Tips, Tools, and Texts to Encourage a Growth Mindset

Tips, Tools, and Texts to Encourage a Growth Mindset

As parents and teachers, we try to encourage kids to take creative risks and understand that mistakes are a good thing! I even came up with a name for our mistakes in my classroom. We called them “growth spurts,” because we grow from them. I announce to my students on the first day of school that I hope they make many, glorious mistakes.

We discuss the word, “fail,” too. Think of fail as what it really is:

F – First

A – Attempt

I – In

L – Learning

Of course, all of this is setting them up to learn about having a growth mindset. This means you believe that you can continue to learn and grow as you make mistakes. We are all on a continuum of learning and can improve with practice, time, and effort. (This is opposed to having a fixed mindset, which is the belief that we cannot improve our intelligence or abilities.)

There are many activities you can do to set students on the path to developing a growth mindset:

“Success is on the same road as failure; success is just a little further down the road.”

Jack Hyles

As teachers, your students see you more often than they may see their own parents during the waking hours of the school week. Whether you are a first year teacher, or a veteran teacher, your students will watch and learn from all that you do. That includes your lessons that deserve a gold star and the ones that make you cringe. Students watch the way you handle a break-through and the way you handle stressful situations.

The good news is that kids need to see those cringe-worthy moments and how you handle them. They will have plenty of times that their best ideas won’t work or a plan for a project flops. They need to know that it’s ok and that trials are part of the process to learning and growing. Here are a few ideas for being a mistake-making mentor for your students:

  1. Growth Mindset Flip Chart – Create a flip chart from an inverted three-ring binder. Fill it with 26 pages. The first page says, “Plan A.” The second page flips to “Plan B.” Keep going until you get to the last page, “Plan Z.” Whenever you make a mistake in class, calmly walk over and flip the chart to the next page and say something like, “Well, I guess that way didn’t work, let’s try Plan B.” This lets students know that there is never an expectation to get something done perfectly the first time they try it. There are always more chances.
  2. Guest Experts – Have parents and community members come in once or twice a month as guest experts. They can tell about their jobs and what they like about them. But, the more important part is having them talk about the challenges and how they work through them. Having kids see that their parents and mentors from their community all struggle at times helps them to normalize the fact that something worth learning and doing isn’t always going to be without hiccups.
  3. Goal Setting – Teaching students to set goals is empowering. Have a goal board in your room to record goals for both inside and outside the classroom. Be sure to post some of your own school and personal goals too. Share your progress with the kids as they share theirs with you. They will see that working toward goals is a pathway with ups and downs, but adjustments can be made when needed.
  4. Showcase Mistakes – There are many videos you can show kids about famous failures that people you now know to be successful stumbled through. There are also great books like, Mistakes that Worked and The Kid Who Invented the Popsicle, that show all kinds of ways amazing inventions came to be because of mistakes. We need kids to not only see the successes people enjoy, but also their  sometimes rocky road to that success.
  5. Way to Grow! Journals – At the end of each day, give kids some time to reflect and write about one of their biggest successes that day as well as one of their biggest “failures.” (Often the failure leads to a success they eventually write about!) You should participate in this and share yours with the kids too. Allow volunteers to share what they wrote and how a success or a failure helped them grow in some way.

When you role model mistakes as an important part of the process of learning, kids will see it that way too. When students recognize that learning happens through both the successes and trials, they understand that learning is always happening. And, that’s what we want!

About the Author

Shannon Anderson taught for 25 years from first grade through college level. A career highlight was being named one of the 10 teachers who “awed and inspired” the Today Show in 2019. Shannon is also an award-winning children’s book author and LOVES to come to schools to talk to kids about the power of reading, writing, and growth mindset. You can learn more about her at: www.shannonisteaching.com.

How to Use SEL Principles in Phy-Ed Classes

How to Use SEL Principles in Phy-Ed Classes

Girl holding sign "I Get Better and Better"Physical education is much more than developing students to be physically fit and healthy, across multiple domains. Our job is to teach students to have confidence in a wide variety of skill sets. But gaining confidence in a physical skill doesn’t come easily to every student.  Not only do you need tons of practice, but being positive in your own self-talk (as well as positive encouragement from others) goes a long way.

Positive affirmations are phrases you repeat to influence yourself into believing what you want to be and what you want to be able to do. These phrases help you overcome sabotaging negative thoughts, and even poor performances in what you are trying to do. The more you repeat your positive affirmations, the more of a positive change you will make. You may think it is unrealistic, but once you start to feed the “positive dog”, magical things tend to happen!

Being a PE teacher, I see that many students are exposed to different skillsets in which they don’t have a natural ability. This is where I tend to teach my students how welcoming positive affirmations are. My goal is to build students’ self-esteem through regulating their emotions and having self-awareness. My students understand that they are super heroes and they can do anything they believe in. Every Phy-Ed class, we have a quote or phrase that we embrace for the lesson. These phrases are our positive affirmations!

“I will thrive”, “We get to”, and “I can do this”, are some of the phrases you will hear my students say as they are learning the skills for the day.  My students not only believe in themselves, but they believe in each other and support one another through the challenges of the lessons. 

There is nothing more pleasant than seeing students struggle, but not give up because they keep feeding the “positive dog” with their affirmations. I love having students work together because they influence one another to reach the outcome and objective. When you are teaching your lesson and hear someone say “you thrived” and/or “you did it”, this makes me feel great, as the teacher, for having a warm class culture of supporting one another – and even more importantily, it makes the individual students feel great. The person supporting someone and acknowledging their classmate, as well as the studentwho completed the task, both now have a self-esteem boost from those few words of encouragement. 

Positive affirmations have made a huge impact not only for my students, but for myself in my personal life. I came across Inspired Minds and knew this would be a perfect addition to my phrases that we already use in my PE class. Positive minds has 30 different phrases that promote social-emotional learning, inclusion and growth mindset. I am very thankful for what the company does to keep my students’ spirits and belief in themselves high!  

I highly recommend embedding positive affirmations into all your lessons. These warm, positive phrases boost your mental wellbeing and will lead you to visualizing success, which ultimately will be fulfilled. The next time you are struggling with something, just smile and feed that “positive dog.”

About the Author

Gustave KaragrozisMy name is Gustave Karagrozis. I grew up on Long Island in New York. I studied Physical Education at SUNY Cortland and then pursued my Masters in HPER at Emporia University. I teach for NYC DOE. It is my 6th year divided between two different schools. I spent three years at PS123 in Harlem, NY and currently at PS133 in Bellerose, NY. I have taught K-8, but am currently focused on teaching K-2.  I am super passionate about Green Screening to enhance my students engagement and creating GIFs to help teach skills. Some of my hobbies are Pickleball, Volleyball, Cornhole and swinging Kettlebells. 

Follow Gustave on Twitter!

 

Interactive Social-Emotional Learning Walk with Inspired Minds Posters and Wakelet — Kristina Holzweiss

Interactive Social-Emotional Learning Walk with Inspired Minds Posters and Wakelet — Kristina Holzweiss

Ambassador: Kristina Holzweiss

We’ve begun installing our interactive social-emotional learning walk using Inspired Minds posters. I thought it would be a good idea if we posted positive messages in our high school courtyard.
 
First I created 30 Wakelet collections, one for each of the positive affirmation posters. I met with student volunteers, five so far, who will each collaborate with me on a collection that corresponds with their poster of choice. They will be responsible for curating resources and recording a video related to their positive message. I created the collections so the project can continue, even when students graduate and no longer have access to their school accounts. Then I downloaded the automatically generated QR codes for the collections.
 
To create the signs, I laminated the poster and the QR code and attached them with shipping tape to plain yellow corrugated plastic lawn signs. Lastly, I attached the metal stand to the back of the sign with duct tape. Then all I needed to do was to find some high traffic areas and install them.
 
I’m really excited about this project, and how students can learn from one another. All they have to do is to scan the QR code for instant access to resources and a positive message from their peers.
 

See the example on Wakelet

 

 

QR Codes blend tech with physical activity!

Kristina A. Holzweiss

Ed Tech Librarian

Long Island, NY Web: bunheadwithducttape.com

                

     


Kristina was named the School Library Journal Librarian of the Year in 2015, a National School Board 2016 – 2017 “20 to Watch” emerging education technology leader, and a 2018 Library Journal Mover & Shaker.

She is also the winner of the 2015 NYSCATE Lee Bryant Outstanding Teacher Award and 2015 Long Island Technology Summit Fred Podolski Leadership and Innovation Award.  In 2015 she founded SLIME – Students of Long Island Maker Expo (slimemakerexpo.com).

In 2016 she was invited to represent Long Island, NY in Washington, D.C. during the National Week of Making.   Kristina is an international speaker on the libraries and the maker movement and has presented at conferences including ISTE, AASL, ALA, and NYSCATE. 

She is the Long Island Director for NYSCATE. Kristina is the co-author of Hacking School Libraries and is the author of two series of makerspace books published by Scholastic.

Other Posts from Kristina:

Positive Affirmations as Visual, Empowering Reminders — Kristina Holzweiss

Positive Affirmations as Visual, Empowering Reminders — Kristina Holzweiss

Ambassador: Kristina Holzweiss

As a school librarian, I strive to create a nurturing environment for ALL my students, by respecting and embracing their differences. Over the years I have found a common need for students, regardless of their age or academic ability…the need to be empowered. So many children feel powerless and that they have little say. Many feel that adults are “in charge” and all that they can do is follow. It is important for students to feel that their voices matter, the quiet ones as well as the louder ones. They need to understand that they can be thought leaders and change leaders now, and they don’t need to wait for the future.

It may seem like such a simple idea, but these positive affirmations were the perfect posters for my library. Sometimes we will never realize how much a kind word or a smile can impact a student’s life. We might not know about a family situation or what is going on in a child’s mind. A daily affirmation of “you matter” could be the reason why a student puts more effort into a class than another. And this could eventually mean the difference between graduating or not.

Decorating the empty spaces above the library bookstacks with Inspired Minds affirmation posters was twofold. First, they inspired my students to believe in themselves and to think positively about the learning process. Second, these posters served as a reminder to me as I was teaching to always accentuate the positives. And, honestly, sometimes I needed to be reminded about my own strengths.

 

A smile impacts a life!

Kristina A. Holzweiss

Ed Tech Librarian

Long Island, NY Web: bunheadwithducttape.com

                

     


Kristina was named the School Library Journal Librarian of the Year in 2015, a National School Board 2016 – 2017 “20 to Watch” emerging education technology leader, and a 2018 Library Journal Mover & Shaker.

She is also the winner of the 2015 NYSCATE Lee Bryant Outstanding Teacher Award and 2015 Long Island Technology Summit Fred Podolski Leadership and Innovation Award.  In 2015 she founded SLIME – Students of Long Island Maker Expo (slimemakerexpo.com).

In 2016 she was invited to represent Long Island, NY in Washington, D.C. during the National Week of Making.   Kristina is an international speaker on the libraries and the maker movement and has presented at conferences including ISTE, AASL, ALA, and NYSCATE. 

She is the Long Island Director for NYSCATE. Kristina is the co-author of Hacking School Libraries and is the author of two series of makerspace books published by Scholastic.

Other Posts from Kristina:

Add a Scratch-off Sticker to a Postcard for Fun — Kristina Holzweiss

Add a Scratch-off Sticker to a Postcard for Fun — Kristina Holzweiss

Ambassador: Kristina Holzweiss

Inspired Minds posters are bright and colorful, but imagine making them even more fun for students.

Stick on scratch-offs and hide a message or a QR code behind the scratch-off. It’s a fabulous way to encourage students with a note that emphasizes their strengths and abilities. A positive affirmation for growth mindset.

 

Objectives Met:

  • Social and emotional learning
  • Positive affirmation
  • Encouraging growth mindset
  • Working on limiting beliefs
  • Showing appreciation

Make Your Own Scratch-Off

In this handy tutorial, Kristina shows how to create a QR code scratch-off.

Add fun to encouragement!

Kristina A. Holzweiss

Ed Tech Librarian


Long Island, NY

Web: bunheadwithducttape.com 

                

 

 

 

Kristina was named the School Library Journal Librarian of the Year in 2015, a National School Board 2016 – 2017 “20 to Watch” emerging education technology leader, and a 2018 Library Journal Mover & Shaker.

She is also the winner of the 2015 NYSCATE Lee Bryant Outstanding Teacher Award and 2015 Long Island Technology Summit Fred Podolski Leadership and Innovation Award.  In 2015 she founded SLIME – Students of Long Island Maker Expo (slimemakerexpo.com).

In 2016 she was invited to represent Long Island, NY in Washington, D.C. during the National Week of Making.  

Kristina is an international speaker on the libraries and the maker movement and has presented at conferences including ISTE, AASL, ALA, and NYSCATE.  She is the Long Island Director for NYSCATE.

Kristina is the co-author of Hacking School Libraries and is the author of two series of makerspace books published by Scholastic.

 

Other Posts from Kristina: