How can you help your students develop a growth mindset? How can they build resilience and keep trying even when something is hard? Many families are working through these same challenges with their kids at home. And tackling them in partnership with families leads to better outcomes for your students.
Share these social-emotional learning activities with your students’ families. You can send them home to families or do an online workshop on how to help kids develop a growth mindset and resilience.
Keep in mind that many families may not have access to a printer. In that case, you can suggest copying these worksheets onto blank pieces of paper.
15 growth mindset questions
These growth mindset questions can help students focus on learning from mistakes, developing new strategies, and persevering even when something’s hard. Share them as examples of conversation starters families can use.
Growth mindset action plan
Students who learn and think differently sometimes hyperfocus on mistakes or avoid talking about them. This growth mindset action plan can help them find new ways of approaching challenges. It also reminds kids that mistakes are a normal part of the learning process.
Get the action plan PDF in Spanish.
Why I can do this
This worksheet helps students get from “I can’t” to “I can because _______.” Families can use it to help kids think through the reasons they feel like they can’t do something — and why it’s still important to try.
Get the “Why I Can Do This” PDF in Spanish.
Try saying something else
As an educator, you know the importance of positive self-talk. Sharing this activity with families can help grade-schoolers find something else to say instead of “This is too hard” or “I give up.”
This printable gives examples of phrases that show either a negative, fixed mindset or a positive, growth mindset. Families can help grade-schoolers sort the phrases and choose which ones they want to start using in the future.
A variation of this worksheet for older students encourages them to come up with their own phrases that they could say instead of “I can’t.” Download it here:
Whether you’re using the printable for younger kids or the printable for older kids, it may be emotional for families. So you may want to be more explicit in how to model the positive statements. Consider organizing an online forum where families can discuss what statements resonate with them and how to turn negative statements into positive ones.
Recognizing strengths is just as important as working on challenges, especially for kids who learn and think differently.
This fun activity includes examples kids can use in academic and non-academic areas. Share it with families as a way to help kids identify and focus on their strengths. To save paper, you can suggest making the strips out of cereal boxes or toilet paper tubes.
This printable guides families to create and decorate an accomplishment box to celebrate wins big and small. It includes examples of wins in four key areas: school, home, social skills, and extracurricular activities. Share it with families as a way to increase kids’ motivation at home.
Get tips on how to teach SEL during distance learning.
About the author
About the author
Trynia Kaufman, MS was the senior manager of editorial research at Understood. She is a former educator and presents nationwide at education conferences.
Christina Armas, MA teaches English as a New Language (ENL) in Queens, New York.