New Mindset – Part 4: Praise Effort

“I have the smartest class in the whole school!”

One of the hardest changes I have had to make when transitioning to a growth-minded classroom was changing how I praise my students. Although it seems counterintuitive, telling my students they are “smart” can actually harm their performance and instill a fixed mindset. Instead, if I choose to praise the effort my students have put into a task, I am praising an ability that can be controlled and improved. In doing this, I have found that my students feel empowered over what they are doing and continue exhibiting behavior that will lead to perseverance and success.

By changing how you praise, you allow students to dismiss thinking that they are

“not a math person”

and instead value the process, the strategies they use, and the amount of time they spend improving their abilities.

Need a visual? Click on the image below to see a video of how Ms. Stewart uses process praise to develop a growth mindset.

Praising the Process.PNG

Want more?

Try using this graphic to help change how you praise your students and be sure to come back and share with me the differences you noticed.



Copyright: <a href=’’>tomertu / 123RF Stock Photo</a>


3 thoughts on “New Mindset – Part 4: Praise Effort

  1. Bonita Hampton says:

    Hi Jessica! Thanks for all you do! As a parent, I have been guilty of telling my kids they are smart and even the smartest kid in the class. Through developing a growth mindset, I am much better with praise language. This information is very helpful. ~ When you know better you do better. ~ Maya Angelou


    • Jessica Solano - 2017 Florida Teacher of the Year says:

      I am guilty as well! It’s so exciting to see our kids stop wanting to be told they are smart and instead see them get excited to tell you all the work they did, the mistakes they made, and how great it feels to be successful.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s