Do you teach growth mindset in your classroom? I have to admit that I don’t focus on this as much as I should. I always start the year with the intent to incorporate growth mindset lessons into my morning meetings and daily reading lessons throughout the whole year, but it never seems to happen as much as it should. I mean, I start off doing great, and then the curriculum seems to get in the way. Then one day I realize that I HAVEN’T touched on all of those great ideas I found on Pinterest and now it’s the end of the year and this really is important when you’re trying to get students ready to for end-of-the-year assessments. So it always ends up being a part of my test prep lessons. This week I combined two into one great lesson. This one really hits home for the kiddos. I think the timing was perfect now that I reflect on it.
So, after eight days of going over the previous state released tests, it was a great time to stop and have the students reflect on what they’ve learned. I have to admit, this was not my plan for the day. But, when you walk into your school and there’s no internet and you’re entire day’s lesson plan is internet dependent, you come up with something. And sometimes, I have to admit, I have my best moments “on the fly”. My question at the beginning of our whole group meeting, “What have you learned over the past few days that can help you be more successful?” My students responded with things like, “I need to be more text-dependent,” “I need to read slower and pay attention to the question words more,” “I need to show my work,” and my favorite, “You really believe in me even when I think I can’t do this.” (tears) So I told them that I wanted them to continue thinking about that question, and now I read a short version of The Hare and the Tortoise that my amazing school librarian pulled for me at the very last minute (again, I love my school). Next, I laid out eight growth mindset words on papers around the room and told the students that I wanted them to silently walk around and think about each of those words and write their thoughts (a meaning, a connection, whatever). These words and this part of the activity came from a lesson I found on Pinterest from createdreamexplore.com. It looked like this.
I was so impressed. My students were very thoughtful and reflective during this process. At the end of it, many of them said, “I feel ready.” So, we continued with skill review. Luckily, I had already printed this Reading Test Prep Centers from The Not So Wimpy Teacher activity for emergency substitute plans.
What seemed like a disastrous day in the beginning turned out to be a great day for reflection and confidence building. I really encourage you to find these resources and use them in your own classroom.