Sunday, March 8, 2015


Mindset in the Classroom

Every once in a while a book comes along that changes things for you.  My husband is a reader, as in 75 books a year (yes, he keeps track) reader.  Every now and then he finishes one and tells me that it’s a must read.  And, he is usually right!  He finished Mindset by Carol Dweck and immediately said that I NEEDED to read it….that every teacher/parent should read it.  As usual…he was right.  The concept of fixed vs. growth mindset changed my thinking completely.  It changed my language in the classroom.  It changed my approach and interactions with students.

Book Cover 

I put together this little graphic to help explain the difference between fixed vs. growth mindset in a nutshell.


I mean really….who wouldn’t want their students to be in the growth mindset column.  Isn’t that the kind of student and thinker we want all of our students to be.  So, how do we get our students to start thinking that way.  According to Dweck, “You have a choice. Mindsets are just beliefs.  They’re powerful beliefs, but they’re just something in your mind, and you can change your mind.” 

Check out this TED Talk about Mindset and how it works.

There are some amazing resources online as well.  Check out Mindset Works and sign up for a free account.  This week my class will be reading the article “You Can Grow Your Intelligence.”  We will then discuss the article and begin our journey toward changing our mindset to a growth mindset!

After reading the book, I realized how important this concept is, and not just for my struggling students.  My gifted kiddos need it as much, if not more than my strugglers.  They need to understand that being wrong doesn’t make them “dumb.”  That being challenged and not “getting it,” right away means they are learning something new.  A few weeks ago, after I began changing the language I used with students in my classroom, we had a particularly challenging lesson.  It really made my kiddos think and there was a lot of productive struggle going on.  One of my gifted kiddos was getting visibly upset at not “getting it.”  I mean, this is a kiddo who has been told all of his life that he was “so smart,” right?    We talked about how challenges are an opportunity to learn and grow our brain, if everything is always easy and we already know how to do it, then where is the learning opportunity in that.  You may not “get it,” but you just don’t “get it,” yet!  At the end of the day we did our daily wrap up.  I ask them to think of one new thing they learned that day.  My gifted kiddo, the one who had struggled that day, said this….

Hunter's Quote

What a HUGE step for this kiddo!  My goal for the rest of this year is for EVERYone of my students to leave my classroom with a growth mindset and the belief that they truly can do anything they set their mind to!

Have you read Mindset?  How have you implemented the principles of growth mindset in your classroom or school?  I would love to hear from you!

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