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Growth Mindset in Maths

Mistakes help you learn.
It’s a statement that can make you either celebrate or shudder, when you think of your own learning experiences. As a learner, when you look upon mistakes in this way, you start to relax into the learning process and recognise that it’s ok to not get things straight away. You learn to look for different ways to try things which means you naturally put in effort to persist and you build resilience skills to help you handle things not going perfectly the first time. There is a lot of research that states that the most permanent learning happens when children construct meaning for themselves and in mathematics, the best way for this to happen is for them to have time working on problems, without immediate help, so they can apply their skills and knowledge in new and creative ways. If you’d like to find out more about this, there are lots of fantastic articles and ideas at
It’s this type of thinking that our Palmwoods State School teachers and students are putting into practice across all our learning areas. A big focus for our Teacher Professional development this term is around applying this Growth Mindset thinking to Mathematics. We are working on creating interesting problems to pose to students to help them apply the skills they are developing and linking this to their personal learning goals.
How can I help at home?
* Involve your child in real world maths problems. Ask them help out with calculating or comparing prices while shopping, cook from recipes and involve them in doubling or halving the measurements
* Encourage your child to have a go first, without stepping in too quickly to help them. If they need some help, give them a tip first to get them started and let them continue to try it for themselves. If they get it quickly, look for ways to build in further challenge so your child gets a chance to learn something new.
* When giving praise to children, frame it in a way that praises their effort “Great work, you worked really hard on that problem and thought of an interesting way to solve it!”
If you have any questions about this, please don’t hesitate to talk to your child’s teacher or myself.
Happy Mathematics growing!
Kellie Martin
Head of Curriculum