Cultivating a Growth Mindset with Word Searches

growth mindset word searches

“I just can’t do it.”

For teachers and parents alike, it’s both frustrating and disheartening to hear kids say this. We want our kids to believe they can do anything if they put in the work. Yet, this message doesn’t always reach them. It will, however, if they develop a growth mindset. Help your students develop a growth mindset with growth mindset word searches.

What is a Growth Mindset?

The concept of a “growth mindset” only came about in the last few years. Developed by Stanford University psychologist Carol Dweck, she coined the term in her 2007 book Mindset: The New Psychology of Success. In the book, she condenses her decades of research to explain her fundamental discovery: our mindset determines our success in any field.

First, she defines a “mindset” as a self-perception people have about themselves. It’s how people think about their talents and their abilities. These are then placed into two categories: a “growth” mindset and a “fixed” mindset.

A “growth” mindset is the belief that skills and abilities can be developed through work and study. In other words, hard work will, in fact, pay off. This is in contrast to a “fixed” mindset where people believe talent and innate intelligence creates success, and that these things are unchangeable about themselves.

Why Students Need a Growth Mindset

These findings have huge implications for education. More and more teachers are eager to instill a growth mindset in their students. When students believe they can do better, they will do better. If, however, students believe that their success is already predetermined, they’ll have no motivation to improve.

For these reasons, 96% of teachers believe all students can and should have a growth mindset. This same study found that the majority of teachers believed their pre-service education and their in-service training did not adequately train them in fostering a growth mindset in students. This means teachers are experimenting and looking for new ways to encourage their students. Some have turned to word searches and found they help.

Growth Mindset Word Searches

Similar to crossword puzzles, word searches have the potential to foster a growth mindset in students. Growth mindset word searches will introduce and reinforce key words and ideas about growth. Word searches like the ones below will encourage students to think differently about their abilities and the process of learning.

Plus, the word searches themselves offer an opportunity to foster a growth mindset. Not all students feel confident in their ability to solve puzzles. By introducing them to word search solving strategies, students will see that there are strategies to improve their skills in literally anything.

By giving kids growth mindset word searches to solve, their attitude will change from, “I just can’t do it,” to, “I can’t do it yet, but I’ll be able to with practice.” This will transform their thinking to all areas of life. Soon, even kids with the most fixed mindsets will relax and learn to learn.

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