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Back to school growth mindset activities can help your students tremendously at the start of the year…and frankly, throughout the year. Back to school can be a difficult time for students, but growth mindset activities can build persistence and perseverance!
Look, there is a key difference in students who persist compared to students who give up. And that difference is in their mindset. Fixed mindset vs. growth mindset.
In this post, I will show you activities that will create a growth mindset in students.
Back to school requires a focus on teaching and re-teaching behavior expectations. In older grades, you have to teach class norms and routines…not so much behavior.
Either way, the prerequisite for a growth mindset in students are valuable relationships – the ability of the teacher to exhibit empathy.
For more on behavior, read The Ultimate Classroom Management Checklist.
Without empathy and relationships, many students will likely experience the following effects:
These effects are detrimental to a student’s mindset and often results in a fixed mindset.
On the other hand, empathy allows a teacher to establish positive relationships with students that sends the message:
As the year moves on, you seek to motivate and encourage students through challenges and failures. If you are successful educating the whole student, you can shape mindsets.
A growth mindset will help students to view themselves as learners, doers, and hard workers.
Back to school is the perfect time to initiate this mindset! You have students’ attention and there’s a sense of a fresh start.
I will share growth mindset activities in a moment, but first why is a growth mindset important to learning?
Mindset is so critical to student success. You mindset and my mindset will shape how we view challenges and whether we believe we can learn how to solve problems.
It’s commonly argued that brains and talent don’t bring success. Athletes and entrepreneurs often assert that it’s what we do with our knowledge. It’s the effort we put into developing talent that matters.
You know that as a teacher. Students who don’t do, don’t learn. How do you get students to do? That’s look at that next.
It is our mindset that shapes what we do. How we think about our experiences, our opportunities, and our failures defines the actions we take.
A fixed mindset sees consequences as fate. A fixed mindset sees opportunities as destiny. A fixed mindset sees failure as proof of inferiority. A growth mindset is so different! It’s the opposite.
A fixed mindset wraps previous challenges and failures into a lump of conclusions. Those conclusions will deter effort. The student thinks, “Why should I try? I failed previously. I’m just not good at this.”Mindset shapes action. But certain activities can shape mindset. #teaching #mindsetClick To Tweet
A growth mindset is the habit of thinking, “I can learn.” Carol Dweck could write a book about, but I think that’s a pretty straightforward definition. And she did write a great book, but here’s a great Monthly Teaching Guide.
Students with a strong growth mindset understand that failure is an inevitable part of life. A setback is viewed as a target for growth. It is not the proof of destiny.
They understand that learning is the key that allows me to overcome future failure. A student with a growth mindset will think:
Before you check out and say that’s a fairy tale, stay with me.
I’m going to show you how students benefit from a growth mindset and how you can use activities to help students develop a growth mindset.
Students who are taught the messages just mentioned in the list above have the opportunity to think differently and those thoughts can lead to effort.
These same messages are heard by successful students often. It’s what successful students find in their parents, teachers, and mentors. There’s a constant messaging that you can – if you work for it.
It primes the brain for learning.
It’s not just self-esteem or cheer-leading. It’s more than that.
A growth mindset helps students because they need less praise and attention. They realize their effort determines their outcome. A growth mindset instills the belief that basic ability can improve through hard work and determination.
It is an empowering mindset that actually produces real results.Growth mindset is the belief in hard work and determination. #teaching #mindsetClick To Tweet
You can use many common classroom activities to help student develop a growth mindset:
Those are really general activities, but here some specific teaching ideas for you:
We have shared some growth mindset activities on TeachersPayTeachers that use videos, writing prompts, quotes, and close reads, but what do you use?
Do you have goal pages and data tracking for students? What do they say about these activities? Please let us know by commenting or sharing below!