The Growth Mindset

Digging deeper into a popular idea

Ice Breaker: Good Things

Let's spend ~5 minutes talking about good things going on in our teacher/professional lives. Personal successes allowed as well.

Don't be shy!

Assessment Time!

Using the imaginary line in front of you, with 'Strongly Disagree' on one end and 'Strongly Agree' on the other, move to the spot that corresponds to your own answer to the following questions. There is no right or wrong!
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Find a partner that teaches a different grade level & discuss these 3 questions

Each person will be given 1 minute, therefore 2 minutes per question.


1. How do you think your growth or fixed mindset affected you as a student?


2. How are mindsets reinforced and communicated to students?


3. What is the disadvantage of being labeled 'smart'?


Each partnership should now share 1 or 2 answers they found to be the most interesting.

Of course, it's always good to have a critical lens

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.

Carol Dweck: Make Challenge the New Comfort Zone

Find a new partner! You will each read a different (short) article.

AVID Strategy: Marking the text


1. Number the paragraphs

2. Circle key terms

3. Underline claims (some may require inference)


The posts can be found below if you'd prefer to read online:

Additional Resources