We’ve all had those students who don’t want to try anything new or crumble under pressure. Try teaching kids to change their fixed mindset into a growth mindset using engaging read-aloud books, learning activities, and even growth mindset quotes. This post includes 50 phrases you should teach kids to say!
Growth Mindset Quotes and Activities
“I can’t do it…yet!”
Many of you have probably heard the above quote. So you likely know this is one of the most common growth mindset quotes. I’ll admit, I have used it A LOT in my classroom, but for a good reason.
This simple phrase is powerful! It teaches kids that it’s okay not to know how to do something. It permits them to learn something new and persist. Most importantly, it gives them a sense of hope that they will one day be able to do that difficult task!
This growth mindset quote is not unique in its power. Words encouraging kids to challenge themselves, persevere, and embrace mistakes are priceless. We can facilitate learning some of the phrases in the classroom to support our students to be the best they can be and to develop their own “growth mindset.”
What is a Growth Mindset?
The idea of a “growth mindset” and a “fixed mindset” was first put into words 30 years ago by Dr. Carol Dweck, a Stanford professor. By her definition, a “growth mindset” is when you have a core belief in your abilities and can develop intelligence over time through hard work and trial and error. On the other hand, a “fixed mindset” is where intelligence is inherent and cannot be developed.
Growth Mindset Characteristics:
- Learning from failure
- Excited by challenges
- Belief in self
- Resilience and perseverance
Let me introduce you to an old student of mine. We’ll call him Timmy. Timmy knew before walking into my classroom that he did not enjoy reading. Timmy and I struggled with getting him to rethink reading and eliminate the fixed mindset. He swore he would never be able to read, let alone enjoy it! But, with targeted phonics instruction and texts that helped him feel confident while reading, he persevered and was soon able to read. He understood books would become more challenging, but he was ready to tackle new books with a growth mindset.
Benefits of a Growth Mindset in Children
When instilling a growth mindset in children, you must first understand the benefits and how it can set students up for success in the classroom and in their personal lives.
Benefit #1: A Lifelong Love of Learning
A growth mindset makes a student more open to new information and learning in the future. Students who can achieve anything through hard work are more likely to dig deeper into their studies and see the benefits.
Benefit #2: Career Success Improvement
To help students find success in the future, they need to understand they can not go into any career with a fixed mindset. Above all, they need to adapt, learn, and be ready to take on new challenges.
Benefit #3: Evolve Outside the Classroom
A growth mindset doesn’t disappear when students leave the classroom. If they are in a constant state of growth, they will also become well-rounded outside of school. When students know how to learn from trial and error in their personal lives, they will grow.
Growth Mindset Quotes for Students
A growth mindset benefits all students. One of the easiest ways to incorporate them into the school day is by sharing growth mindset quotes throughout your lessons and activities.
There are many growth mindset quotes for kids, and it is essential to pick phrases that students will learn and understand from your teaching and lessons.
Simple Growth Mindset Quotes
Teach kids in upper and lower elementary classrooms, like grades K-2, these growth mindset mantras to support and encourage them.
- I can do hard things.
- It’s okay not to know. It’s not okay not to try.
- Believe in yourself.
- Think positive and optimistic things will happen.
- Be strong enough to stand alone, smart enough to know when you need help, and brave enough to ask for it.
- An expert at anything was once a beginner.
- Shoot for the stars!
- Aim to be better than you were yesterday.
- Choose the challenges.
- Think about what can go right, not what can go wrong.
- Failure isn’t fatal.
- Learning can get messy.
- Just keep walking in your own lane.
- If plan A doesn’t work, there are 25 more letters.
- We can do anything we want to if we stick to it long enough.
- The only time you run out of chances is when you stop taking chances.
- Every mistake you make is progress.
- Everything new takes time to learn.
- I’ll figure it out.
- I’m working on this.
- This will take some time.
- How can I keep improving?
- This is a challenging opportunity.
- Be the BEST version of yourself.
- You belong right where you are.
Quotes From Famous People
These quotes may be more suited for an upper elementary classroom like grades 3-5.
- It is hard to fail, but it is worse never to have tried to succeed. Theodore Roosevelt
- You may have to fight a battle more than once to win it. Margaret Thatcher
- Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new. Albert Einstein
- Never cease trying to be the best you can be. John Wooden
- Attitude is a little thing that makes a BIG difference Winston Churchill
- The only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be. Ralph Waldo Emerson
- The secret of getting ahead is getting started. Mark Twain
- Great works are performed not by strength but by perseverance. Samual Johnson
- Don’t worry about failure. Worry about the chances you miss when you don’t even try. Sherman Finesilver
- It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are. E.E. Cummings
- You’re in charge of your mind. You can help it grow by using it in the right way. Carol Dweck
- It does not matter how slowly you go so long as you do not stop. Confucius
- Most of the important things in the world have been accomplished by people who have kept on trying when there seemed no hope at all. Dale Carnegie
- Success is not an accident. Success is a choice. Stephen Curry
- There’s no such thing as failure, only results. Tony Robbins
- The people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do. Steve Jobs
- The problem is not the problem. The problem is your attitude about the problem. Captain Jack Sparrow
- If you quit once, it becomes a habit. Don’t Quit. Michael Jordan
- The only thing that overcomes hard luck is hard work. Harry Golden
- Dreams don’t work unless you do. John C. Maxwell
- A winner is a dreamer who never gives up. Nelson Mandela
- Don’t be discouraged. It’s often the last key in the bunch that opens the lock. Unknown
- Problems are not stop signs. They are guidelines. Robert H. Schuller
- Trust yourself. You know more than you think you do. Benjamin Spock
- If at first you don’t succeed, try, try, try again. Thomas H. Palmer
Growth Mindset in the Classroom
There are many ways to help develop a growth mindset in students. Easily incorporate different growth mindset activities into your day and allow your students to use the growth mindset skills they learn during other areas of your day, like math, reading, and science.
Growth Mindset Visuals
Creating posters to display growth mindset quotes is a way to bring growth mindset thinking into the classroom and allow this thinking to be visible during all parts of the day.
Use growth mindset quote posters as coloring sheets or hang them throughout your classroom for decoration. You can even let students take them home to hang their home workspace, in their bedroom, playroom, etc.
Parents of former students have often come up to me and told me how their child has run into their house and hung up their growth mindset quotes in the kitchen, bedroom, and living room. A growth mindset isn’t only a thing at school!
Growth Mindset Read Alouds
Books are as influential as teachers for students. Through them, kids can observe the mindset and actions of characters and then connect that to their own experiences. Using growth mindset books and videos is a great way to help students get started!
Growth Mindset Books
I love children’s books! My bookshelves are packed with growth mindset books for which I have created book companions and others I can not wait to dive into!
Helpful Growth Mindset Resources
Free Growth Mindset Visuals
Try using growth mindset quotes in your classroom with these FREE growth mindset posters. Perfect for coloring or classroom decorations!
Click the image below to grab a copy.
Growth Mindset Curriculum
Try the Growth Mindset Curriculum by Proud to be Primary. It’s available for grades K-2 and grades 3-5.
Instead of having a fixed mindset, give students the opportunity to change it into a growth mindset. Add goal reflection journals, growth mindset storybooks, discussion questions, and equally important interactive and fun activities to your lesson plans.
If you like these resources, you’ll love my growth mindset book companions.
More Growth Mindset Ideas and Activities
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