First Graders Implement a Growth Mindset

by: Jeanne Simons, First Grade Teacher
Teachers in Shorecrest Lower School speak frequently about developing a “growth mindset.” When a student has a growth mindset they thrive on challenge, and see failure as a springboard for growth. People with a growth mindset recognize they can improve skills with effort and practice - and that they aren’t born with a ceiling on their learning. 

“Individuals who believe their talents can be developed (through hard work, good strategies, and input from others) have a growth mindset. They tend to achieve more than those with a more fixed mindset (those who believe their talents are innate gifts). This is because they worry less about looking smart and they put more energy into learning.”

“What Having a “Growth Mindset” Actually Means” by Carol Dweck

Mrs. Simons’ first graders had a recent inquiry into Growth Mindset. Students were shown 3 letters (mixed up) and had to decide what word they might spell: DIP. Then they brainstormed about what a “dip” might be when thinking about growth mindset. The students made a guess and recorded their thinking on a yellow sticky note

Next the class watched the second video in a series on the topic without sound. They worked to interpret what they thought the Dip was, based on what the characters in the video were doing. They noted their revised thinking on a pink sticky note

Finally, they rewatched the video with the audio on to learn just what The Dip was: when one is stuck and thinks they might fail, or can't get any better. They ended the inquiry by reflecting on what to do when they get into a dip. This was noted on blue sticky notes.

These young Chargers learned about growth mindset while documenting and sharing their thinking on the subject - allowing them to simultaneously implement a growth mindset! 

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5101 First Street Northeast
St Petersburg, FL 33703
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Shorecrest Preparatory School is a private, non-sectarian, coeducational, college preparatory day school for students preschool through high school, located in St. Petersburg, Florida.