Promotes a Fixed Mind Set

Promotes a Growth Mind-Set

Praising pupils for being smart

Praising effort and strategies

Formative comments that emphasis achievement

Formative comments that emphasis effort and application

Praising students for achievements that come easily

Building robust self confidence

Spending time documenting intelligence and ability

Spending time developing intelligence and ability

Directing pupils to which tasks to complete

Giving pupils a strong voice in the learning process and a sense of purpose

Boosting self esteem

Providing constructive criticism

Place importance on grades / levels rather than learning

Place importance on learning rather than grades / levels


 Words That Encourage a Growth Mindset: 

1. Wow!
2. Look at that!
3. Tell me about it.
4. Show me more.
5. How did you do that?
6. Let’s see what you did.
7. How do you feel about it?
8. How did you figure that out?
9. I see that you _________ (be specific)
10. That looks like it took a lot of effort.
11. How many ways did you try it before it turned out the way you wanted it?
12. What do you plan to do next?
13. That looks like it took so much work.
14. Are you pleased with what you did?

Fixed Mindset Labels:

The best
Better than _________ (another person)

Grow Your Mind-Set

“What did you struggle with today?”
“This is hard, this is fun, what should we do next?”
“You can grow your intelligence”
“You can learn. You can stretch. You can keep mastering new things.”
“You’ll get there”

What we want students to say/not say:

Do Say

Don't Say

What am I missing?

I'm so stupid.

I seem to be on the right track.

I'm awesome at this.

I’m going to train my brain in Maths.

I just can’t do Maths.

This is going to take some time.

This is too hard.

I’m going to work out how he / she’s doing it.

She / He’s so smart, I wish I was as smart.

What can I do to improve?

My answer is fine the way it is.

That’s an interesting idea for improvement. How can I use that in my work?

 Looking at examples and the mark scheme won’t make my work any better. I just want to know what level / grade I got.


Some important things to work on:

1. Praise the effort, not the student:  Say, “Wow, you worked so hard on that,” rather than, “You’re so smart.”
2. Praise the activity, not the student:  Say, “You did a great job solving that equation,” instead of, “You’re a great equation solver.”
3. Challenge students to try activities that are slightly too hard, and celebrate the struggles whether they are successful or not:  “Good job trying to solve that equation.  You’ll get it soon if you keep practicing.”
4. Point out when learning happened: “Remember when you couldn’t add fractions?  Now you can!  I’m so proud of you for learning that!”