Growth Mindset for Kindergarten

Teach more about growth mindset for kindergarten with these teacher tips and ideas! A growth mindset is essential to maximize student learning! As kindergarten teachers, explicitly doing activities to support a growth mindset is a valuable tool in your classroom! Keep reading for ideas to use in your classroom!

Growth mindset for Kindergarten

Think back to your childhood. Do you remember thinking, “I can be anything I want in the whole world!” or “I’m not as smart as ________.” Or maybe your inner dialogue was somewhere in-between? How did it all play out for you – do you feel that you’ve been successful? Have you had a lot of bumps along the way?

Keep reading to learn more about the Growth mindset in Kindergarten.

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According to Carol Dweck, Growth Mindset researcher, “the view you adopt for yourself profoundly affects the way you lead your life”. A Stanford psychologist and 2007 author of Mindset: The New Psychology of Success, Dweck has hit on a notion that has gotten the attention of millions of parents, teachers, and educational leaders: we can influence the way our lives turn out.

In this book, Dweck points out that there are two mindsets: Growth and Fixed. Every human has a bit of both inside him or her, and generally tends towards growth or fixed. Which mindset shows up specifically depends upon the situation. For example, doing something impossible, like learning to fly by jumping off a cliff, would trigger a fixed mindset in any sane person. Regardless of how you frame this task or how much optimism with which you approach it, humans simply can’t fly.

There are many aspects of both mindsets.

Fixed Mindset

Mindset influences the actions taken by the learner, from studying for a test to applying for a job, and everything in-between. Someone with a fixed mindset might see feedback as criticism, whereas a person with a growth mindset would recognize feedback as an opportunity for improvement. 

Those who have a fixed mindset see intelligence and talent as something you either have or don’t have – not something you can work towards. Individuals with this mindset also see intelligence or talent as the ticket to success. They do not consider hard work, effort, studying, etc., as part of the equation. In other words, you either ‘have it’, or you don’t.

Students with a fixed mindset tend to give up when faced with obstacles or adversity. They might view a task as ‘too hard, or something they’re ‘not good at. Kind of like when someone identifies himself as ‘not a math person.

Growth Mindset in Kindergarten

In contrast, an individual with a growth mindset might say, ‘It’s not what you’ve got, but what you do with it that matters.’ Those who have more of a growth mindset recognize the value of effort and hard work in any situation. 

When he comes across a difficult math problem or daunting science project, the student with a growth mindset will more likely think, ‘How can I achieve this? What are my steps?’ than ‘This is too hard. I’m going to fail.’

Growth Mindset Video:

The Class Dojo video series on Growth Mindset is great! A simple way to explain growth mindset to students. Watch episode 1 here:

Why does it matter in Kindergarten?

Whether a student holds a fixed mindset or growth mindset makes a huge difference in their learning experience – not just in school – in life, too. Students that hold a fixed mindset give up when they can’t solve a problem and admit defeat. This can be detrimental to students’ future efforts and leads to limited student growth. 

With a growth mindset, students continually work to improve their skills, leading to greater growth, competence and confidence. A student with a growth mindset is constantly improving, while the individual with a fixed mindset is not – because he doesn’t believe that he can.

The concept of the growth mindset is essential in learning and achievement. Parents and educators must teach this concept early and come back to it often. Our students need to know the power of YET – just because you’re not proficient now, doesn’t mean you won’t be an expert someday.

Share how you teach growth mindset in your classroom inside the Simply Kinder Teachers Facebook Group!

At Simply Kinder we work together to bring you ready-to-use resources to partner with great teaching for any curriculum, a Facebook community where teachers talk all things Kindergarten, and low-prep learning ideas that your students will love. Be sure to stay up to date with all things kindergarten on InstagramFacebookPinterest, and through email. Simply Kinder: where teaching Kinder is definitely better together!

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