Week 5: Growth Mindset

Why Teach About the Power of Yet and Growth Mindset?

From the TMC Team

Katherine Hughes

“I can't!” “I just can't!” I know we all have heard these words from our students. We may have even mumbled the phrase in frustration. As an educator I focus on helping my students turn I can’t into, I can by developing a growth mindset.. A growth mindset is the key to success for students and adults. We all have felt stuck and defeated....with little hope. Learning at an early age the power of "Yet" helps you preserve through hardships and frustration.

During the first month of school I spend a great deal of time educating my students on a growth mindset. I first start off by reading the book “The Beautiful Oops,” this is a wonderful book that shows how a simple oops can be turned into something beautiful. This is a wonderful way to introduce the idea of looking through the lense of a growth mindset. I have my students create their own beautiful oops and we even create a bulletin board to showcase the beautiful oops.

I have an "I Can't Funeral” for the third grade team. The students write the word “I Can't” on a small piece of paper. I collect the papers from the students. We bury the word in a tomb with a gravestone outside. We have the students help with the ceremony. The idea of burying the word, “I Can't,” helps promote the growth mindset. We have parents participate by eliminating the words, “ I Can't” at home. After the funeral we have students share self affirming phrases.

After the funeral we focus on the words “I Can.” As a third grade team we create a bulletin board with the words “I Can.” We have the students write on die cut hands what they can do. This is a powerful image and reminder of what we all can do with a growth mindset!

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