Welcome to 2015!
excited to see our students and hear about their adventures during Winter
Break. I hope you had the opportunity to
rest and connect with those close to you.
Here’s hoping that everyone returns healthy and ready to continue
This year the staff and I have been talking about Carol
Dweck’s research on mindset. She talks
about two types of mindsets – fixed and growth.
A fixed mindset is one that believes intelligence and talent is set at
birth and that effort has little to do with success. A growth mindset believes that hard work and
perseverance develops our intelligence and talents. When studying highly successful people, Dr.
Dweck found they had a growth mindset and did not limit themselves by having a
fixed belief about their potential. The
staff and I want our students to leave Mount View Elementary School believing
that their potential is unlimited and with a growth mindset, they will continue
to grow and learn throughout their lifetime.
Parents and guardians can have a tremendous impact on
helping students develop a growth mindset.
Melissa Taylor is a mom and writes for the blog Imagination Soup. She has the following suggestions for parents
to nurture a growth mindset in children:
Have daily learning discussions.
At dinner, in the car or at bedtime
take time for both the kids and parents to share the answers to these types of
“What did you learn to day?”
(I LOVE this – so much better than “How was your day?”)
“What mistake did you make that taught
“What did you try hard at today?”
It’s really important says Dweck
that I share what I learned, too. This models for kids that I learn new things
every day, even learning from failures.
When children share, you can reply like
“You certainly did get smarter today.”
“I like the way you tried all kinds of
strategies on that math problem until you finally got it right.”
“We all have different learning curves.
It may take more time for you to catch on to this and
be comfortable with this material, but I you keep at it like
this you will.”
“Everyone learns in a different way.
Let’s keep trying to find the way that works for you.”
(These are direct quotes from Mindset
by Carol S. Dweck, Ph.D.)
2. Give feedback on process
persistence, strategies, seeking challenges, setting goals, planning, or using
Don’t praise personal
abilities like being smart, pretty, or artistic. This kind of praise
actually can lead to a loss
of confidence since
kids won’t be smart at everything. They’ll doubt their ability to be
good at something that is difficult initially.
recently wrote that he will never tell his son he’s smart
for this very reason. He shares, “Between the
deep body of research on the field of learning mindsets and this personal
experience with my son, I am more convinced than ever that mindsets toward
learning could matter more than anything else we teach.”
3. Do you know brains can grow?
Explain to kids how the brain can
grow stronger and that
intelligence can improve throughout your life. Intelligence is not fixed.
It’s changeable. This is called brain plasticity. (Aren’t you so glad!?)
What’s more, learning
CHANGES our brains. (Again,
three cheers for brain growth!) Kids need to know this is possible.
4. Encourage risk, failing, and
learning from mistakes.
Now is the time to let our kids
risk and fail. Failure
teaches our kids important life lessons. For one, it’s how they learn
But we often want
to prevent our kids from failing, from feeling upset or sad. Don’t.
We must let our kids fail now so
that they can strengthen their growth mindset muscles. If we don’t, they
will be adults with no perseverance, with no belief in their abilities
to work hard and succeed.
Blessings of a Skinned Knee, Wendy Mogel says to be compassionate and concerned but not
Let’s keep each other accountable
on this. This is hard but so important.
And when your child
fails, celebrate the lessons in the failure. Tell them about all the famous
people who failed and didn’t
5. Encourage and model positive
Finally, I think it’s worth
sharing this self-talk chart
from Fieldcrest Elementary. Our self talk
is where it all starts to shift.
Here’s to a positive and
production new year where we work together to develop growth mindsets in all of