Growth Mindset Resources 

To guide our school in developing a quality program, while staying true to our core values, we have instilled a yearly theme. We decided to use our name, Sage Oak, as an acronym to guide each year’s theme. Our first year, we focused on service represented by the letter “S.” Last year, our theme was achieving represented by the letter “A”. This year our theme is growth represented by the letter “G”!  Growth can mean taking risks, collaborating, learning, improving, being responsive to feedback, and valuing and praising hard work, among many others. We are very excited about highlighting our school’s continued growth as well as the growth of our students throughout the year.  Learn more about what growth mindset is by viewing these resources.

What is Growth Mindset?

Growth Mindset Video with Class Dojo

Carol Dweck: TED Talk

How Parents Can Instill a Growth Mindset at Home


Growth Mindset Keys of Affirmation

The words we use when we’re teaching have an impact on how children see themselves as learners.  Carol Dweck, author of the book Mindset: The New Psychology of Success, found that showering students with praise that focuses on how smart they are can actually limit their abilities.  Professor Dweck discovered that complementing intelligence actually can restrict a person’s perception of their abilities making them afraid to take risks for fear of failure.  Framing the comments we make to focus on the effort the student is making will help the student understand that achievement is the result of hard work and in turn, build a growth mindset in our students.  

We want to provide Growth Mindset Keys of Affirmation as suggested tools in helping develop student resiliency to feedback and promote an intentional focus on encouraging the mindset that intelligence can be developed through practice, hard work, dedication, and motivation.

Instead of saying “You are so smart”,  start saying…..

You tried really hard on that!

This compliment focuses on the result made by the child’s hard work.  It can be used even when they didn’t meet a goal or struggled.

I noticed that you didn’t give up when you felt frustrated.

This comment works to help students recognize that not all learning comes easy. Empowering the child to work through their frustrations will develop a resiliency when things get tough.

I noticed that you tried a variety of strategies to solve the problem.

Carol Dweck encourages a  focus on process praise rather than the outcome.  She suggests that we “focus on the learning process and show how hard work, good strategies, and good use of resources lead to better learning.”

Way to turn your mistake into an opportunity!

MIstakes are a natural part of learning and shifting the way we look at them is a pivotal step toward adopting a growth mindset.  Help your child recognize that mistakes are not dead ends, but an opportunity to reflect.   Looking for ways to improve and learn even in the face of a struggle helps shift the mindset.

I’m proud of the risks you took today.  

The act of taking academic risks builds courage, self-esteem, questioning skills and academic responsibility. We can work to help students avoid “playing it safe” by modeling a willingness to fail, providing opportunities to work through challenges, and encouraging conversations and questioning.