71+ Books, Apps, Activities, and Resources for Developing a Growth Mindset in Students
In today's fast-paced academic environment, it's essential to instill a growth mindset in students. This philosophy doesn't just set them up for academic success, but also prepares them for life's challenges, fostering resilience and adaptability.
If you're a teacher or part of an educational organization, integrating growth mindset activities into your curriculum can be a game-changer. Dive into this curated list of activities designed to nurture this perspective, with books, apps, and other resources to follow.
25 Activities to Cultivate a Growth Mindset
Explore a wealth of resources for a growth mindset and how they align with the importance of a character-strong curriculum.
Growth Mindset Journaling:
Encourage students to keep a daily journal where they document their challenges and reflect on their learning experiences, promoting introspection and resilience.
The Power of "Yet" Chart:
Create a wall chart where students list things they can't do...yet. As skills are mastered, they can proudly move items to a "Mastered" section.
Have students act out scenarios with both fixed and growth mindset reactions, helping them understand the difference in responses and outcomes.
Challenge of the Week:
Introduce a weekly challenge, slightly outside the comfort zone, fostering perseverance and adaptability.
Growth vs. Fixed Mindset Sorting:
Use cards with different statements and let students categorize them as either reflecting a growth mindset or a fixed one.
Mindset Discussion Circles:
Host weekly or monthly discussions on growth mindset topics, allowing students to share personal experiences and learn from one another.
Feedback and Reflection Sessions:
After assignments or projects, encourage students to give constructive feedback to peers and reflect on what they would do differently next time.
Help students set achievable yet challenging goals. Monitor and celebrate their progress, emphasizing the journey over the outcome.
Failure and Learning Stories:
Organize sessions where students share stories of when they failed and what they learned, fostering a culture that views failure as a growth opportunity.
Growth Mindset Affirmation Posters:
Display posters around the classroom with affirmations like "Mistakes help me learn" or "Challenges make me stronger," reinforcing the mindset daily.
Start each day with a growth mindset mantra. Have students create their own or use popular ones like, "I am capable of learning and growing."
Brain Science Lessons:
Teach students about the malleability of the brain and how it grows with effort, illustrating the literal growth that comes with challenges.
Pair students together to be accountability partners, checking in on each other's progress and encouraging growth mindset behaviors.
The "Not There Yet" Portfolio:
Have students maintain a portfolio of their unfinished or challenging work. Over time, they revisit tasks, refining them and showcasing improvement.
Celebrate Effort Awards:
Instead of just celebrating achievements, have an award ceremony recognizing efforts, resilience, and progress, emphasizing process over results.
Mindset Movie Time:
Show short clips or movies where characters display a growth mindset, followed by discussions about the characters' attitudes and behaviors.
Growth Mindset Puzzles:
Use puzzles and brainteasers that challenge students, demonstrating how perseverance can lead to solutions.
"How I Overcame" Essays:
Encourage students to write short essays about personal challenges they faced and overcame, highlighting their growth journey.
The Growth Garden:
Create a class garden where each plant represents a student's goal. As they work towards it, they can see both their efforts and the plants grow.
Mindset Meditation Sessions:
Introduce mindfulness and meditation as tools to combat stress, embrace challenges, and reinforce the concept that growth takes patience and time.
Dedicate one day each week for a new challenge, pushing students out of their comfort zones. It can be academic, physical, or even artistic—helping them see their own potential.
Role Model Discussions:
Initiate conversations about famous personalities who exemplified a growth mindset. Discuss their struggles, failures, and how they overcame them.
"I can" Poster Boards:
Have students design poster boards filled with affirmations and things they can do. As they learn new skills, they add to their posters, visually representing their growth.
Encourage students to teach their peers something they're good at. This not only reinforces their own knowledge but also builds confidence.
Growth vs. Fixed Mindset Role Play:
Organize skits where students role-play scenarios showcasing both mindsets. This can be an effective way to make abstract concepts tangible.
In addition to these resources for developing a growth mindset, consider how digital classrooms can engage minds with these online student engagement strategies.
Growth Mindset Apps
Our software takes you on an exciting adventure filled with challenges and opportunities for growth which we call inner-space exploration.
Focused on self-awareness and development, this app delivers daily insights, challenges, and reflections to help users foster a growth-oriented mindset.
An adaptive flashcard app that aids in efficient learning. It harnesses the power of spaced repetition, reinforcing the idea that consistent effort leads to mastery.
A platform that offers short educational videos on a plethora of topics, promoting the idea that learning can be flexible, fun, and bite-sized.
This app provides age-appropriate mindfulness meditations tailored for young users, teaching them the importance of reflection, patience, and resilience in their learning journey.
Catered specifically to the challenges students face, this app showers users with daily affirmations and positivity reminders. It combines neuroscience with motivational psychology to reinforce a can-do attitude and counter negative self-talk, making it a great tool for classrooms to start the day positively.
A digital space for students to log their challenges, successes, and reflections. With its daily prompts, the app encourages users to recognize their growth and areas for improvement, and to set actionable steps for personal development.
This interactive platform uses cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) principles to help students tackle specific anxieties and fears. Through guided activities and challenges, it promotes resilience, adaptability, and a proactive approach to facing hurdles.
Elevate - Brain Training:
Designed to boost critical skills like focus, processing speed, and problem-solving, Elevate offers personalized training programs for its users. As students work through challenges, they not only enhance cognitive skills but also cultivate the belief that abilities can be developed through dedication and hard work.
An app that provides actionable advice, quizzes, and scenarios to train the brain to think in a growth-oriented manner. Teachers can integrate these bite-sized lessons into their curriculum, ensuring students not only learn about the growth mindset but actively practice it.
Harnessing the power of AI, Reflectly acts as a personal journaling companion for students. Through guided questions and prompts, it aids users in understanding their emotions, challenges, and triumphs, making it easier to acknowledge progress and set new goals.
For students with dyslexia or reading-based learning challenges, this audiobook solution promotes a growth mindset by making literature and textbooks accessible. It underscores the idea that different learners can find alternative pathways to success.
Peak - Brain Games:
A collection of over 40 games aimed at improving mental agility, emotion control, and problem-solving abilities. Students learn that consistent practice leads to improvement, embodying growth mindset principles.
Designed by a game designer during her period of personal recovery, this app turns the process of tackling challenges into a game. Students build resilience, tackle daily quests, and team up with allies, reinforcing the belief in their ability to overcome adversity.
Growth Mindset for Kids:
Focused on the younger age group, this app introduces growth mindset concepts through interactive stories, challenges, and affirmations. With its engaging graphics and relatable scenarios, it’s a wonderful tool for primary educators to integrate into their teaching approach.
These resources for developing a growth mindset are perfect for educators also interested in strategies for increasing student persistence.
Tuning Into Growth: 10 Podcasts Promoting a Growth Mindset
The Growth Mindset Podcast:
Hosted by Sam Harris, this podcast dives deep into the philosophies behind a growth mindset. Interviewing entrepreneurs, scientists, and thinkers, it offers listeners insights into how mindset plays a role in success across various disciplines.
Mindset for Teachers:
Specifically curated for educators, this podcast explores how teachers can cultivate a growth mindset in their classrooms. Each episode features actionable strategies, interviews with educators, and success stories to inspire.
Growth Mindset University:
Hosted by Jordan Paris, this podcast offers life lessons and growth-centric conversations with renowned guests from various fields. It not only teaches the importance of a growth mindset but also how to actively cultivate it.
An inspiring podcast that connects top athletes with classroom conversations. Through stories of resilience, failure, and growth, it reinforces the idea that setbacks are just setups for comebacks.
The Dr. Carol Dweck Show:
From the psychologist who popularized the growth mindset theory, this podcast delves deep into the research, its implications, and its application in real-world scenarios. An essential listen for anyone wanting a comprehensive understanding of the subject.
Taking a fun and playful approach to the science of growth and learning, this podcast is filled with engaging stories, cutting-edge research, and practical advice. A favorite among educators and students alike.
The Cult of Pedagogy:
While not exclusively about the growth mindset, many episodes of this podcast focus on teaching strategies, classroom management, and the psychology of education, making it a must-listen for those wanting to foster a growth environment in schools.
Every Classroom Matters:
Hosted by Vicki Davis, this podcast emphasizes the role of educators in shaping the future. Several episodes highlight the importance of fostering resilience, curiosity, and a growth mindset in students.
The Ed Mylett Show:
While more broadly focused on maximizing potential, Ed Mylett often dives into the principles of a growth mindset. His conversations with industry leaders offer insights into how mindset shapes success.
Growth Mindset Secrets:
An amalgamation of interviews, stories, and actionable tips, this podcast is a reservoir of inspiration for anyone on the growth mindset journey. Its diverse range of topics ensures there's something for educators, students, and lifelong learners.
Growth Mindset Books:
"Mindset: The New Psychology of Success" by Dr. Carol S. Dweck:
The seminal work on growth mindset, Dweck’s book is a foundational read. It delves into the difference between fixed and growth mindsets, backed by years of research, making it essential for educators and students.
"Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance" by Angela Duckworth:
This best-seller highlights the power of perseverance. Duckworth’s research suggests that grit, even more than talent or IQ, contributes to success and achievement.
"The Growth Mindset Coach:
Designed for educators, this guide provides month-by-month strategies to integrate a growth mindset culture in classrooms.
"The Power of Yet" by Esther P Cordova:
A picture book for younger students, it beautifully introduces the concept of seeing challenges as opportunities and the potential of the word "yet".
"Your Fantastic Elastic Brain: Stretch It, Shape It" by JoAnn Deak, Ph.D.:
Introducing the anatomy of the brain to kids, this book beautifully correlates brain flexibility with learning and embracing new experiences.
"The Girl Who Never Made Mistakes" by Mark Pett and Gary Rubinstein:
Through the tale of Beatrice Bottomwell, this storybook emphasizes that mistakes are not just okay but are a crucial part of growth.
"The Most Magnificent Thing" by Ashley Spires:
A narrative about a little girl and her quest to create something magnificent, this book touches upon the themes of frustration, iteration, and eventual triumph.
"Not Yet" by Lisa Cox and Lori Hockema:
This story revolves around the idea that with effort and perseverance, one can achieve anything, even if they're not there "yet".
"Making a Splash: A Growth Mindset Children's Book" by Carol E. Reiley:
Using the metaphor of fish in a pond, this book introduces children to the ideas of growth mindset, emphasizing that embracing challenges leads to growth.
"Everyone Can Learn Math" by Alice Aspinall:
This heartwarming story of a young girl tackling her fear of math showcases that with the right mindset and determination, any subject can be conquered.
Classroom techniques for Growth Mindset:
Praise the Process, Not Just the Outcome:
Recognize students for their effort, strategies, focus, perseverance, and improvement. This kind of praise encourages a growth mindset, emphasizing the importance of the journey and not just the end result.
Incorporate Growth Mindset Affirmations:
Start each day with positive affirmations like, "Challenges help me grow," or "I learn from my mistakes." These simple mantras can reshape a student's approach to learning.
Embrace Mistakes as Learning Opportunities:
Instead of penalizing errors, discuss them openly in class. Analyze why the mistake occurred and what can be learned from it, turning the error into a teachable moment.
Create a 'Growth Journey' Bulletin Board:
Display a board where students can share their personal growth stories, showcasing their challenges and how they overcame them. This promotes a communal growth culture.
Use Growth vs. Fixed Mindset Language:
Incorporate language that fosters growth. For instance, instead of saying "You're so smart," say "You worked really hard on this!"
Set Growth Goals:
Encourage students to set personal and academic goals that stretch their abilities. Review these goals periodically, celebrating progress and recalibrating as needed.
Share Growth Mindset Success Stories:
Regularly discuss real-life examples of individuals who succeeded through perseverance and effort. This helps students see the real-world application of a growth mindset.
Promote Peer Teaching:
Encourage students to teach their peers what they've learned. This not only reinforces their knowledge but also emphasizes the idea that everyone is in a continuous learning process.
Develop a Classroom Mantra:
Create a classroom-specific growth mindset mantra like, "In this class, we don’t do easy. We make it easy through hard work and learning." Repeat and refer to this mantra regularly.
Reflect and Reset Sessions:
Dedicate time for students to reflect on their mindset. Discuss instances where they might have had a fixed mindset and brainstorm ways to approach similar situations with a growth mindset in the future.
Growth Mindset Resources:
Founded by Dr. Carol Dweck and her colleagues, Mindset Works provides training, tools, and resources to foster a growth mindset in schools. Their Brainology program teaches students how to develop a growth mindset through interactive lessons. Visit Mindset Works
Big Life Journal:
This platform offers a range of printable kits, journals, and activities designed to help children develop a resilient growth mindset. Their resources are creative and engaging, making the learning process fun for students. Check out Big Life Journal
The Growth Mindset Playbook by Annie Brock:
This guide offers actionable strategies for educators to integrate growth mindset theory into their curriculum. It’s not just a book, but a comprehensive resource filled with exercises, hands-on tips, and activities. Learn More about the Playbook
An organization that provides a systematic educational program to enhance the academic, social, and emotional learning of students. It's built around the philosophy that you feel good about yourself when you do positive actions. Their curriculum is aimed at fostering positive behavior and a growth mindset. Explore Positive Action
By incorporating these organizations and resources into the educational framework, educators can access a plethora of tools and strategies to nurture a growth mindset culture in their classrooms. It’s a collaborative effort where these resources play a pivotal role in shaping the future of education.