Points of Pride

September 1, 2017

Happy September!!!

Instructional Focus:

Last year at Canyon Rim, we did a staff book study on Carol Dweck's book "Mindset: The New Psychology of Success." This is the book that famously introduced the terms "growth mindset," and "fixed mindset." In education and in life, we naturally promote a "fixed mindset" with the feedback that we give. For example, if we tell a student "Wow, you learned that so quickly! You are so smart!" what message are we really sending? Now positive reinforcement is a beautiful thing, but we just equated speed to intelligence for anyone that heard. So what is that student going to naturally think the next time they need a couple extra minutes to learn a math concept?

Growth Mindset Feedback

As students begin to work towards their learning objectives, growth-minded language guides and motivates them to ensure they will remain persistent, resilient, and focused on the progress of their learning. It is important to give learners feedback about their progress and their results so they can specifically see their growth. This is true whether they are in preschool or sixth grade, math or music.

When they struggle despite strong effort:

1. Ok, so you didn’t do as well as you wanted to. Let’s look at this as an opportunity to learn.

2. What did you do to prepare for this? Is there anything you could do to prepare differently next time?

3. You are not there “yet”

4. When you think you can’t do it, remind yourself that you can’t do it “yet”

5. Look at how much progress you made on this. Do you remember how much more challenging this was (yesterday/last week/ last year?)

6. You can do it! It’s tough but you can; let’s break it down into steps.

7. I expect you to make some mistakes. It’s the kinds of mistakes that you make along the way that tell me how to support you.

8. Let’s stop here and return tomorrow with a fresher brain.

9. I admire your persistence and I appreciate your hard work. It will pay off!!