Today, the middle school staff introduced the concept of growth mindset to their students grades 5-8. A couple weeks ago, students took a growth mindset survey, but they were not told what it was for or given their results immediately. This morning, students received their results and were then asked to head to the gym for an assembly without further explanation. Once there, they were introduced to what growth vs. fixed mindset actually means, Mrs. Seymour gave them real life examples of what growth mindset looks like, and they were able to watch a video by Trevor Ragan on the idea of being a "learning machine." After the video, students broke into groups and went through three rotations in which they completed different growth mindset activities.
At one station, students talked about the importance of setting goals and following through with them, even when things get tough. They colored a motivation quote to stick on the inside of their computer lids so that it will always be there with them, and they played mentally and physically challenging games that required a bit of productive struggle to complete. One game, "Do as I say, not as I do," required students to do just that. They had to listen to the speaker, repeat what was said, and complete an action. As you can imagine, it was a bit of a challenge, but they began to get the hang of it after a bit. Once they were getting better at it, they would change it up and make it a little bit more difficult by adding another element, such as listening to the speaker, repeating what was said, but doing the opposite.
In another group, students listened to two stories by Peter Reynolds revolving around growth mindset, The Dot, and Ish, They discussed how these connected and the themes of the books, then they made posters for around the building to keep the message of growth mindset present throughout the school.
The final rotation was a mini-research projects of sorts. Students picked an inspirational quote from around the room then had to do some research to find out who said it, what struggles they faced, and how this person was someone who had a growth mindset. They were asked to describe this persons successes and failures and share how their journey is an example of growth and productive struggle. They then watched a couple clips that explained the brain science behind growth mindset, and described the amazingness of our growing, always learning, malleable brains.
Overall, it was a wonderful morning of learning, and we are looking forward to seeing where growth mindset takes us next! For more information on what growth mindset it, visit our growth mindset page on the website.