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Habits &

Mindsets ToolKit
Hannah Kim
Caroline Harris
Jennifer J.R. Roberts
Molly Voreacos
Christie Ellis
Introduction
The study of habits of mind is extremely influential in the current lives and prospective futures of
students. One key habit is persistence (or perseverance), defined by Costa & Kallick (2000) as
sticking to a task until it is completed and not giving up easily. This importance of this trait cannot
be understated-- research indicates that persistence relates to school based success-- including
more positive classroom behaviors and higher academic achievement (Niemiec, 2013). For students,
the mastery of this skill at an early age can relate to overall lifetime happiness, long-term success,
and better college outcomes (Niemiec, 2013). Through careful implementation and reinforcement
through explicit and implicit teaching practices, students can begin to integrate the ideals of
persistence into their everyday lives. The resources contained in this toolkit comprise a 15-day
teaching unit that can set the foundations for students to demonstrate mastery in persistence.

Costa, A. L., & Kallick, B. (2009). Habits of mind across the curriculum: practical and creative strategies for teachers. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum
Development (p. 29).

Niemiec, R. M. (Ed.). (2013, July 19). Character strength summaries. Retrieved from http://www.viacharacter.org/www/en-us/research/summaries.aspx
Resource #1-2:
Planning and Rubric
Implementation Calendar
Day 1: Day 2: Day 3: Day 2: Day 5:
*Self-Checking *Persistence *Looks Like, Feels * Academic *Fixed vs. Growth
Scavenger Hunt Introductory Like, Sounds Like content integration Mindset Lesson
* Pre-Test With Lesson Plan Chart (see sample
Persistence Rubric activities)

Days 6-10:
*Class Dojo Growth Mindset Video Series
*Continue integrating in academic content using vocabulary and modeling strategies

Days 11-13: Day 14: Day 15:


*Class Dojo Perseverance Video Series *Class Dojo - The * Post-Test on
Dip Reading persistence rubric
Activity
Persistence Rubric
Persisting Most of the Frequently Sometimes Not Yet
Never give up, persevere, focus time

I work at a task until it is finished.

Those around me do not easily


distract me.

If something isnt working, I dont


just give up, I think about different
ways of solving the problem.

Johnson, B., Rutledge, M., Poppe, M., & Vermont Consultants for Language and Learning. (2005). Appendix C: Pre- and post-assessments of Habits of Mind. In
Habits of Mind: A curriculum for community high school of Vermont students (pp. 101104). Retrieved from
http://www.chsvt.org/wdp/Habits_of_Mind_Curriculum_VT_WDP.pdf
Resource #3:
Anticipatory Activity
Self-Checking Scavenger Hunt
Introduction:

Before explicitly teaching persistence to students, the teachers language can


create valuable background knowledge for students. Talking the talk
informally and at every opportunity is one of a series of ongoing,
all-encompassing processes for raising Habits of Mind to the consciousness
level (Costa and Kallick, p. 21, 2009). The Self-Checking Scavenger Hunt
strategy can be used across many content areas and can be an opportunity to
use the language of persistence in the classroom.

Costa, A. L., & Kallick, B. (2009). Habits of mind across the curriculum: practical and creative strategies for teachers. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum
Development (p. 29).
Self-Checking Scavenger Hunt
Materials: Anchor Chart Paper, Markers, Clipboards, Recording Sheet

Description: To create a self-checking scavenger hunt, create 10-20 questions addressing


whichever standard you are teaching. Write one question on each poster and number the
posters in sequential order. In a box on the top of each poster write the answer to another
problem- make sure that they are not written in sequential order.

Students can each start at a different poster and complete the problem on that poster.
Students can record their answer next to the problem number on their recording sheet.
Students will then go to the poster with the answer to the problem they just answered. If
none of the posters have their answers then they need to go back to their poster and persist
by trying a different strategy to answer that problem. Students continue through the
scavenger hunt until they have answered every problem.
Self-Checking Scavenger Hunt
Expected Student Outcomes: Students will try multiple ways to solve a
problem if their first answer is not correct.

The teacher will be able to foster the habits by using words like persist and
persistence when introducing the activity and when providing aid to
frustrated students. This is an opportunity for students to experience failure
in a nurturing environment.
Self-Checking Scavenger Hunt
Resource #4-7:
Explicit Teaching Activities
Persistence Introductory Lesson
Introduction:

To begin building a normed, collective classroom language around persisting,


students can complete an Introduction to Persisting lesson, adapted from the
Introduction to Habits of Mind and Persisting lessons described in Habits of
Mind: A Curriculum for Community High School of Vermont Students. The
lesson is outlined on the following slides.

Johnson, B., Rutledge, M., Poppe, M., & Vermont Consultants for Language and Learning. (2005). Appendix C: Pre- and post-assessments of Habits of Mind. In Habits of Mind: A
curriculum for community high school of Vermont students (pp. 101104)
Persistence Introductory Lesson
Lesson Objective:
Students will be able to describe persisting in their own words
Students will be able to exhibit persistence to solve a complex problem
Students will identify a personal goal that must be reached through persisting

Materials:
Post-It Notes
Pennies
Student Reflection Handout

Johnson, B., Rutledge, M., Poppe, M., & Vermont Consultants for Language and Learning. (2005). Appendix C: Pre- and post-assessments of Habits of Mind. In Habits of Mind: A
curriculum for community high school of Vermont students (pp. 101104)
Hook: On a Post-It note, students should answer the following question:
Describe a time when something was really hard, but you didnt give up.
Students should share their experience with a partner. Then, the teacher can
call for a few whole-group examples. From there, the teacher should place
post-its on an anchor chart to begin building a collective experience around
persisting.

Introduction: Teachers should state explicitly that the days lesson is focused
on persisting. As a class, students can discuss how persisting connects to
classroom vision and values. Additionally, the teacher should connect the
lesson to the previous lesson centered on what persisting looks, sounds, and
feels like.
Johnson, B., Rutledge, M., Poppe, M., & Vermont Consultants for Language and Learning. (2005). Appendix C: Pre- and
post-assessments of Habits of Mind. In Habits of Mind: A curriculum for community high school of Vermont students
(pp. 101104)
Activity 1: Students are given 10 pennies. The teacher should set a timer for 2 minutes.
Students must try to balance the stacked pennies on the edge of their desk. Students
should record the number of attempts it took to balance the pennies successfully.

Activity 2: Have each student pair with a partner. Instruct one student to sit silently and
not smile. Instruct the other student to attempt to get the other student to smile using
only words or facial gestures no hands and no physical contact. Time how long it takes
the silent student to smile. Trade roles.

Student Reflection: On their reflection handout, students should answer the following
questions:
-What made that activity challenging? -What did you do to push through the challenge?

Persisting Goal-Setting: To close the lesson, students should identify an academic


challenge that they want to overcome. Students can write their goal on another post-it.
Teachers can create an anchor chart that displays student goals. A resource for student
goal-setting is linked here. Johnson, B., Rutledge, M., Poppe, M., & Vermont Consultants for Language and Learning. (2005).
Appendix C: Pre- and post-assessments of Habits of Mind. In Habits of Mind: A curriculum for
community high school of Vermont students (pp. 101104)
Looks Like, Feels Like, and Sounds Like Chart
Introduction:

To explore the meaning of persistence, students can complete the Y-chart from
Developing Habits of Mind in Elementary Schools by Karen Boyes. This resource
is intended for teachers, but the introduction activity in this resource is also
appropriate for students. By thinking about what persistence looks like, feels
like, and sounds like, students will have a clear understanding of how to
demonstrate the mastery of the skill.
Activity: Y-Chart Worksheet
The following are probing questions for each category that teachers can use to
support students as they complete the chart:
What does it look like?
What kind of facial expression does a person persisting show?
What would a person with persistence do in the classroom? In the cafeteria?
During recess? At home?
What does it feel like?
Would my feelings change when Im persisting?
What emotions would a person persisting have?
What does it sound like?
What would a person persisting say to others? To himself/herself?
What kind of advice would a person with persistence give?

Boys, K., & Watts, G. (2009). Action tool 1: Exploring the meaning of Habits of Mind with teachers. In Developing Habits of Mind in elementary schools (pp. 1116).
Fixed vs Growth Mindset
Introduction:

A person with a growth mindset knows the importance of persistence and persists in
the face of setbacks, and a person with a fixed mindset sees persistence as fruitless
or worse and doesnt persist (Richard, 2007). By identifying and comparing what
each person with a different mind would say in a given situation, students will be able
to evaluate which mindset they have and modify their approach to a difficult task.

Activity:
Fixed vs Growth Mindsets Worksheet
*Teachers can differentiate by providing answer choices.

Richard, M. G. (2007, April 15). Fixed mindset vs. growth mindset: Which one are you? [Blog post].
Class Dojo Habits & Mindsets Series
Introduction:

Carol Dweck from GreatSchools describes that students are able to learn even
when they cannot initially accomplish something when they harness the
power of yet (2013). This is the power of being able to add yet to the end of
a statement describing what students think they cannot do. For example, this
is the difference between a student saying I cant fractions and I cant do
fractions YET. Being able to say yet will allow students to persist in the face
of adversity.

GreatSchools. (2013, June 26). Carol Dweck on the power of yet [Video file]. Retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZyAde4nIIm8 (approximate length: 1 minute)
Class Dojo Growth Mindset Series
Materials: Projector, Discussion Questions, Paper, scissors

Description: Class Dojo has an entire kid-friendly web-series on teaching


students the power of yet and the growth mindset. This series has four
activities and five videos that introduce the growth mindset to students in a
way that they can understand. Each video and activity has a corresponding
discussion guide to relate the content to students personal lives.
Class Dojo Habits & Mindsets Series

https://ides.classdojo.com/b/growth-mindset https://ideas.classdojo.com/b/perseverance
Class Dojo Growth Mindset Series
Expected Student Outcomes:

Students will be able to describe how their brain is like a muscle that grows
when you work it out.

When students think they cannot accomplish something they will be able to
add yet to their cant statements.

Students will be able to describe the difference between a fixed mindset and a
growth mindset.
Class Dojo Perseverance Series
Materials: Projector, Discussion Questions, Paper, scissors

Description:

In a follow up to the Growth Mindset series, Class Dojo dives deeper into
perseverance in a series of three videos accompanied by an activity. Each
video should be watched with students and utilized alongside the provided
discussion guides. These kid-friendly videos provide excellent examples of
perseverance, and bring the concepts forward through the use of integrated
vocabulary.
Class Dojo Perseverance Series
Expected Student Outcomes:

Students will learn that dips, or mistakes, are part of the human experience.

Students will consider alternate options or solutions when they make


mistakes.

Students will consider the positives of learning from mistakes and sticking
with challenges.
Resource #8-9:
Content Integration
Academic Integration
Introduction: The lesson plan linked on this slide is one that combines math content development with the
HOM, persistence. In Costa and Kallicks (2009) book they explain that, If the Habits of Mind are to be an
important part of the culture of the school, there needs to be a process for them to be explicitly integrated
into the delivery of the curriculum and used in every lesson and activity. They also go on to explain that,
It is better to teach students three ways to solve one problem than it is to teach them one way to solve
three problems (Costa and Kallick, 2009). This lesson plan is the final lesson in a five-lesson cycle where
students developed their knowledge of multiplication through multiple strategies (number lines, arrays,
equal groups, an equation, etc.). In doing so, they are better able to choose the strategy that best supports
them as learners and persist through challenges when, and if, they find their first strategy has not been
successful.

Resource: Click here to be taken to the lesson plan

Expected Student Outcome: TSWBAT represent a multiplication word problem using a number line and
explain how knowing multiple multiplication strategies will help them be a persistent mathematician.

Costa, A. L., & Kallick, B. (Eds.). (2009a). Habits of Mind across the curriculum: Practical and creative strategies for teachers. Alexandria, VA: ASC.
Additional Classroom Integration Activities and Strategies
In their book, Costa and Kallick (2009) list numerous strategies for activities that can be integrated into the
classroom to help students become more skilled at persisting. Below you will find a few notable activities
and descriptions.
1. Strategy Boxes: After teaching students multiple strategies, have them describe and provide
examples of all of them in boxes (example: a rectangle divided into 4 parts). Then, when they
approach a problem, they have their strategy box to refer back to similar to their own personal
anchor chart. This will encourage students to persist even when one strategy doesnt work for them.
2. Rubric Development: Many teachers are familiar with developing rubrics for academic content.
Despite this, Costa and Kallick (2009) suggest that teachers can work with students to develop rubrics
that will give students specific qualities of the HOM. For persistence, the teacher could use an
upcoming challenging unit or activity and work with students to identify how they did at persisting in
a past unit by developing a rubric for persistence with them. Then, students could set goals around
how they are going to increase their achievement and persist in the upcoming challenging unit or
activity.
3. Use the Vocabulary: Using the term persistence and celebrating with students when they model
persistence, as well as reflecting when they dont, can help students to internalize the language and
raise this HOM to consciousness. Costa and Kallick (2009) also encourage teachers to use this with
parents and families as well.

Costa, A. L., & Kallick, B. (Eds.). (2009a). Habits of Mind across the curriculum: Practical and creative strategies for teachers. Alexandria, VA: ASC.
References
Boys, K., & Watts, G. (2009). Action tool 1: Exploring the meaning of Habits of Mind with teachers. In Developing Habits
of Mind in elementary schools (pp. 1116).

Costa, A. L., & Kallick, B. (2009). Habits of mind across the curriculum: practical and creative strategies for teachers.
Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (p. 29).

GreatSchools. (2013, June 26). Carol Dweck on the power of yet [Video file]. Retrieved from
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZyAde4nIIm8 (approximate length: 1 minute)

Johnson, B., Rutledge, M., Poppe, M., & Vermont Consultants for Language and Learning. (2005). Appendix C: Pre- and
post-assessments of Habits of Mind. In Habits of Mind: A curriculum for community high school of Vermont
students (pp. 101104)

Niemiec, R. M. (Ed.). (2013, July 19). Character strength summaries. Retrieved from
http://www.viacharacter.org/www/en-us/research/summaries.aspx

Richard, M. G. (2007, April 15). Fixed mindset vs. growth mindset: Which one are you? [Blog post].