Chapter 6 is all about sharing information about growth mindsets with parents. As we all know, building those positive relationships is so important in the classroom. Having such a positive relationship will help make it easier to make the change to growth mindsets. (I know it will for me!)
I love this quote by Mary Cay Ricci, "If any adult in a child's life communicates low expectations either verbally or nonverbally, then achievement can suffer". It is essential to get everyone on board in order to provide each child with the most opportunities for success.
I feel like the strategies outlined in this chapter are ones parents and teachers alike can all use. So regardless of whether it was dedicated to parents, I found it extremely valuable for me! One section of the chapter was all about building resilience. Mary Cay Ricci says, "A central message to communicate with parents is the importance of encouraging resilience in their children". I am SO guilty of this with my students. I have this need to help and coddle students from their failures. But as we learned in Chapter 5, failure is necessary for success.
One of the strategies for building resilience is to use growth mindset praise. Mary Cay Ricci states, "Always praise a child's willingness to try, effort, patience, and practice. Do not attribute success to "being smart" or "being the best" but to hard work and perseverance". I am guilty again of not using growth mindset praise! Don't get me wrong, I praise ALL THE TIME, but rarely is it in a growth mindset way. This is definitely an area I will be improving this coming school year. To me, the best way to teach parents how to apply growth mindsets to their children is by modelling. It would be so powerful to them (and our students) if we showed them exactly what we mean by using growth mindset praise. I made these little notes to send home with children frequently modelling growth mindset praise.
Just as we teachers need to be educated, parents need to be specifically educated about neural connections so that they can be aware of the importance of practice and persistence. Ricci suggests having parents participate in some of the student learning experiences which we will learn more about soon in Chapter 8. Along with participating in these experiences, post information about growth mindsets on the school website, social network sites, newsletters, or any other form of communication. The more we can teach and model for parents, the better.
Here's a sample note you may want to send home at the beginning of the year. It explains a little bit about growth mindsets and giving appropriate praise. All of this information came from the book.
Students also play an important role in teaching their parents about how their brain works. Mary Cay Ricci references this clip from The Pursuit of Happyness.
I absolute loved it! I love how you can tell who has a fixed mindset and who has a growth mindset. Their body language says it all!
I especially loved this quote from the film.
I thought it would be an inspiring mantra for you class to learn, memorize, and apply in their situations. It also got me thinking it would be so powerful for your class to develop their own mantra in relation to growth mindsets. Then, they can teach it to their parents and help bring some of those concepts into the home. Just as Ricci said, "Children may, in fact, be the catalysts for helping their parents truly understand the malleability of the mind".
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