Mindsets in the Classroom: Building a Culture of Success and Student Achievement in Schools by Mary Cay Ricci

When students believe they can that dedication and hard work can change their performance in school, they grow to become resilient, successful students. Inspired by the popular mindset idea that hard work and effort can lead to success, Mindsets in the Classroom provides educators with ideas for ways to build a growth mindset school culture, wherein students are challenged to change their thinking about their abilities and potential. 

The book includes a planning template, step-by-step description of a growth mindset culture, and "look-fors" for adopting a differentiated, responsive instruction model teachers can use immediately in their classrooms. It also highlights the importance of critical thinking and teaching students to learn from failure. The book includes a sample professional development plan and ideas for communicating the mindset concept to parents. With this book's easy-to-follow advice, tasks, and strategies, teachers can grow a love of learning in their students.


Mindsets in the Classroom was my next step in my research on mindset. While Dweck's book was excellent for building a foundational understanding of the two different mindsets, it didn't provide a lot of practical strategies that could be taken from the page and brought into the classroom. 

Ricci's book does just that. It takes the mindset philosophy and shows teachers, administrators, and even parents how to use mindset to foster a growth mindset in children. The lesson plan ideas, tips and tools are easy to understand and are practical, which is always a plus. I hate when I attend a professional development that is full of great ideas, but has unrealistic or faulty application. I found many of Ricci's strategies and tools to be something that I could easily integrate into my current classroom structure. I also felt challenged to rethink some of my current classroom policies and practices, and felt that there were tools in this book that I could use as a jumping off point for redesigning things. I plan on trying several out in the upcoming school year as I attempt to foster a growth mindset in my students.

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