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Ideas For Teaching Growth Mindset

Teaching our students about the importance of growth mindset needs to be on every teacher's priority list. Students need to know it is ok to make mistakes and learn from those experiences. Read more about how other teachers integrate growth mindset into their classrooms from the 2 Peas and a Dog blog.
Growth mindset is an important skill to teacher our students. Students need to know it is ok to make mistakes and learn from those experiences.
One of the best examples for students is when teachers showcase their own growth mindset aha moments. Students learn best from concrete examples, not just theoretical discussions.
Read more about how other teachers integrate growth mindset into their classrooms in the curated Twitter chat below.

Q1: What does “growth mindset” mean to you? What does it look like in your classroom?

  • Learning is a journey, not a destination. Students need to reconnect to their natural curiosity and self-belief
  • Growth mindset = you only get good at something if you practice and there is always room for improvement. Lots of revising
  • Growth mindset means a classroom culture where growth in learning and the journey is valued as much as a final product
  • Students all learning at their own pace. Learning how to grapple with difficult questions and being ok with the struggle
  • Growth mindset means there is always room for improvement…there is no magic mark to hit, but just constant growth 
  • Growth mindset = turning mistakes into chances to learn and grow. Students should feel like wrong answers are part of the education process
  • Growth mindset as a teacher is being more aware of what we say to our students. Are we complimenting the effort or just the grade? 
  • Students and teachers embracing opportunity and believing they are lifelong learners… that’s growth mindset
  • I really like using the “Power of Yet” with students since many of them are conditioned to think learning is instant

Q2: How do you teach students to have a growth mindset in the classroom? 

  • I like using literary examples or real-life examples
  • Growth mindset needs to be modelled – we need to walk the walk, so students can see how it works and trust us in the process 
  • Ensure that we help students monitor their learning journey and not just praise products
  • Focus more on growth than grades. I teach an intervention class that is pass/fail where any “grades” given is just feedback 
  • This is so difficult to instill, especially once they’ve hit high school! 
  • Multiple opportunities to show learning, feedback, examples from guest speakers, field trips, readings
  • I do grapple problems and Socratic seminars to give students opportunities to figure things out on their own
  • University professor taught me this – “Who has a wrong answer? I’m looking for a wrong answer, because we all learn from mistakes
  • ClassDojo videos, my language in conversations, how I treat my mistakes in front of them, and encouraging growth 
  • I use a Super Improvers Wall (Whole Brain Teaching) 
  • Design lessons that have time to revise, retry…Celebrating failure and trying again!
  • I agree. So many students have learned the #gameofschool and don’t want to risk failing to achieve greater growth

Q3: What assignments do you use that encourage this mindset? 

  • My classroom library encourages risk taking with reading choices. Students are allowed to abandon books
  • I think allowing abandonment of books is so important! 
  • Allowing students to “abandon books” that aren’t working for them. Powerful tool. Love the idea
  • Journal entries that foster self-reflection and awareness so they can take the reigns of their learning and goals effectively
  • With my major writing assignments we write many drafts so students can see their own improvement
  • No certain type of assignment, but with writing assignments, conferencing with students before they turn in a final draft helps 
  • For any writing assignment, I spend a ton of time in writer’s workshop so the constant improvement is the focus 
  • I encourage students to read everything that interest them 
  • Independent reading for no purpose other than the fun of reading. No summaries, no reports, no page numbers 
  • I have students complete a reflection sheet after each major writing assignment
  • Don’t return rough drafts with a grade. Just revision suggestions. Then students revise and turn in for grade. students can do this again
  • I think multiple opportunities is the key – but too many “things” keep taking away our time 

Q4: Does applying a growth mindset in your classroom change how you grade? Explain.

  • I add effort row to some rubrics for using school resources, helping peers, etc. just as you would for writing conventions
  • With a growth mindset, I find myself only grading the “big stuff.” Everything else is just practice
  • Yes – if I can do what I need with multiple opportunities then the grade comes last and not until all opportunities have been used
  • I want it to! Trying new grading system this year (kinda standards-based grading) & not loving it. So much work & no results 
  • I do not grade homework or practice. I give feedback to help students improve and grow in their writing abilities
  • I always give credit for drafts and give students a rubric prior to writing a final. We discuss rubric as class and students give feedback 
  • I take less accuracy practice grades – more just goes for effort – giving feedback to encourage learning 
  • Offer feedback, multiple opportunities and choices for students to be assessed/show their growth
  • All teachers in my school give participation grades (common rubric). Lower level students can still pass by showing effort 
  • I am more comfortable grading each student individually. An “A” for one student might not be and “A” for another

Q5: Share a resource for teaching growth mindset that you find invaluable (book, article, blog post, type of technology, etc.). 

  • Take the quiz and read Duckworth’s Grit. Makes you think about what students really need to succeed 
  • I used to grade every homework assignment – now they mostly get points for turning it in – saves me so much grading time as well
  •  A little “Young” because it’s a picture book: “My Fanstastic Elastic Brain
  • I think we are the best resource…the best way to pass on growth mindset is to constantly model it for our students 
  • Fantastic books – “Ish,” “Sky Colours,” and “The Dot.” My Grades 7 & 8s love those books! 

Other Resources

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2 thoughts on “Ideas For Teaching Growth Mindset”

  1. I picked up several ideas I’d like to try! Thanks! I still am struggling, however, with how to incorporate both growth mindset and standards based grading (a recent push in our district) in my classroom. I know that both are supposed to benefit students, but some of the methods seem to conflict. Any ideas?

    1. I think you have to use what works best for your students. I use a combination of growth mindset and standards-based grading in my classroom. I ensure students have multiple times to practise and get feedback before I finally assess with a rubric.

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