The 5 Habits of Mind Children Need for Success


A Mindset for Learning: Teaching the Traits of Joyful, Independent Growth follows the work Carol Dweck, Daniel Pink, Art Costa, and others, and it pairs research—psychological, neurological, and pedagogical—with practical classroom help, including instructional language, charts and visuals, teaching tips, and classroom vignettes. Authors Christine Hertz and Kristi Mraz now offer the five habits of mind that children need for success:



Feeling hopeful that risks are worth taking and that problems will work their way out. When you do something new, you think, "I can try," and give it your best shot because that's how you grow.


Seeing and trying many possible actions within a task. When one thing doesn't work out, you try a different way.


Bouncing back and recovering from setbacks or failures. When you have trouble, you bounce back and try again.


Sticking with something even when it is challenging. Having persistence means you try and try again even when it feels hard.


Feeling how another person is feeling and imagining what it would be like to be in another's position. You have empathy when you feel someone's feelings in your own heart.

Reinforce with:

  • Whole-class Storytelling for positive mental pathways
  • Individual Conferences for growth-oriented goals
  • Whole-class Conversations for constructive reflection
  • Small-group Instruction for productive self-talk

Click here to download the PDF

A Mindset for Learning: Teaching the Traits of Joyful, Independent Growth is available now.

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Kristine Mraz (left) teaches kindergarten in the New York City public schools. In addition to writing and teaching, she consults in schools across the country and as far away as Taiwan. Follow Kristi on Twitter @MrazKristine.

Christine Hertz (right) teaches third grade in Vermont. She has taught in a wide variety of classrooms, from preschool to fourth grade, and as an adjunct instructor of education courses. Follow Christine on Twitter @christine_hertz

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