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Last week, I took my son ice skating. While I was there, I watched a little boy try to ice skate for the first time. Do you remember what it was like when you learned how to ice skate? I bet the experience went something like this - put on skates, take one step on the ice, fall, get back up, "walk" in skates on the ice, fall again, realize how bad your feet hurt, continue walking, fall, and realize that your feet still hurt and now so does your bottom. The outcome of all of this was eventually learning to skate.
For this boy, the experience was very similar, except for he only fell once, didn't learn to skate, and doesn't want to go back. Why was he so afraid to let go of the crates that he was pushing around? Fear of Failure. It is something we have all had to work through before. How do we let kids know it is okay and necessary to fail? How do we help kids learn from their failures?
It is all about how we react to our own failures and how we react when our kids fails. Take a look at this video: http://bit.ly/1PtUijc What do you notice happens when the kid fails? Amazing responses from the adults, right? This is an example of a growth mindsets in action. People with growth mindsets see mistakes as an opportunity and as a necessity to move forward. They know that people who work hard and put forth effort can be more successful than people who possess raw talent that don't try. How can we facilitate growth mindsets in our classrooms and homes?
This is a HUGE question and much research has been done on it. Carol Dweck released a book called Mindset: The New Psychology of Success in 2006 and Mary Cay Ricci has a wonderful book called Mindsets in the Classroom: Building a Culture of Success and Student Achievement in Schools, which is an easy read that has a companion guide of activities to do in your classroom called Ready-to-Use Resources for Mindsets in the Classroom: Everything Educators Need for School Success. The classroom guides help you lead students through examples of products that were invented by mistake and you talk about people who never gave up and as a result of their hard work and effort contributed amazing discoveries and inventions to society!
To help you facilitate discussions about persevering through failure, here are some FREE growth mindset posters! Enjoy! Click on the picture above to get them from the Teachers Pay Teachers store, or you can download them from Google.
You might also like these FREE posters with my favorite quote!