet. The final step, whether you do this at home or in the classroom, is to instigate daily practice.
Growth mindset is all about effort, so what better way to teach it than to teach perseverance through practice? Putting it all together. This is the 1st step. Encouraging perseverance instills the power of “I’m not quite there…yet. Connect positive results with effort rather than innate ability, and children will be more willing to take risks and value hard work. When you notice hard work or positive self-talk, make sure they know it!
The 2nd step is to use positive reinforcement. This is especially helpful for younger children. For example, create a simple game where kids receive a sticker or a cotton ball for practicing a growth mindset. For every 10 cotton balls or stickers, the child gets to choose a game everyone plays.
Step 3 involves talking about everyday struggles. In the safe environment of your home or class, give children time to consider their challenges and ask you questions about them. Grappling with a problem builds resilience, so give kids time for reflection before jumping in to help them. Have the children ask you questions about your struggles as an adult, as a teacher. If you as an adult is willing to share your challenges, the children are more willing to share also.
Step 4 involves Growing your Brain discussions by re-framing mistakes. Get excited when opportunities for growth occur! In a challenging moment, say things like, “This seems like an opportunity to grow our brains!” Create an environment where setbacks are expected, mistakes are expected, and celebrate them.
The Final step suggests that exercising the brain can be hard for kids. When your child, or you, becomes frustrated, it’s okay to take a break. “It’s time to give our brains a little rest. We’ll come back to this tomorrow!” Being watchful of your own fixed mindset “triggers” can help with this process.
The following is another clip from Class Dojo that demonstrates how it all comes together for a child.
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