“We can do hard things.” This quote echoes through our home pretty often, and it’s one that I have to say to myself a lot, too. (7am faculty meetings, anyone?!) The truth is that life is tough. And the students in whom we are so heavily invested are also navigating their own share of hard things. From bullying and friendship struggles to family problems and exposure to drugs, our students are facing lots of decisions that make life complicated and difficult. It’s more obvious than ever that we need to sprinkle growth mindset activities in the classroom.
One of the most significant ways we can empower our students to face hard things in life is by equipping them with a growth mindset. Helping them see the positive potential in a situation, to push through frustrating circumstances knowing that there’s something better on the other side, these are life skills that our students can employ for the rest of their lives. And the good news is, one can do this every day in the classroom!
7 Growth Mindset Activities to Sprinkle into the Classroom
- Celebrate effort instead of results – Praise the effort put into a task, rather than the result or outcome. Create rewards or certificates to reflect progress and personal growth.
- Model a growth mindset – Demonstrate a growth mindset yourself by showing that you are open to learning new things, trying different approaches and making mistakes.
- Use growth mindset language – Talk about challenges as “opportunities to learn” or “opportunities to practice and get better.”
- Encourage reflection – Ask students to reflect on their experiences and think about what they could do differently next time.
- Read books on growth mindset – There are lots of great books on the topic of growth mindset. Reading these together can be a great way to introduce the idea.
- Introduce the idea of “yet” – Teach your child to add the word “yet” to statements of inability. For example, instead of saying “I can’t do this,” they can say “I can’t do this yet.”
- Use growth mindset quotes to encourage daily conversations. See my list of 40 quotes you can print for your school.
If you’re like me and want to promote a growth mindset in your students without sacrificing a lot of instructional time, I’ve put together some resources that will enable you to address this critical life skill in a time-efficient and no-prep way. From games and a scavenger hunt to crafts and class presentations, you’ll be set with my Growth Mindset Mega Bundle. With all of these activities at your fingertips, you can help your students shift from a fixed to a growth mindset all year long. And you’ll also rest easy knowing that you’ve also helped them make a change that will impact their lives in the years to come.