Growth Mindset & Grades

It’s hard to believe that Friday is the end of the 2nd reporting period already! You will be receiving your child’s report card in the next couple of weeks. As a staff, we have had conversations about growth mindset and grading, and how the two can complement one another.

Teachers at Canyon are dedicated to nurturing the enthusiasm and growth of our students but at the same time are required to administer assessments and grades. The purpose of assessments and grades should be to motivate students and measure progress towards goals. Grades should not be used to measure how smart someone is, but rather should be viewed as feedback to determine whether or not a student has met their learning goals. Grades should be informative and motivating, not judgmental or negative.  

Compare this to students who play video games. They “die” over and over before reaching their goal. They persevere and are motivated and often don’t even get discouraged when they fail. Ideally, this is how we want our students to attack their educational goals as well. When students fail in video games, they may try a different approach or strategy. Why not apply this same concept to their learning?

When you and your child view their grades, let’s try to ditch the “you can’t” or “you didn’t” and instead, let’s throw in the word “yet". This is one powerful word that can instantly change ones Growth Mindset, not just in education, but in all aspects of life. Let students own their own grades and provide specific feedback that will help guide them to mastery.

It’s crucial that we recognize effort, resourcefulness and creativity. Recognize that scores reflect the present level of mastery towards specific goals and that it’s up to us to provide meaningful feedback to students sharing where we feel they could benefit from increased effort. Using the language of growth with our children will go a long way. It’s up to us to model it as we praise effort, not perfection, as we focus on the learning process of all of our students.