Mindsets in the Classroom - Chapter 6

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".  

Grab all the freebies here!



24 comments :

  1. This is such valuable information! Optimum student growth depends on the tripod of home-student-teacher, and I love how this chapter provides great ways to strengthen everybody's role. Thanks for such a great post, Janae, and for your wonderful freebies! xo

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  2. I love this! Thank you for sharing so much! I love your notes too! What a great way to send home positive information to parents!

    Mrs. 3rd Grade 

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  3. Great post Janae,
    I agree, this chapter is useful for both teachers and parents. Your freebie with the Sunshine Note is adorable!
    Debbie

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  4. EK! I know I would gain so much information for the other blogs linking up on this chapter. Parents are my toughest obstacle and the tools you posted will def. be in use this year. Saving the files now...and looking at having the Sunshine Note made into a little notepad to keep handy at my desk. <3

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  5. Chapter 6: WOW! I think it is so important to get our parents on board. Sometimes it is hard to get them into the school to a "learning" opportunity or it's the same parents at those events and not all parents. I am going to try expanding it out to my parents over the course of the school year. I have a newsletter that goes home (I do it both via email and paper copy), and in that newsletter I'm going to include one new thing each time with a growth mindset to try. Hopefully this will help parent involvement to be up!

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  6. I love the suggestions for building resilience in our students and using them to reach their parents. It is so extremely important to have parents on board and working together with the teacher and student; after all we are a team. Unfortunately, it is hard to get some parents in to the school; whether it be because of a work schedule, personal issues, or because they are intimidated by the school environment. Teaching the student and then having them teach their parents is a great idea! Kids love to pretend to be teachers when they are at home and this would be a perfect thing for them to teach. I feel that once parents understand the process and see that it is not overwhelming or intimidating they will buy into it. When they see that they are praising their child's effort they will see the positive effects this has and they will be encouraged to continue when they see the outcome.

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  7. My favorite part of Chapter 6 is the section on building resilience in children. This was helpful to me as a parent and teacher! The author provides some great suggestions on how to use words and actions to encourage resilience and an "I can do this" attitude in children.

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  8. Again the resource book provides teachers with ideas for creating a mindset environment at home. A suggestion is given to parents that the home should adopt the word "yet" into your vocabulary. If your child proclaims that he doesn't understand something, can't dribble a basketball, or can't play a song on the guitar, remind him that he can't YET but with hard word he will have success.

    I envision using the parent resources in our schoolwide newsletters or individual teacher newsletter.

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    1. If any adult in a child's life communicates low expectations either verbally or NONVERBALLY, then achievement can suffer! (p 76). This is our true responsibility as a staff! We have to have high expectations and we have to train our parents to have high expectations as well. We want our kids to hear that "consistent message".

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  10. This chapter spoke to me as a parent. I want to build resilience in my children. I have been guilty of saying "you haven't been able to achieve such thing because you have been doing such and such." This summer I have been trying to build that resilience by using growth mindset praise. Sharing some suggestions in our newsletters would be helpful to get parents on board.

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    1. I'm going to work on adding Growth Mindset to our schoolwide newsletters and call outs.

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  11. I agree with the idea of incorporating some of this information into the parent newsletters. I also was thinking about some ideas of presenting a little bit of this information and maybe one of the handouts during open house night.

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  12. I love the glass half empty/half full analogy. I really like how the author says "Can you still drink from it? Does it quench your thirst?" I love the message the author sent to her child by just getting out a glass! How powerful! In the classroom, we can find each child's niche in our classroom community. This can build resilience. I think it is important to share this message with parents and to also get feedback from our supporters too.

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    1. I loved this too! I need to remember this for my own house!

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  13. When we transition from one thing to another, like standards, our students were more resilient than our parents were. We need to teach our parents how to be just as resilient as our students. Teaching our parents the importance of being resilient is very important, for the success of our students. Its sad that children will often times try to avoid anything where they are not very sure that they will be successful rather than view the situation as a challenge to arise to. I love the author's suggestions for building resilience in children: use growth mindset, model flexibility, adopt a "glass half full" mentality in the home, and help children find their own niche.

    Even in the most unfair hardships we experience in life, we should always look for a positive and we need to teach our children this. There is always light at the end of the tunnel you just have to search, and search hard, but it is there. Not to mention, we need to teach our kids that a successful child is a confident child. They may not be as success as John next door, but they are successful in your eyes and you need to praise them for their efforts. I love this. I definitely want to be more mindful of resilience with my own children, as well as my 20ish students at school. :)

    Parents do not have a conceptual understanding of what happens to the brain when learning new things. We definitely need to educate parents about neural connections that way they are more aware of the importance of practice and persistence. The only way parents are going to learn the importance of growth mindset and resilience is utilizing parent nights or studies to teach them these important factors to improve the success and intelligence of their child/children.

    I love the steps on how parents communicate a growth mindset message to teachers:
    1. Always start with a positive
    2. Share what brings out the best at home.
    3. Share what does not work.
    4. Establish the partnership.

    I love the idea of getting feedback from parents after a "Growth Mindset Parents Information Night." I think we need to implement a growth mindset night at our school. I think this will complete the Venn Diagram, demonstrated on page 83.

    This is just another way for us educators to close all the necessary gaps that we need to close to have a more successful community.

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  14. It is so very important that our parents learn about growth mindset! It's not only something we need to believe and implement at school but at home as well. One of the most frustrating things I hear from parents is, "Oh, my child isn't good at math, they take after me,". I want to scream NO,NO, NO! They don't take after you! They've given up because of you saying that!
    As the book states I do think we need to teach those parents willing to learn, about the brain and its malleability. They may really think their child isn't good at math because they aren't either. We should do our best to stop such thinking in its tracks as quickly as possible.

    Sadly, though not all of our parents can ( or will) attend a session at school about Growth Mindset so really ingraining the growth mindset and how the brain works into our students so they can then share what they learn with their parents is as equally important.
    We can really take what Ricci stated when referring to parents working to communicate a growth mindset to a teacher and flip it around.
    As teachers when approaching parents about growth mindset we can:
    Always start with a positive
    Share with the parents what tends to bring the best out of their child at school. (techniques, growth mindset praise etc)
    Share what tends to not work at school (whether it be in learning techniques, behaviors etc)
    and most importantly establish a partnership.

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  15. I to loved the example of the glass of water. I have heard this many times but never quite phrased this way. Your thirst is still quenched...loved it. This will be used in the classroom for sure. I also loved the comment dealing with resilience and growth mindset praise. Here, Here, always praise a child's willingness to try, effort, patience, and practice. Do not attribute success to being smart or the best but to hard work and perseverance. We will reach the parents in a variety of avenues. I've been in a school where we would provide food for the parents, sometimes transportation, or free educational games for the children to increase parent involvement. Plus, once the student are educated they will touch the parents and inform them as well. Indeed the growth mindset needs to be embraced at school and at home.

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  16. This chapter again reminds me of the power of being a positive thinker. Children will get excited and help teach parents. When they are excited they will chatter on and on. Then the parent has questions such as What in the world is my child talking about the growth of the brain? There is a crack in the door to share. Instead of a quick explanation offer a info packet, conference, or video link. Each little crack in the door starts filling up those cups.
    Also remember that many parents have an idea that teachers are superior or judgemental. I have had so many conferences where parents confess they just didn't know how to approach teachers. I have heard them say that this is the first time they have heard a positive word about their child. Well... They haven't experienced Copper Ridge already warm and caring. Soon growth mindset will add another layer to the beauty of CRE.

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  17. I'll be using the Growth Mindset handout at the top for parents, as well as myself. Great resource!! I will post the following in my classroom with my students, "Success = Hard work & Perseverance"

    Effort-based praise is great advice. Do not praise who a student is or does, but praise the effort. Allowing kids to experience a variety of things (not signing them up for every sport or club) to allow them to find confidence.

    We have all met with parents whom think that their child is not great at Math because they (the parent) struggled with Math in school. "Simply holding he belief that genes largely determine you or your child can be toxic." --powerful

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  18. I love that it talks about the parents taking on the mentality and ideas that the school is trying to reinforce and that they make a point of flipping that around and making sure to point out that it is just as important for the Teacher to reinforce ideas that the parents are trying the implement at home as well. It is definitely a road that goes both ways. Parents and teachers must be on the same page to gain total success.

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  20. I love the glass half full/half empty. I would love to do this in my class and my kiddos go home chattering about it. Communication between school and home is so important. It takes a village to raise a child.

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  21. I agree that an important message to communicate wit parents is the importance of encouraging resilience in children. I believe in the philosophy of "selffullfilling prophecy" where our children become who we say they are. The more important message to be sent is that positive message and to see the glass is half full. Our children are not born with optimism--it is taught or modeled from parents and teachers. Therefore let's teach our children to love the challenge of being positive problem solvers working through mistakes with a winner's outlook!

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