The ABCs of Making Mistakes with a Growth Mindset (Free Printable)!

Carol Dweck rocked the world of education with her research into something she called a Growth Mindset: the belief that a person’s basic abilities can be improved by hard work and determination. A growth mindset is central to a love of learning, perseverance and resiliency. Adopting a growth mindset also allows parents and kids to reframe mistakes into learning opportunities, making them less frightening and less debilitating.

Not sure where to start to help your kids adopt a growth mindset? What about with the ABC’s? Below you will find 26 phrases children can use to transform mistakes into personal power. Grab one or both versions of the posters for your personal use!

A –  I am ALWAYS learning. Learning doesn’t end when the school bell rings. It is a life-long process. Even grown ups make mistakes and learn from them to do better next time.

B – Mistakes make my BRAIN grow. If you believe you can learn from your mistake, your brain actually works harder to learn from it.

C – I want a CHALLENGE. One of the best parts of having a growth mindset is how much you love to be challenged. Once you are able to accomplish a hard thing, you can’t wait to tackle the next hard thing.

D – Things are DIFFICULT before they are easy. Think of a baby learning to walk. At first, it seems like they will never figure it out. Then suddenly, they let go of the couch and walk across the floor. Everything you know how to do now was once really hard.

E –  I focus on my EFFORTS. You cannot always control how something turns out, but you can control how hard you work.

F –  I listen to FEEDBACK from others. You have trusted adults who want to help you get better at what you are doing. Listening and applying their advice will help you improve.

G – I GROW when I make mistakes. Once you learn from your mistake, you will not make the same mistake in the same way ever again. Over time, that growth will lead to mastery.

H – I ask for HELP when I need it. Asking for help is not a sign of weakness. It is a sign that you want to get better.

I – I’m INSPIRED by the success of others. Someone else doing it first just means it can be done!

J – Success is the JOURNEY, not the destination. Remember how you are always learning? Even once you achieve your goal, you will set another harder goal. Success is found in the process of achieving more and more difficult objectives.

K –  KEEP trying is my personal motto. If at first you don’t succeed…

L – Mistakes are a part of LEARNING. How boring would it be if you could do everything perfectly the first time you tried?

M – My brain is like a MUSCLE; work makes it stronger. And who doesn’t love the idea of a big, beautiful muscular brain?

N – My NEURONS are firing and brain is growing. Your brain is a miraculous organ. At no point in your life is it ever completely silent. When you are learning, new pathways are being created that will last a lifetime.

O – There is always another OPPORTUNITY. You may not get to go back in time and redo this very minute, but you will always be able to create other opportunities to try again.

P – My goal is PROGRESS, not perfection. Are you better today than you were before? You’re moving in the right direction!

Q – I ask QUESTIONS when I don’t understand. The greatest thinkers of our day made incredible, life-altering discoveries by first asking questions. It’s a great place to start on your journey!

R – I am RESILIENT. Being resilient is more than bouncing back after a setback. It’s bouncing back even better than before!

S – Struggling makes me STRONGER. Frederick Douglass once said, “Without struggle there is no progress.”

T – I keeping TRYING until I get it. Trying isn’t a half-hearted effort, it’s giving everything you’ve got even if you aren’t sure you’ll succeed.

U – I take time to UNDERSTAND my feelings. In today’s fast-paced world it’s sometimes hard to sit and evaluate why we are feeling the way we are. But pausing and understanding our feelings help us recognize when we are frustrated, when we need to take a step back, when we are ready to take on a new challenge, and when we need a rest.

V –  I will have VICTORY over my circumstances. You are more than the product of where you have come from. Even if your home life isn’t ideal, that doesn’t mean you can’t be successful.

W – WORK is my path to achievement. The only place success comes before work is in the dictionary.

X –  A little eXtra effort will yield big results. Even if you are ready to quit, giving a little more of yourself may be the push you need to get over this hurdle.

Y – I haven’t figured it out YET. There is power in the word “yet”. I don’t know how – yet. I don’t have the skills – yet.

Z –  I am ZEALOUS about learning new things. Zeal is great energy or enthusiasm. When you are zealous, you approach learning new things with excitement!

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5 thoughts on “The ABCs of Making Mistakes with a Growth Mindset (Free Printable)!”

  1. I keep checking on my assumptions! This would make a great addition to your list as it is vital to keep growing out of our own assumptions & judgement that we invariably keep doing each day.

  2. I am loving your tips and suggestions on how to help our children feel less anxious, as it is also helping me at the same time. Thank you

  3. Hello, can I ask as a teacher would you give me permission to use this chart to create a set of STICKERS?

    I am a primary schools computing curriculum specialist teacher and youngsters really get hung up on making mistakes, my point is this is a programming error. It is an opportunity to exercise your brain, build resilience and learn.

    I was thinking next time a pupil comes to me ready to give in I could ask them to look at your poster to find a letter that will help them through their challenge – give it to them as a sticker to help them return to their task and keep going.

    Would you please give me permission, totally non-profit and only for learning use permission to use your graphics to create a set of stickers please?

  4. Thank you so much! I LOVE this! I will be tying each growth mindset ABC into our letter studies in pre-kindergarten. My aide will be punching out letters in each respective color and adding eyes. I will create the thought bubble wording, and we will use this as decoration for our classroom door. We will be sure to tell EVERYONE where we found this wonderful resource. I would also LOVE to see each letter as a single image, in addition to the poster. They’d be nice to have as single-focus cards. Thank you again!


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