Dec 10

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The Power of Mindset


Everyone has probably heard the myth that you only use 10% of your brain. Of course, this isn’t true; we use even the smallest parts of our brains for very important functions. We need our whole brain, and at Cloverleaf we often refer to keeping our “brain in the group” in order to learn. Without all the parts of our brain, we wouldn’t be able to recover memories, or form new memories as we learn new information.


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When Carol Dweck published her book Mindset, she explored the connection between how our mindset determines our ability to learn new things. It is not the “brain we have” that determines how smart we are, but the approach we take with our brains. Her research demonstrated that students with a growth mindset, who believed they could change, grow, and improve over time, saw more success in school than those who believed their learning was fixed, inflexible, and predetermined.


How can students begin to grow a growth-oriented mindset? Here are five ways you can help your students develop a growth-oriented mindset:


1. Post growth-oriented phrases in your room or at home. Instead of “I can’t,” encourage students to say, “I’ll be able to do it soon!” (http://www.nerdynerdynerdy.com/2014/07/when-students-say-i-cant-do-it.html)


2. Teach students about their brains, using images and diagrams of the brain. Show them how new memories form, so they know they are capable of changing and growing their brains.


3. Help students develop mindfulness and mindful habits. The Minds Up! curriculum is a great resource for teaching about the brain and mindfulness. http://thehawnfoundation.org/mindup/


4. Become a growth mindset school at http://www.mindsetworks.com/webnav/whatismindset.aspx. Mindset works! also has resources for parents and teachers. You can preview the program for free for 14 days.


5. Take a survey to determine if you have a growth mindset, and survey students. Discuss the results together.


Permanent link to this article: http://cloverleafschool.org/the-power-of-mindset/

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