Growth Mindset: Rephrasing Praise

Getting Better Together

Having a growth mindset is multifaceted. In part, it’s about persistence —  adapting and trying a different approach when the first attempt fails. People with a growth mindset see feedback as critique, rather than criticism. Learning becomes its own reward and ticking off goals along the way motivates the learner to continue.

Creating a classroom climate that is conducive to developing a growth mindset in students requires thinking about several points. Teachers think in terms of students setting worthwhile and attainable goals for themselves, engaging students in learning situations where they can work collaboratively and cooperatively, each contributing and learning from one another. Growth mindset in the classroom also means offering constructive feedback to help guide students’ next steps, and giving praise that highlights effort and resilience rather than the attributes students have no control over.

I’m perseverating about rephrasing the praise I give to my students. I’m intentionally turning my focus to the things my students do, and can do, to develop stamina and persistence. I want to guide them in the direction of developing stick-to-itiveness, the ability to view each failure as the discovery of another way that doesn’t work.

We need to make being wrong comfortable and taking risks the expectation. Consider what outcomes you desire for your students. What can they do to work toward that end, and how will the praise you give support that effort?

I believe in making it clear to students that when something is challenging it’s because their brain is growing stronger.

In preparation for our #TchLIVE Growth Mindset chat on December 14th, carve out some time to read one or more of the articles listed below. As you read, think about the ways you create a conducive environment for your students.

  • What are the challenges you struggle with?
  • What things do you think you’ve figured out?
  • When does your own fixed mindset rear its head?

These threads will be common for us, but at differing grade levels and subject areas they may take a different shape.

I would like to encourage you to share what a growth mindset looks like in pictures. How the climate you create for your students fosters their growth mindset. I would love to see what your practice toward growth mindset looks like.

What specific praise can you offer your students to reinforce the practices that you want them to develop?

4 Ways to Encourage a Growth Mindset in the Classroom

What Having A Growth Mindset Actually Means

Mindset: Parents, Teachers & Coaches

Don’t forget to mark your calendar for the #TchLIVE Growth Mindset Chat on December 14th @ 4:00 pm PST / 7:00 pm EST.

#TchLIVE Reminder

Want a reminder about #TchLIVE chats on Twitter? If you don’t want to count out Wednesdays on your monthly calendar, sign up for our Remind class for this specific chat and receive timely reminders:

In loving memory of my friend and mentor, Dee Dee Farmer, who helped me see I am always becoming.

Marion Ivey is a kindergarten teacher in Oak Park, Illinois. She has been teaching since 1992, most of that time in kindergarten. Marion is a member of the Illinois Writing Project and the Collaboration for Early Childhood. She currently teaches full day kindergarten at Longfellow Elementary School. Connect with Marion on Twitter: @Mrs_Ivey_says.


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