Saturday, March 7, 2009

What's Your Mindset

We have been discussing mindset in the classroom throughout the year, and I found a great critical thinking activity to put the students' mindset to the test.


This problem solving game had no directions, and the students had to use cause and effect to get through each world and move on to the next. I wanted to share the comments and I am going to categorize them according to mindsets, fixed and growth:

Fixed Mindset Comments:
What's the point?
I don't get this.
This is too hard
It's impossible
Oh my gosh! What do you do?
This doesn't make sense
I could beat this if I wanted to
Fixed Mindset Actions:
A boy threw his hands up.
There was huffing and puffing.
Pouting took place.
Deep sighs were heard.
Heavy typing was heard as if a forceful stroke on the keyboard would solve the problem.
Hitting the desk out of frustration was seen.

Growth Mindset Comments:
Yes! I did it!
You just gotta think and you can do it.
It makes me feel good when I finally do something.
yea! I accomplished it, I so accomplished it.
That level 3 was really hard but I got through it.
This takes a lot of patience.
This is awesome!

These comments reflected the features of the boys' thinking which are not giving up, asking a lot questions, generating multiple ideas and explanations, being a critical thinker, and not stopping or giving up too soon. In the book The Thinking Classroom it states, "Good thinking is a mind-set, a collection of attitudes and inclinations with which one approaches thinking." It goes on to point out that "students have misconceptions about good thinkers, often equating good thinking with 'being smart.'" They need to realize that in order to be a good thinker, they have to learn that it is a matter of a disposition and not intellect alone.

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