Two teachers had used the Mindset Melting Pot by KJ Walton and 4 teachers had used the fixed and growth statements for children to select those which applied to them, creating a baseline of mindsets in the class.
One teacher asked ‘What would happen if a baby had a fixed mindset?’ The children realised that they wouldn’t be able to walk or talk and would be like ‘giant slugs on the floor!’
All teachers had shown children the workings of the brain. They refer to the fact that their brain is growing whenever they are stuck.
All teachers had created displays about the growth mindset in the classrooms and the hall with associated phrases. Children were using the language (e.g. ‘Yet!’) and there was constant reinforcement amongst children and staff.
Children understood the importance of mistakes. Three schools had introduced ‘marvellous mistakes’ and children know that they learn from mistakes by their next steps being given.
Three schools had created the leaning zones bullseye diagrams which children understand. They are able to self-differentiate more effectively and are able to support lower achievers.
Whole school assemblies on the growth mindset had reinforced a whole school culture.
All schools had led a parents’ evening on mindsets and given parents the appropriate praise language and what not to say. Parents were supportive which led to good consistency between home and school. One school held a ‘set your bubble free’ after school session in which children’s fixed mindset thoughts were set free via helium balloons and growth mindset wishes were also set free. Ninety parents joined in and were given information about the mindsets and Prosecco as a theme bribe!
Three teachers had introduced weekly learning power characters. This had led to children understanding how to learn more effectively.
Quotes from children at Roebuck Primary and Nursery school, Stevenage.
What is growth mindset?
“Keep believing in yourself. You don’t give up. You keep challenging yourself. If you make a mistake you are learning.”
What is a fixed mindset?
‘You think you can’t do it – you don’t challenge yourself.’
‘It’s not good to find your work easy.’
‘I like lots of ticks and green but now I understand that getting pink is better. You learn from your mistakes.’
‘I say I can’t do it yet. I don’t know it yet’
Megan Thomas and Kate Short
Four teachers had asked the children to tick the statements which best described them and it seemed that boys were more fixed and higher and lower achievers were initially more fixed. By July there was a huge change and move towards a growth mindset.
Mistakes were linked with the mindsets and referred to during lessons. Growth and fixed statements have been sorted. Some children have made great progress, especially since the statements about how the brain grow’s when you are stuck had been displayed.
Class Mojo character videos were used by one schools as a stimulus for discussion and P4C was used to talk about ‘the pit’. Children are using the language of the growth mindset and are aware of the importance of the learning pit.
The bullseye chart of the three zones (panic, learning, comfort) had been used with children placing their name in the zone of the moment. The comfort or panic zone choices are dealt with quickly meaning more children are appropriately in the learning zone.
One teacher had based the learning characters on Star Wars (Yoda was concentration). She told the Yoda story and the children highlighted which parts of the story showed good concentration. These are now used to help children on a daily basis, asking them which power could help them.
Scenarios had been used to show what each character looks like, both good and bad examples. Children are now more able to access their learning, by being more resilient and being more focused. One child with SEN draws the characters when using them.
Another school had created nature characters such as a bee and butterfly. Each character has a bag of equipment, such as a magnifying glass to help them focus etc. Each character is a focus for half a term throughout the school. Children refer to these and can transfer their knowledge about them to various contexts. This has led to an excellent ethos of learning.