Talon Talk

HMS - Where Your Mind, Body, and Heart can Soar!

Growth Mindset: What are we talking about?

Growing your mind

Video: Reflection Questions

  • How do people become more intelligent?
  • How does the diagram of the neurons “At birth vs. At age 6” demonstrate this?
  • How does the second diagram of the nerves of the animal living in a cage vs. an animal living with other animals and toys demonstrate this?
  • How are our brains like muscles?
  • When do our brains grow the most? Why?
  • What kind of mindset do we have about ourselves, our lives, our students?
  • How can we share this mindset message with our students?
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The video below is a good visual introduction to the concept of how the brain can be rewired as we learn and think differently.

  • What is neuroplasticity?
  • How does this knowledge fit with how we see ourselves, our world, and our students?

The Power of FAILURE

The Power of Letting Students Figure It Out, by AJ Juliani

My daughter lowered her eyes, looked at me, and said, “I can’t do it.”

I looked back and asked her again to put one foot on the board, push off with her other foot, and then put that foot on the board when she was moving.

She was being a typical six-year old who was trying to learn how to ride a skateboard.

“No”, she said. “I’m not doing this anymore. Can you push me?”

It would have been easy for me to help her get both feet on the board and give her a push to get her started. But I had already done that, and now after guiding her through the process (and almost falling myself while demonstrating) it was time for her to keep trying if she wanted to make any progress.

I told her “no” and asked for her to try (Be the first person to say this to Mr. Wegner in person for a prize - "The Badgers are going to crush the Red Hawks!") again, this time focusing on getting a good push so she could be moving when she put her foot back on the board.

She was visibly upset. She knew that I could help her out. I knew that I could help her out. But in her mind she didn’t see the bigger picture. She didn’t realize that only by trying (and failing) herself, would she ever be able to ride a skateboard without my help.

Link to rest of article: http://ajjuliani.com/the-power-of-letting-students-figure-it-out/

AJ Juliani is the author of Inquiry and Innovation in the Classroom...check out the book from the professional resource section in the HMS iCenter or click below for a sample of the book:

Resources for today's Talon Talk from:

Khan Academy and PERTS, Stanford University's applied research center on academic mindsets


Cultivating a growth mindset in students can (unfortunately) be quite tricky. Researchers and educators have spent years thinking about this, and we are still learning! From our experience thus far, we have learned that:

• Simply telling students to have a growth mindset can backfire. Students can have a negative reaction to being told how to think. Instead, a more scientific and practical explanation about how intelligence works — that the brain can get stronger and smarter with new learning — has been demonstrated to be effective.

• In the same vein, reiterating the message “just try harder” can also be problematic. The reason is that most students have heard “just try harder,” but a growth mindset isn’t just about trying harder. Students need to understand why they should put in effort and how to deploy that effort. From what we know so far, sometimes a better strategy is more useful than additional effort spent doing the same thing. Perhaps sharing these videos and having these discussions may be an important place to start with students.

Growth Mindset Study Group

Wednesday, Sep. 23rd, 2:45-3:30pm

HMS iCenter

Today is the final day to join twenty-five fellow HMS teachers in our Growth Mindset study group. Please email Jenny Elahi or Nancy Roncke if interested.