Connect: The growth mindset
This is the high school version of activity #2: The growth mindset. There are 3 parts to this LearnStorm growth mindset activity. To assign the activity to your class, assign all 3 parts.
Activity 2: The growth mindset
In the previous activity, we learned that our brains can grow and that you have the power to grow your brain. An important part of growing your brain is understanding common obstacles that can get in your way or throw you off track when learning and how to overcome them.
At the end of this lesson you will be able to:
- Identify negative self talk
- Differentiate between growth mindset and fixed mindset
- Jumpstart your brain growth by changing the voice in your head and your actions
Meet Sam and Mia.
Think back to when you first started learning how to solve equations. Now, read the cases of Mia and Sam who have different approaches to learning in math class.
Sam and Mia
The first week
Mia and Sam’s teacher was teaching single-step equations.
Case A: Sam has always felt that he was a math person. Learning math has come easily for him, and he has been quite the show-off about it.
Case B: Mia has never felt confident about math. One time, she told her teacher and her best friend, Liz, “I’m just not a math person.”
The first test
Sam and Mia had a test on equations at the end of the first week.
Case A: Sam passed with flying colors. He thought to himself, “Of course. I’m a math person.”
Case B: Mia, on the other hand, didn’t do super well. She thought to herself, “That confirms it. I’m really not a math person.”
The second week
The next week’s lessons were on multi-step equations.
Case A: On the first day of the second week of class, Sam said to himself, “I am a math person, and this is going to be easy for me.” But, it wasn’t. He started struggling, and then he started thinking to himself, “Maybe I am not meant to do multi-step equations; maybe I am not actually a math person. This is too hard for me.” When his teacher started to give him encouragement, he turned to her and said, “I’m going to fail the test at the end of the week, so why bother trying?”
Case B: Mia was discouraged from the week before, and the second week’s concept was building on the first week’s. There was no way she was going to do well. She wanted to skip class, but as she was walking the other direction, her friend, Liz, stopped her and dragged her to class, saying, “Let’s learn together!"
Mia and Liz
The myth of the math person
Liz told Mia there is no such thing as a math person. Our brains can always change and grow if we give them the right kind of practice. Some things are harder and take longer to learn than others, and that’s OK.
Sam and Mia took the test at the end of the second week and both Sam and Mia barely passed the test. The teacher offered a retake the next day.
Case A: Sam went home and told his parents, “I know I failed the test, but it’s not like anyone in the class passed anyway. Equations are way too hard.” He beamed as he said, “I am still the smartest one because everyone failed worse than me.” He didn’t study that night.
Case B: Mia went home and told her parents, “I know I failed the test even after all that studying, but I can tell I’m learning. If I practice a bit more I think I can get this.” Mia went up to her room, practiced, and went to tutoring with her teacher in the morning. She even invited her friend Liz over to review problems she had missed on the first test together.
Mia and Liz raising their hands
Pause and reflect
- Who do you think passed the retake the next day?
- What do you think could have happened differently if Sam changed the way he thought about equations and himself?
You have completed part 1 of 3 for this activity: Connect!
Want to join the conversation?
- Mia probably passed the retake since she didn't give up & took time to review. If Sam took time to think about the equations, he wouldn't distracted himself from his studies easily. If some told me about not being a writer, I would tell them they are, only they just need more patience & practice.(51 votes)
- as the saying goes: "genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration". Learning is all about putting the hours in. Somethings require less hours than others, but, as you say, it is patience and practice.(12 votes)
- I think Mia passed the retake exam the next day because even though she was struggling, she decided to continue to work hard and study. Sam however, although he is naturally gifted in math, he chose not to study because he though he was smarter than the rest of the class. I think if Sam changed his view on equations to practice and continue to try instead of just thinking they are difficult for everyone so no one can do it, he would have tried harder and studied. If anyone told me they are just not a good writer, I would tell them that some of us are naturally gifted at some things. However, it depends how much work you put into and try because you can always improve and become better.(27 votes)
- I think Mia passed the test because she studied, went to tutoring, and did everything to pass. In the other hand, Sam didn't study because he is way too "smart".(12 votes)
- "both Sam and Mia barely passed the test. The teacher offered a retake the next day.
Case A: Sam went home and told his parents, “I know I failed the test"
Did Sam pass the first test or fail?(8 votes)
- Mia passed the retake because unlike Sam, she cared about changing her grade and had a positive attitude even after she failed. She knew she could do better if she put in the time to study. Meanwhile, San thought that this grade defined him and thought negatively about it and didn’t care enough to change what he did wrong.(6 votes)
- I believe that Mia passed the test because she studied and went to tutoring class and did everything to pass. In the other hand, Sam didn't study because he is way too "smart".(7 votes)
- Mia likely passed the test, because the answer you want us to give, Though if I'm being candid, we don't have enough information.(7 votes)
- who is sam and who is mia(7 votes)
- I think she passed the retake cuz she put the extra work in.(6 votes)
- after the retake did Mia started scoring well in all of her mathematics test?(6 votes)