These questions are designed to spark conversation with students to expand growth mindset and social-emotional learning. This week’s topic is about achievement and the mindset toward reaching goals. The discussion provides opportunities to apply the affirmation to each of the five core competencies of social and emotional learning.



  • Let’s say the affirmation together: I can achieve anything.
  • Name something you would like to achieve in the next week. (Ex: Draw a picture, bake a cake, shoot a free-throw, run a mile, write a story, learn a song, pass a test, finish my homework, etc.) It has to be something within your control.
  • On a scale of 1–5, with 5 the most sure, how confident are you that you can achieve the thing you just said?

Hold up:

      • 5 fingers for “I’m sure I can do it!”
      • 4 for “I’m mostly sure I can do it.”
      • 3 for “I’m halfway sure I can do it.”
      • 2 for “I’m a little sure I can do it.”
      • 1 for “I’m not sure I can do it at all.”
  • What would make your answer turn into a 5?


  • If you couldn’t remember the instructions for an assignment, what could you do to ensure you achieve the best outcome? See if you can think of ideas other than asking the teacher.
  • If I wanted to achieve the goal of making macaroni and cheese, there would be steps needed, right? Let’s list all of the steps we can think of.
  • Now, think of a goal you want to achieve. List three steps that you’d have to take to get to that goal.

Responsible decision-making

  • Achievers don’t quit when they have a problem. They look for ways to solve the problem. Let’s imagine I wanted to improve my health by going for a bike ride. But when I go to get my bike, the tires are both flat. What would an achiever do to solve the problem and reach their goal?
  • Here’s another one. Imagine I wanted to have a lemonade stand to make some money to buy myself a game. But I discover I don’t have any lemonade at home. How can I still achieve my goal?

Social awareness

  • Sometimes, another person’s success makes us feel jealous. It’s important to avoid unhealthy comparisons. Explain how both of these examples are great achievements:
    • A student wins a state math competition.
    • A student who has always struggled with math receives their first A on a test.
  • Discuss why it’s important to measure our achievement based on our own personal best rather than on someone else’s.

Relationship skills

  • If you’re working as a team to achieve a goal such as winning a basketball game, what happens when one person tries to show off and doesn’t pass the ball to anyone else?
  • How can other team members problem-solve to make sure the team works well together? What are some ways to work out the challenges without immediately asking a coach or teacher for help with a conflict?

Next week’s SEL focus: I NEVER GIVE UP

To find the full-size posters to use in your classroom (or the magnet or postcard size) visit our store.

Suggestion for virtual learning:

  • Purchase a pack of 30 postcards for the teacher to hold the appropriate one up to the screen during discussion.
  • Purchase a pack of 30 small hand-off notes for each student to have at home with them. This allows for an interactive and hands-on experience.