Growth mindset is an important concept at Cloverleaf, and one we reinforce continuously with our students. Just as Ms. Elise blogged back in December, students with growth mindsets tend to have more success in school than students with fixed mindsets. Many of the students we serve at Cloverleaf are working on raising their frustration tolerance threshold, so teaching growth mindset is key. Working through the discomfort of uncertainty, pushing ourselves to try something new, or trying again after failing are habits that do not come easily– they require practice, support, encouragement, and infinite “re-do’s” to work toward developing a growth mindset!
What does having a growth mindset mean?
“In a growth mindset, people believe that their most basic abilities can be developed through dedication and hard work—brains and talent are just the starting point. This view creates a love of learning and a resilience that is essential for great accomplishment. Virtually all great people have had these qualities.” -Carol Dweck
When students believe that their ability to learn, grow, and improve is NOT bound by fixed qualities like intelligence or talent, but is instead within their power and reach through hard work and persistence– the results can be astounding!
Check out our Cloverleaf Top 10 books for teaching growth mindset, brought to you by our awesome Ms. Jennifer:
1) The Most Magnificent Thing, by Ashley Spires
Kids Can! Press says: “The main character has an idea– ‘She is going to make the most MAGNIFICENT thing! She knows just how it will look. She knows just how it will work. All she has to do is make it, and she makes things all the time. Easy-peasy!’ But making her magnificent thing is anything but easy, and the girl tries and fails, repeatedly. Eventually, the girl gets really, really mad. She is so mad, in fact, that she quits. But after her dog convinces her to take a walk, she comes back to her project with renewed enthusiasm and manages to get it just right.”
2) The Dot, by Peter H. Reynolds
Good Reads says: “Vashti thinks she can’t draw – she’s no artist. To prove her point, Vashti jabs at a blank sheet of paper to make an unremarkable and angry mark. “There!” she says.
That one little dot marks the beginning of Vashti’s journey of surprise and self-discovery.”
3) Ish, by Peter A Reynolds
Scholastic says: “A creative spirit learns that thinking “ish-ly” is far more wonderful than “getting it right” in this gentle new fable from the creator of the award-winning picture book The Dot.
Ramon loved to draw. Anytime. Anything. Anywhere.
Drawing is what Ramon does. It’s what makes him happy. But in one split second, all that changes. A single reckless remark by Ramon’s older brother, Leon, turns Ramon’s carefree sketches into joyless struggles. Luckily for Ramon, though, his little sister, Marisol, sees the world differently. She opens his eyes to something a lot more valuable than getting things just “right.”
4) Fantastic Elastic Brain, by JoAnn Deak, Ph. D
The DEAK group says: This innovative and timely picture book teaches children that they have the ability to stretch and grow their own brains. It also delivers the crucial message that mistakes are an essential part of learning. The book introduces children to the anatomy and various functions of the brain in a fun and engaging way.
5) The Girl Who Never Made Mistakes, by Mark Pett
Amazon says: “Meet Beatrice Bottomwell: a nine-year-old girl who has never (not once!) made a mistake. She never forgets her math homework, she never wears mismatched socks, and she ALWAYS wins the yearly talent show at school. In fact, Beatrice holds the record of perfection in her hometown, where she is known as The Girl Who Never Makes Mistakes. Life for Beatrice is sailing along pretty smoothly until she does the unthinkable–she makes her first mistake. And in a very public way!”
6) What Do You Do With a Problem?, by Kobi Yamada
Unleashing Readers says: “What do you do with a problem? Especially one that follows you around and doesn’t seem to be going away? Do you worry about it? Ignore it? Do you run and hide from it?
This is the story of a persistent problem and the child who isn’t so sure what to make of it. The longer the problem is avoided, the bigger it seems to get. But when the child finally musters up the courage to face it, the problem turns out to be something quite different than it appeared.”
7) What Do You Do With an Idea?, by Kobi Yamada
Compendium says: “What do you do with an idea? Especially an idea that’s different, or daring, or a little wild? This is the story of one brilliant idea and the child who helps to bring it into the world. It’s a story for anyone, at any age, who’s ever had an idea that seemed too big, too odd, too difficult. It’s a story to inspire you to welcome that idea, to give it space to grow, and to see what happens next.”
8) Beautiful Oops!, by Barney Saltzberg
Good Reads says: “An award winning, best-selling, one-of-a-kind interactive book, Beautiful Oops! shows young readers how every mistake is an opportunity to make something beautiful. A singular work of imagination, creativity, and paper engineering, Beautiful Oops! is filled with pop-ups, lift-the-flaps, tears, holes, overlays, bends, smudges, and even an accordion “telescope”—each demonstrating the magical transformation from blunder to wonder.”
9) Rosie Revere, Engineer, by Andrea Beaty
Common Sense Media says: “Parents need to know that Rosie Revere, Engineer, by Andrea Beaty, tells in lively rhyming verse the story of a second-grade girl who wants to be a great engineer. She loves making gadgets and tries to make a machine for her great-great-great-aunt so she can fly. There are wonderful lessons here about following your dreams and understanding that failure is part of the inventor’s (or engineer’s) process and that you only truly fail if you quit.”
10) The Unstoppable Me, Dr. Wayne W. Dyer
Scholastic says: “In Unstoppable Me!, Dr. Dyer teaches children how to hold on to the no-limit thinking he believes they were born with, rather than just trying to “fit in.” In doing so, they can learn to truly enjoy life and become unstoppable as they strive to attain their dreams. The 10 important lessons in this book include the value of taking risks, dealing with stress and anxiety, and learning to enjoy each moment. Each point includes an example showing how a child might apply the concept in his or her everyday life.”
Do you have any favorite books on growth mindset, or any experience with the books listed here? Leave some ideas in the comments! Thanks!