How PBIS Can Help Positive Student Growth Mindset

How PBIS Can Help Positive Student Growth Mindset

PBIS philosophy is to empower students by teaching specific behaviors to succeed both academically and socially. We communicate to students that their effort and actions are recognized and rewarded, not their innate talents, skills, and IQ. This allows for all students to be successful and operate with a growth mindset. 

Schools that are efficient and seasoned in PBIS are able to use their PBIS system and Kickboard to empower students rather than just controlling and monitoring behaviors. 

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Here are some ways that schools can use their PBIS system to help students cultivate their growth mindsets.

Recognize Student Academic Effort

The biggest goal for students to build a growth mindset is that they cultivate agency in themselves to continue to persevere in the face of adversity or challenges. Teachers can use opportunities to help foster this growth mindset with how they implement their PBIS system and track behaviors with Kickboard. 

Teachers can reward points for times when students show perseverance in their thinking and academic work. This can be effective for students who also struggle with their behavior but are showing growth in their thinking and speaking about their behaviors. 

Use a “Not Yet” Mental Framework

Teachers should model how to speak to ourselves and others using a growth mindset for students to see it in action and can then emulate it. When students are struggling and say they can’t do something, the teacher could immediately restate that and say, “It is NOT YET!” 

An easy way to help students reframe their thinking to this growth mindset statement is to award Kickboard points to students who say “not yet” on their own. 

Scaffold Difficult Tasks into Chunks for Students

Teachers can assign difficult tasks and chunk it into parts for students. Teachers can use Kickboard points for students showing growth in each part of the difficult task. Even if the final product isn’t completely correct, students should be recognized for the growth they made along the way. 

This will help students see how they are excelling in their thinking and problem solving and not to give up just because something seems daunting. Recognizing effort with something difficult will help students with problem solving skills as they grow into adults and in their careers. 

Practice how to Accept & Use Constructive Criticism for Improvement

PBIS can help students learn how to hear, accept, and use constructive criticism for improvement. A lot of adults were never taught or did not practice this skill before and can struggle with receiving constructive feedback. The biggest part of being able to use feedback for improvement is if a student is using a growth mindset instead of a fixed mindset. 

A fixed mindset would sound like, “This is just how I am. This is how I’ve always been. I can’t change that. I wasn’t born with those skills or abilities.” Part of our job as educators is to help our students flip the script in their head and say, “This is how you have been and we can change it because you can always improve and grow.” Again, use Kickboard or your PBIS tracking system for students who are able to take constructive criticism and make corrections to their behavior, speech, or academic effort.

Analyze Performance & Self Identify Glow & Growth Areas 

Building on accepting constructive criticism, an important skill for students to learn and develop their growth mindset is for them to analyze their own performance and identify the areas they did well in and the areas that need improvement. Being able to do this for ourselves is important for constant growth and development. Students need to be taught the skill of analyzing their performance and actions without attacking their own character, worth, inherent abilities and more. 

The SEED School of Miami conducts Student Data Days as a recurring activity that teaches students the skills of reflecting and analyzing their academic and behavior data in order to plan for continuous improvement. Students attend sessions in which they review their grades, assessment scores, and behaviors logged in Kickboard. They identify areas of strength, areas of growth, and trends within their own personal data. At the end of the sessions, students write action plans detailing proactive steps that they will take based on their data analysis to ensure sustained personal growth and identify support figures within the school who can help keep them on track to reach their goal.

Redefine Defeat or Failures as Learning Opportunities

This skill is especially powerful for students who struggle with effort, engagement, or finding joy in academic tasks. Holding conversations with students and breaking down when they begin to feel defeated, deflated, or want to check out of a task as well as the triggers behind that event could help them overcome defeatist mentalities. Students can acknowledge when they feel fear, fear of failure, defeat, and more and the teacher can intervene in that moment and help them restructure how they are thinking to persevere through the hard task. 

Teachers could assign a writing task for students to complete after assessments or difficult content taught in class on what they learned and how they are going to apply that learning in the future. Teachers can spotlight different students who show growth and great reflection on their learning opportunities and reward with PBIS points. 

Kickboard is a tool that supports schoolwide PBIS and helps educators teach behaviors as skills, recognize and reward them for their efforts, and celebrate growth and success.