So very often, as adults we focus on mistakes and forget the successes and the growth we experience through our mistakes. This reminds me of the amazing books that we read to the children at TIS Kindergarten, such as, “It’s okay to Make Mistakes” by Todd Parr or “Beautiful Oops” by Barney Saltzberg. Our desire is to normalize mistakes as part of the learning process. By engaging children in conversations about mistakes or failures during all Units of Inquiry and how to think, using a growth mindset versus a closed mindset, allows them to think differently and value the learning process.
What are the benefits of mistakes?
We have a chance to reflect on what/how/why we are doing in our learning and make adjustments. Reflection is an important part of learning and growing a person, as an individual learner and as a society.
Trying out different skills sets, learning and building capacity are vital parts of the process. If we stand still, we shall never move forward.
Experience satisfaction and pride
When we really work hard and work towards a goal, there is immense satisfaction and pride. So many times we hear a child call out “I did it!” with delight and sometimes surprise.
Test theories and build understanding
Many new discoveries are made by mere accident or trial and error. Students in our Kindergarten are introduced to the Reggio Emilia approach and project based inquiry and learning. They freely explore the properties of materials, different uses, experiment and begin to build understanding of many different concepts.
Phrases to avoid and replace with positive growth mindset phrases:
Negative Phrasing About Mistakes
Growth Mindset Phrases
Look what you did!
How can you fix it?
It is not perfect.
What would you do differently next time?
That is wrong!
Can you think of another way to....?
I can't do it!
You can't do it yet!
You made a mistake!
What can you learn from your mistake? What did you learn?
Practice makes perfect!
Practice makes progress!
How can we normalize mistakes?
Share mistakes you have made as child, learner and an adult.
Point out when you make a mistake and also how you will fix it.
Brainstorm problem solving ideas with your child. Strategize.
Be calm when a child makes a mistake and allow time for him/her to reflect and test new ideas. (Show them their voices matter, ideas matter and you have trust in their abilities)
One of my favourite quotes from a famous children’s book called “Beautiful Oops” by Barney Saltzberg is “When you think you have made a mistake, think of it as an opportunity to create something beautiful.” This really says it all; mistakes can be beautiful and perfection is not always achievable but it is all in your attitude and desire to improve and grow. Resilience building is even more important as we move through challenging times and children can be well equipped when we build a growth mindset and culture of celebrating the learning process.
Here is a literacy list of resources to promote growth mindset, STEAM, Resilience:
「失敗乃成功之母」是普遍成年人往往會忘掉的名言，只把注意力集中在錯誤這個點上。這讓我想起了一本我們為幼稚園學生朗讀的，來自作者Todd Parr故事書『It’s okay to Make Mistakes』或作者Barney Saltzberg的『Beautiful Oops』一書，這兩本書都是旨在讓人們把錯誤變得平常化，並使之成為學習過程的一部份。通過讓孩子在所有探索單元中談論錯誤或失敗、如何思考、並使用成長的心態（而非封閉的內心）學習以不同方式思想問題、珍惜學習過程。
我最喜歡的一句話來自作家Barney Saltzberg編寫的故事書『Beautiful Oops』當中提到的「當意識到犯錯時，請視之為一次創造美麗事物的機會」。這句話說明了錯誤可以是美麗的，人們並不能總體現出完美狀態，所有的一切皆取決於態度和對於成長的期願，更重要的是我們在渡過困難的過程中建立的心態，使孩子從中理解及學習。