Keeping Growth Mindsets Visible and Alive Throughout the School Year

By this time in the school year you have established a strong community in your classrooms built around engendering growth mindsets among all students. You have discussed the dramatic effect that a growth mindset can have on students’ ability to learn and grow, given your students opportunities to self-reflect and analyze their own mindset tendencies, and taught them ways to talk to turn a fixed mindset into a growth mindset. (For reminders on these previous lessons see this newsletter and lessons plan link.) Now it’s time to create visual reminders of all of these strategies to keep the ideas fresh in your students’ minds throughout the year.

Student-created anchor charts provide an excellent and empowering resource for students to use on a daily basis. To create the chart, work with your class to come up with a list of phrases they could use to promote a growth rather than fixed mindset. (See lesson plan, worksheet, and chart example in the orange box below, all downloadable for immediate use.) Post the finished product somewhere highly visible in the classroom. When students get stuck or find themselves in a difficult place, they can refer to the charts that they helped create to guide them towards a successful outcome and nurture their growth mindset. Teachers can also use them as a reminder for students without having to re-teach the whole lesson or turning into a broken record. If you see a student in a healthy mental struggle, praise his effort and point to some of the anchor charts that you’ve created for encouragement. created for encouragement.