Growth Mindset Stickers: Positive Messages for Perseverance in Math - SCOPES Digital Fabrication

Lesson Details

Age Ranges
Fab Tools
Fab-Programming.1, Fab-Modeling.1, Fab-Design.1, 5.L.1c, 5.L.1d, 5.L.2, 5.L.2e, 5.L.1, 5.W.4, 5.W.5, 5.SL.1d, 5.SL.2, 5.SL.1, 5.SL.1b, 5.SL.1c, 5.RL.1, 5.RL.3, 5.RL.9

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Talia Greenberg


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.


What You'll Need

  • Setup to project slides (including speakers to play videos)
  • Chromebooks for students to use to try challenging activities
  • Read aloud books of choice (physical copies or youtube videos of the same read aloud books)
  • Student access to Google Drawing to design stickers
  • Access to vinyl cutter and related materials: vinyl, a cut studio program


The Instructions

What is Growth Mindset, and how can we practice it?

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.

  1. Consult the resources attached and linked below to choose videos, books, and games appropriate for your students.
  2. Activate students’ prior knowledge by asking them discussion questions about past experiences with challenges, mistakes, perseverance, and collaboration. 
  3. Share one of the videos or books to spark students’ further thinking about growth vs. fixed mindset. 
  4. Have students attempt a challenging task while employing the strategies they studied today. Set a time limit that enables them to try, get frustrated, make some progress, but perhaps still not finish the puzzle/game. 
  5. Debrief the activity using discussion questions that relate the experience back to the learning addressed in the books/videos at the beginning of class. 


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:


Designing Stickers

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.

  1. Students write messages to themselves using Growth Mindset language. These messages should be short, like a slogan or a mantra, as a quick reminder to re-motivate them throughout the year when the learning gets tough. 
  2. Students work to revise their writing to meet the standard language conventions they have been learning in English class (either based on teacher feedback or in a peer editing session). Students also work to design an image to accompany their message. 
  3. Students transform their idea into a sticker design in Google Drawing: their file must include their revised text as well as an image. The teacher gives feedback (focused on the feasibility of cutting the design), and students take time to incorporate the revised edits. For example, the teacher should remind students to include a border on the outer edge of the image to make it easier to weed later. Throughout the revision process (of the text and of the sticker design), the teacher should promote a Growth Mindset, reminding students that trying again is the path to improvement. 
  4. Once the teacher approves a final design, the teacher imports design into a cutting studio software of sorts (for example, Easy Cut Studio). The teacher then resizes the image to fit on a notebook and adds an outline. At this point, the teacher can cut the design using the vinyl cutter. The teacher should decide the extent to which students may be involved in this step of the process based on considerations of what is appropriate for their particular students.
  5. Teacher weeds the vinyl cut sticker and helps students place their stickers on the front of their math notebooks to serve as a reminder throughout the year whenever students engage in challenging math.



  • (Fab-Programming.1): I understand the basic structure of a simple program and can modify values, variables, or other parameters to alter its output, function, or behavior.
  • (Fab-Modeling.1): I can arrange and manipulate simple geometric elements, 2D shapes, and 3D solids using a variety of technologies.
  • (Fab-Design.1): I can be responsible for various activities throughout a design process within a group under instructor guidance.
  • (5.L.1c): Use verb tense to convey various times, sequences, states, and conditions.
  • (5.L.1d): Recognize and correct inappropriate shifts in verb tense.*
  • (5.L.2): Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing.
  • (5.L.2e): Spell grade-appropriate words correctly, consulting references as needed.
  • (5.L.1): Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking.
  • (5.W.4): Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development and organization are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience. (Grade-specific expectations for writing types are defined in standards 1-3 above.)
  • (5.W.5): With guidance and support from peers and adults, develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, editing, rewriting, or trying a new approach. (Editing for conventions should demonstrate command of Language standards 1-3 up to and including grade 5 here.)
  • (5.SL.1d): Review the key ideas expressed and draw conclusions in light of information and knowledge gained from the discussions.
  • (5.SL.2): Summarize a written text read aloud or information presented in diverse media and formats, including visually, quantitatively, and orally.
  • (5.SL.1): Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade 5 topics and texts, building on others' ideas and expressing their own clearly.
  • (5.SL.1b): Follow agreed-upon rules for discussions and carry out assigned roles.
  • (5.SL.1c): Pose and respond to specific questions by making comments that contribute to the discussion and elaborate on the remarks of others.
  • (5.RL.1): Quote accurately from a text when explaining what the text says explicitly and when drawing inferences from the text.
  • (5.RL.3): Compare and contrast two or more characters, settings, or events in a story or drama, drawing on specific details in the text (e.g., how characters interact).
  • (5.RL.9): Compare and contrast stories in the same genre (e.g., mysteries and adventure stories) on their approaches to similar themes and topics.

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