Thursday, August 27, 2015

The Dot and Growth Mindset in Kindergarten

I just spent the last 4 days meeting all of my new students. I am so happy my school lets kindergarten have a staggered start the first week of school. It is a little like the movie Groundhog Day but I really like getting to know my students and teaching rules and routines to a small group. They all come tomorrow and I am looking forward to bringing everyone together and starting our year!

Over the last two years I have had some professional development around the theory of  growth/fixed mindset. I am pretty lucky that nearly all kindergarteners come to school with a growth mindset. It seems to be what happens after they enter the school doors that changes their mindset. When I was planning lessons for the start of the year I came across this book and art idea on Pinterest. It is about a student who believes she can't draw but her art teacher encourages her by saying, "Just make a mark and see where it takes you." When I read that line, I knew I had to make it part of our kindergarten day. I read the book The Dot 4 times this week. Each time the students were able to see where the art teacher encouraged the student to try. We had some pretty great conversations about not giving up and never saying "I can't".  I was very impressed with my brand new kindergarteners. I plan to reference back to this lesson throughout the year when things get tough.
The students were so excited to get to paint on their very first day of kindergarten. I prepared the paper ahead of time by attaching a circle of to clear contact paper to the middle. In The Dot the art student explains that she once even made a dot by not making a dot at all. The students were pretty wowed by me peeling the circle on their papers.

It is so interesting to me that all the art is so different. I hung the art up right away so by today the Thursday group had many samples to look at but they all did their own thing.
For more information about Growth and Fixed Mindset you can watch this or visit this website.


  1. What did you put in the middle to peel away? I love this idea and would love to do it our school.

    1. Sorry this is so late! I used clear contact paper -I just cut it into circles and when the paint dried pealed it off.