Teaching a Growth Mindset for Kids

As teachers, we all know our students have the ability to learn, and we are their biggest cheerleaders. But, how do you get your students to believe in themselves? Helping kids develop a growth mindset will help them face challenges with optimism and excitement instead of dread and resistance. Having a growth mindset can have a huge effect on students. Just by helping them change their thinking, you can help them change their lives. I am so excited to share some tips on how to help kids develop a growth mindset!

Strategies for Teaching Growth Mindset to Kids

What is a Growth Mindset?

We talk about two types of mindsets when referring to our students, or anyone really: a growth mindset and a fixed mindset. A person with a growth mindset faces a challenge, and the emphasis is put on the process more than the outcome. These people also tend to believe that there is no limit to how much they can learn. A person with a fixed mindset is essentially the opposite. People with a fixed mindset focus more on the outcome and feel that they will never do better or improve. With these tips, you can help develop a growth mindset for kids and yourself and be intentional about adding them to your classroom routine.

The Power of YET in a Growth Mindset

Motivational posters are a great way to remind your students to practice thinking with a growth mindset.

Start the year by letting your students know how important the word “yet” will be. They don’t know all the math facts, spelling words, science, and social studies concepts… YET. This helps to flip learning and expectations right away and will help students keep that growth mindset going all year long.

Whenever a student comes to you with an ” I can’t…” statement, always follow it with the word “yet.” This helps students remember to focus on the learning process instead of just the outcome. Giving your students a safe place to fail will set them up for success in the future.

When a student feels like you will empathize with the challenges they will face, they will be more likely to have an open mind about tackling difficult challenges in the future.

Encouragement Everywhere

I love motivational posters, and displaying them in my classroom where I focus on a growth mindset is a no-brainer. Instead of hanging “rules” posters all over the classroom, flip the message with Motivational Mindset Posters that help foster an environment of positivity and perseverance. It will totally change the way your students approach learning for the 9 months you are together. These visual reminders are a great way to reinforce what you teach about developing a growth mindset to your students.

Some ways to use Motivational Classroom Posters in a classroom could include:

Motivational posters are a great way to foster a growth mindset environment in your classroom.
  • Use as part of your morning meeting discussion. Have a student choose a motivational poster to read to the class. Then, ask students to take turns discussing the meaning of the saying or quote. It’s a great way to get your students in the habit of thinking about the message of a text.
  • Include a motivational message in your class morning work. Use it as a grammar activity to identify prefixes, suffixes, pronouns, verbs, nouns, etc. The possibilities are endless.
  • Finish the sentence. Include part of the motivational phrase and ask students to fill in the rest. This is a fun activity for students to share with their peers because there can be some really silly sentences created.

No matter how you use motivational posters in your classroom, they will help you foster a growth mindset mentality in your students.

Teachers Need a Growth Mindset Too

Just like students, adults sometimes forget how important it is to have a growth mindset ourselves. Don’t be afraid to share your challenges and mistakes with your students. They need to know that you can also have a growth mindset and learn from your challenges even though you are an adult. You could even ask students to identify what you could have done differently. Not only will your students see the learning process in play, but you might also get some great information on how you can better support them in the classroom. When you model a mistake as a learning experience, your students benefit from the learning as well.

It's important for teachers to learn how to develop a growth mindset for themselves as well as their students.

There’s nothing wrong with developing a growth mindset for yourself! Just like your students, it’s important to give yourself permission to fail. Remember, you are ALWAYS learning. Whether you are a first-year teacher or a veteran, you can develop a growth mindset for yourself. Motivational classroom decor doesn’t have to be limited to just students. Hang up some inspiring Teacher Quotes Posters to remind you how amazing you are.

Set Your Own Growth Mindset Goals

If having a growth mindset isn’t something that comes naturally to you, that’s okay. Set easy to achieve goals for yourself to help you develop your growth mindset. Here are some ideas you can easily implement

1. Add “yet” to your vocabulary. Sometimes as teachers, we get comfortable with our way of doing things. So, when we are presented with something new, like a new style of teaching math, it’s easy for our first reaction to be one of annoyance and maybe even fear. Instead of building up your anxiety, remind yourself that you don’t know it YET, but after some practice, you will.

2. Celebrate your growth by writing down some new things you learn each month on your calendar. At the end of the year, take some time to go back and look at all of the amazing new things you have learned. You might be surprised!

These encouraging words for teachers will help you develop a growth mindset too

3. Don’t be afraid to take on some new challenges. Maybe there is a lesson plan you have been hesitant about teaching because you aren’t sure if it will be successful or not. Take the growth mindset leap and remind yourself that the challenge is where the learning is. Better yet, let your students know about this new activity and tackle it together.

Developing a growth mindset takes time, intentionality, and lots of reminders. You are, in essence, changing your thinking patterns. That’s going to take time but you can do it. Be sure to give yourself a lot of grace when making this mental shift. Eventually, thinking in a growth mindset way will be like second nature for you.

Baby Steps That Lead to Change

Developing a growth mindset for kids takes time and practice. It will for you, too! Be patient with your students and yourself as you work towards your growth mindset goals. Focus on the small steps you can take each day. As you put them into practice and reinforce them they will soon become the new normal. After doing this, again and again, you can look back and see that all those baby steps lead to some big changes. You will love watching as your students develop their growth mindsets throughout the year.

These colorful and motivational classroom posters are a great way to add visual reminders and encouragement into the classroom environment. Encourage and inspire your students this year without saying a word by strategically using your classroom space. With so many fun and motivational posters to choose from, developing a growth mindset-centered classroom will be easy as pie!

Save These Growth Mindset for Kids Tips and Ideas

Be sure to pin this to your favorite Pinterest teacher board so you can come back for ideas on how to develop a growth mindset for you and your students any time!

Teaching Growth Mindset in the Classroom

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HI! I'M KIM!

I AM PASSIONATE ABOUT HELPING TEACHERS SAVE TIME BY CREATING MEANINGFUL AND ENGAGING RESOURCES THAT MAKE TEACHING AND LEARNING EASIER.

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