5 Tips on Building a Growth Mindset for Struggling Children

By: Admin 03 May, 2017

Many effective educators have a gift of giving struggling students a practical and optimistic mindset coupled with strategies that help them learn successfully. Over the last two decades, we have supported teachers in teaching students about their brilliant brains and in showing students strategies to support positive outlooks about their learning capabilities.


Helping students who find school difficult to maintain a positive mindset as they persist in the sometimes hard work required for learning. When failures mount, it’s easy to give up. A positive mindset focuses on the gains that are possible when students persevere through learning challenges. Here are five strategies to help struggling students develop a growth mindset.


Encouraging Optimism

This strategy helps struggling students become more motivated, alert, and ready to learn, so that neurotransmitters that enable learning can be released. Many students who have learning challenges become pessimistic about school and lose hope that they can make academic progress.


For example:

  • Point out examples of this approach in action, say, “We knew this would be a tough project, but we stuck with it and worked hard. Just look at what we’ve accomplished!”

  • Share examples of how you have overcome learning obstacles. It’s helpful for struggling students to realize that everyone occasionally faces learning challenges.


Teaching to Learn Better

When struggling students learn how to work better through the use of cognitive strategies, they’re more likely to be able to learn and think at higher levels. Teachers often need strategies for helping students learn how to increase their attention.


Maintaining Success Record

  • A success file is an updated collection that provides ready evidence to help students remember their learning successes. One way to use this strategy is:

  • Ask every student to maintain a folder to use as a success file.

  • Ask students to write the word success on their file and/or draw a picture that represents success for them.

  • Every day, ask students to add to their folders examples of successful learning, such as tasks completed, learning gains, and assignments that support their personal definitions of success.

  • At the start of each school day or class, remind students to look through their success file. The more students can reconnect to their previous achievements, the more positive their mindsets can become and the more successful they’ll be in the long run.


Growth Assessments

Growth assessments is the term we use for formative assessments that help guide student learning and monitor progress. Students with learning challenges benefit when teachers check in often and provide additional instruction and feedback when necessary. Growth assessments help students identify their strengths and areas of weakness that need further practice and reinforcement, and may include class discussions, interviews with individual students, consultations on drafts of work, and observations of how students are applying what they’ve learned.


Choice of Students

When students can choose topics of personal interest to study or make the subject of a learning project, they are more likely to maintain interest and motivation. Giving students choices also underscores that they are in charge of their learning.

One of the greatest thrills for teachers is to see that understanding in struggling students as they learn something new and internalize the belief that through effort and the use of sound strategies they can keep growing their skills and knowledge.



This news has been taken from India Today’s website. Read the original here.