This is a beginning of the year lesson to establish Growth Mindset as a class norm. Students will explore the differences between Growth and Fixed mindsets and practice employing Growth Mindset through a variety of challenging activities. Students will then write and edit short messages to themselves featuring Growth Mindset language and design stickers that exhibit these phrases. Once the stickers are made, students will place them on the front of their notebooks as a reminder for themselves all year long. While this lesson is best suited for the first six weeks of school, teachers should be sure to have established a safe and welcoming classroom community prior to this lesson so that students feel comfortable being vulnerable and sharing about their past mistakes and difficult learning experiences.
Students will engage with books, videos, and discussion questions to reflect upon how they have felt in math class (or other difficult learning situations) in the past and what language has accompanied these feelings. After being introduced to ideas about how they can shift their mindset and language, students will practice employing these new strategies while engaging in difficult tasks, such as math games and puzzles.
Recommended resources include ClassDojo’s Youtube channel and Professor Jo Boaler’s website, youcubed. See my growth mindset text set attached for read aloud books to support this learning. See my slide deck (adapted from the Somerville Public Schools math coaches’ 2020 launch unit) for detailed examples of discussion questions and activities here: https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1N8Op95UTp7DmVh3y4F1oZNpULsR5eI-EdegKf6hDSkI/edit?usp=sharing.
Students will write and revise short messages to themselves using Growth Mindset language. Students will add images to the text they write and create a sticker design featuring their words and image. Using a vinyl cutter, students will create motivational stickers to place on the front of their math notebooks to inspire Growth Mindset thinking all year long.