Confidence, resilience and perseverance are essential traits that cannot be “downloaded” or instilled.
A visual tool that I created and like to share with educators or parents is the POWER UP! Meter. It helps find a starting place for a learner to develop these 3 essential learning traits.
Ask, “What are you thinking?” , “I can’t”, “I’ll try” or “I can do that!”
A learner thinks about what they are thinking,
and how it affects their effort.
The three bars depicted help visualize how learning energy increases as we shift our thinking from “I can’t” to “I’ll try”. We have the most energy when we tell ourselves, “I Can Do That!” Just as with exercise, the more effort we put into doing it, the more our overall energy increases.
A teacher or parent can explain:
Everyone needs learning energy when they work at “hard stuff”.
It’s not unusual or bad to think, “I can’t do this” if something is difficult, but it is not ok to get stuck there. Think , “What’s making this difficult, and what can I do to make it easier!”
A learner’s response provides teachers with a “real-time” assessment for differentiating instruction and to determine if lesson plan modifications are needed.
Assess how capable and ready a learner feels.
Modify the approach if necessary.
A gradual shift of the responsibility for learning occurs if a teacher prompts the learner to think about what they can say or do to shift their thinking; what strategies will help them get past any obstacles and get them closer to their goal? What strategies will keep them stay fully charged?
The Red, Blue and Yellow stars suggest corresponding strategies that I teach to help students shift from “I can’t” to “I’ll try” and to develop an “I can do that!” mindset. The strategy names are one or two words, such as FOCUS, and are either red, blue or yellow to indicate when they may be most needed. They are accumulated as the learner shifts toward I Can Do That!
The POWER UP! Meter and strategies are included in the I Can Do That! Educator’s Kit. For more information about I Can Do That! Resources: www.icandothatkids.com