Kettle Moraine, Wisconsin
Teachers had focused their praise on effort, which had made them aware of how they were talking to students. Children knew they were being noticed, which caused a positive vibe. Making connections every day with children was very powerful.
In discussion about what being ‘smart’ meant, most children said that you were smart in your blood or it was when you got all the answers right.
The children were read the Dweck article ‘You can grow your intelligence’ and one child said that you sometimes regress in reading over the summer if you don’t read. The children understood the importance of practice and effort.
Watching the taxi driver video and discussing the mindsets had made children use the vocabulary of the growth mindset.
It was stated that it would be better if these activities were at the beginning of the year, to help children buy into it.
Tunbridge Wells, Kent
Teachers had all shown the children the mindset slides, asked them to talk in groups about their own mindsets and discussed how to be more ‘growth’. The taxi driver video (YouTube) had also been used.
The phrases ‘Don’t know how to do that YET’ and ‘He’s so fixed!’ had raised awareness and become part of children’s vocabulary. Children enjoyed learning this and are embracing challenge, having more confidence and self-belief.
The ‘who is most intelligent’ exercise had been carried out by all teachers. Children quickly realised the different types of intelligence but thought academic and financial intelligence was best.
A video of Olympic training was seen to illustrate effort which was very effective.
I showed the children the slide explaining the features of growth and fixed mindsets. I used myself as an example and modelled the kind of dialogue I expected the task to prompt (e.g. ‘I love a challenge and will always try new things, which I suppose is quite growth. But I know that I have a short attention span, so if I am not instantly successful I usually give up quite quickly.’) This sparked lots of discussion in groups.
The children now regularly use the terms ‘fixed and growth’ mindsets. Quite often, in a friendly way, they mock me or each other: ‘Oh, that’s so fixed!’ They are good at identifying the qualities of growth or fixed mindset in stories they are read.
Kettle Moraine School District, Wisconsin, USA
Patricia Deklotz | firstname.lastname@example.org
Kim Zeidler | email@example.com
Tunbridge Wells, Kent, UK
Mel Shackleton | firstname.lastname@example.org