Sunday, June 14, 2015

Mindsets in the Classroom {Chapter 5}

Book Study Button


This is one of my favorite chapters yet and it really made me think of how my kiddos, specifically some of my gifted kiddos, respond to failure.  This is the population of kiddos who have heard their whole lives  how “smart,” they are and for a lot of gifted kiddos it is important to look “smart” at all costs.  Failure is handled very differently depending on which mindset you have.

Chapter 5 Graphic1

My goal this past year was to get my students to see failure as a lesson and to understand that taking a chance or not getting something right away doesn’t make you a failure.  This quote was from one of my gifted kiddos after a particularly challenging day of problem solving in math.


Walt Disney Quote


“Our goal is to encourage students to internalize the belief that their own actions and behaviors, not external factors, guide them to achievement or failure.” –Mary Cay Ricci

This part of the chapter was very convicting for me.  I have been thinking for a while now that I need to revamp the whole clip chart/prize system thing.  I like being able to reward students for positive things in my classroom but I really want my students to see that accomplishing a task, especially a challenging one, should be a reward in itself. 

It made me think of those times that we play a class game or do something challenging and the question comes up, as it always does, “What do I get if I win?”  I always respond that you get the satisfaction of winning or completing the challenging task, and for some that is enough.  Now I see that those are my kiddos who are in a growth mindset. 

What do you use in your classroom to manage behavior and/or reward students?

So, how can we help our students respond to failure appropriately and see failure as a chance to grow.

Teachers can help students when they make errors by:

  • help students interpret errors as “data,” that will help them
  • ask students what strategies they have used
  • ask students what other strategies they could try

Moving forward, my goals are to reevaluate my behavior management/reward system and to help my students see failure as information to use moving forward.  Lots to think about!

Join us over at Hello Sunshine and link up your thoughts!

1 comment:

  1. I had so many of the same thoughts as you in this chapter. My gifted babies were soooo challenging when it came to failure and effort. They expect that they don't need to put effort into anything because they are so "smart". I worked so hard on to push them to add more effort and see what they could accomplish. The breakthrough I got from a few of them was so rewarding. And the reward system! I agree completely that there is a lot to think about in this subject. This past year, I did a lot of "surprise" rewards - candy when they least expect it - AND if they asked for something, I told them "Not since you asked". I may still keep this in my room because I like the "don't expect something" lesson. I hope you'll do an update post of what you decide to implement or what your plan is.