Distance learning is not something that teachers, students, or parents expected when the school year started. When it comes to learning online, you’ve no doubt experienced some “I can’ts”. Maybe these have been from students, colleagues, or parents. Distance learning has become a time to help your students instill and keep a growth mindset. Keeping a growth mindset during distance learning is so important as you continue teaching remotely and as you transition back to the classroom.
Here are some tips to help your students keep a growth mindset during distance learning.
Read All About It
To get your students started understanding and discussing Growth Mindset, share reading comprehension passages about growth and fixed mindset with your students. Because the passages are digital, you can share them directly to Google Classroom, Seesaw, or Overdrive. The passages also include comprehension questions to formatively assess your students’ understanding of growth v. fixed mindset.
Discuss Growth v. Fixed Mindset
It seems easy to tell our students to have a growth mindset, but what if they don’t understand what that really means?
Students with a fixed mindset might say things like “I am not smart” or “I can’t do this.” On the other hand, students with a growth mindset use words like “I can’t do this yet” or “I can ask for help”. Discuss the differences between growth and fixed mindset. Use the fixed v. growth mindset chart to help your students reflect on how they demonstrate fixed or growth mindsets during distance learning.
Have a Check-In Time
Whether you meet with your whole class on Zoom or Google Meet, schedule office hours, or meet with individual students, it’s important to help them feel confident during distance learning. Having time to check-in and allow them to express any concerns or struggles they are having while away from school can help you foster a growth mindset within your learners.
For example, if one of your students is struggling with Math, you can pinpoint that right away. Instead of having them stop participating or completing math work altogether, you can tell them “You can do this” and ask them “How can I help you?”
Change Your Language with Open-Ended Questions
When you ask yes or no questions, many students tend not to convey their true feelings. For example, I used to ask “Do you have any questions?” Now, I ask “What questions do you have?” This small switch in language invites students to ask questions and share what concepts they are struggling with. If your students are shy to express this on Zoom or Google Meet, share a check-in Google Form or ask this simple question on Google Classroom.
It seems crazy to be talking about growth mindset at the end of the school year, but with distance learning, it’s almost like a whole new year! This shift in learning has also caused frustration and a shift in thinking for some students, teachers, and colleagues. Model positive thinking and share growth mindset resources to help support your students during this time.