Growth mindset project gets students thinking positively

February 22, 2019

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  • This sixth-grade student stops to complete a growth mindset question between the switch of classes. This question is located outside the science classroom.

  • "What is something someone with a growth mindset would say?" is the question here. This growth mindset box is located on the first floor of the school.

  • Questions are color-coded based on grade level: yellow is third grade; green is fourth grade; pink is fifth grade; blue is sixth grade.

  • Questions were easier during week one of the project. This question asks students, "What are the seven continents?".

What started as a class lesson, led to a schoolwide project on growth mindset for a group of sixth grade students at Patrick M. Villano School. 

“We hope that students learn to be positive and have a growth mindset,” Sophie Nisonoff said. She is one of the sixth grade students chosen to lead this project. “We want Villano students to think more positive about themselves and to try to stay away from having a fixed mindset even when facing challenges.”

Nisonoff is one of five students involved in the project. Kaylei Iafelice, Gillian Pasqualino, Michael Graf, and Andrew Croci, all sixth graders, took part, too. Each week for six weeks, the group posted questions around the school. Students answered the questions. 

“We came up with the questions by thinking of every subject and what we have learned so far. Also, we came up with different levels of questions so each grade had an equal chance to do well,” Nisonoff explained.

Nisonoff and others spent their recess time checking the answers, and recorded responses on a Google Spreadsheet.

“I thought it was fun and an interesting addition to the school, and it was cool to see the different questions asked,” sixth-grader Kayla Mulligan said.

Another sixth grader, Sofia Guttilla, agreed.

“It’s a good idea to get all grades together to think deeply into these questions,” Guttilla said.

Brianna Peros, sixth grade Language Arts teacher, guided the students’ project. A class lesson on growth vs. fixed mindset sparked the idea.

“We talked about what a growth mindset was and what a fixed mindset was, and we read a book called The Most Magnificent Thing that showed a young girl who had a fixed mindset at first but then a growth mindset to invent something,” Peros explained. “Not only will sixth graders benefit from that [lesson], but the whole school will benefit from the idea of a growth mindset.”

“We all feel appreciated that we were chosen to do this special activity and proud of what we have accomplished so far,” Nisonoff said.

1 Comment

One Response to “Growth mindset project gets students thinking positively”

  1. Sofia Guttilla on March 15th, 2019 3:44 pm

    I love how you also got a teacher’s interview which explains what they did along the way. This article is very welly written. Great job!

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