K1 Activity 2 – The Power of “Not Yet:” A Growth Mindset Chart and Discussion

Introduction

The growth mindset work of Dr. Carol Dweck tells us that our brains are malleable and that we can change how we think about our abilities. We can choose to believe that we can always learn and grow through mistakes (growth mindset) or we can believe that we can’t ever do it right (fixed mindset). Her work has shown that students develop resilience (the ability to adjust, adapt, and make do), perseverance, and self-esteem when they receive support for their process of learning instead of their results of learning. Kindergarten and first grade students are at a stage of learning where this information can be very helpful. In this activity, you can celebrate your students’ process as they explore growth mindset by celebrating the power of “not yet.”


Description

Students listen to the Ooops And Yays song and a story, discuss growth mindset, and play a game to understand it.


Principle Overview

Look around and you will notice friends and family who are really good at some things and not so good at others. While adults might grasp this as something normal, students often don’t and can perceive their own strengths and weaknesses in distorted ways. When we demonstrate our own strengths and weaknesses, we help students come to terms with their own, and help dispel the illusion that any of us are better, worse, more, or less worthy than others.

Materials:

Goals and Objectives:

  • Recognize that they can believe in their ability to learn.
  • Understand that something that is challenging is just something that is not yet learned.
Knowing about strengths and weaknesses in ourselves and others helps us grow, learn, and work together. The Me Too! Oh, Wait! Not Me! skill builder helps students gain an understanding of their individual strengths and weaknesses and the diversity of those in their class. They also think about how to encourage their peers to use their strengths and keep trying when they struggle with a weakness.

  • As your students think about actions and words that support a growth mindset, have them use the Me Too! Oh, Wait! Not Me! game signs as a means to safely participate in the discussion.
  • Explain that developing the belief that you CAN learn something (growth mindset), is a strength in all sorts of areas of life.
Skill Builder
Use these visual resources to enhance the student experience in this unit.

View In Resources

Activity Steps

  • Connector.

    Share the Ooops And Yays video with students as a fun way to introduce the concept of growth mindset. Discuss how both Sammy and Martin learned something in their conversation. You might ask, We all need to learn things. What did Sammy realize that he needed to work on? How did Martin help him? In the end, what did Martin realize that he needs work on?

    Explain that Sammy and Martin are learning the “power of not yet”. They haven’t learned something…yet…but they will work on it!

  • Connector.

    Explain growth mindset (we think we can learn how to do something even if it is challenging or we haven’t learned it yet) and its opposite, fixed mindset (when things are challenging, we think it is too hard, we will never learn it, and we should just give up).

  • Connector.

    Let students know they can choose which mindset they want when they are learning. Ask:

    How do you want to think about yourself? Do you want to think that you can or can’t do it?

    Use the Growth/Fixed Mindset chart to continue the discussion.

  • Connector.

    Give each student or groups of students the Growth/Fixed Mindset cards. Ask students to decide if the card shows a growth mindset thought or action, or a fixed mindset, and sort them into two piles.

  • Connector.

    Have students share their ideas about each card and discuss how growth thoughts and fixed thoughts can help or hold us back when we are learning something new.

  • Connector.

    Introduce the concept of “Not Yet” by writing the words on the board and inviting students to offer something they have not yet learned how to do. Model the process by writing something you are working on.

  • Connector.

    The next step is to make plans for how we are going to get to the “yet”. Invite students to offer strategies they can use for learning new skills, writing their suggestions on the board and revisiting them throughout the unit.

  • Connector.

    If available, read “Not Yet” by Lisa Cox. Discuss how Lorisa dealt with mistakes and challenges. Ask:Did she have a growth or fixed mindset? What was her attitude about herself? What was something she said to help her grow and learn? (“Am I there? Not yet. I’ll get there. You bet.”).

  • Connector.

    Have students make their own class Growth/Fixed Mindset chart (optional).

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