Monday, June 12, 2017

Teaching Students the16 Habits of Mind

Teaching Students the 16 Habits of Mind

In order to promote perseverance, insightfulness, creativity, and strategic reasoning, many experts have now identified 16 key skills known as ‘Habits of Mind’. When students learn these skills and then apply them moving forward, it allows them the ability to deal with real-life situations and end up with the desired positive outcome. Below, you can see these habits of mind listed! (After Arthur L. Costa and Bena Kallick, Habits of Mind: A Developmental Series, Copyright © 2000

STOPPING THE OPT-OUT MINDSET and LEARNED HELPLESSSNES! Maladaptive and dysfunctional thinking leads to fear, anxiety, pessimism, and self-dought. Students need a sense of mastery, confidence, and perseverance. Our students may not have the positive Habits of Mind that they need to cope with and adapt to our stress-inducing educational climate. 


I Think Before I Act?
Not At All/Occasionally/Frequently/All of the Time
1 2 3 4  


Managing Impulsivity - Rather than making snap decisions or automatically reacting physically or mentally, you need to STOP, be mindful of the moment, slow down and think before you speak or act out of habit. Even when going through the toughest challenges, stay calm and proceed with a mindful clarity of thought and action. Caution my classroom is a "No Opt-Out Zone." Students that are anxious, fearful, doubt themselves, or have developed learned helplessness may have the impulse to shut down, opt-out, and or just say, "I can't do this". Use the ask-teach-ask model to create a "Habits of Mind" dialectic.  Openly talk about the habits of mind and show students how to monitor thoughts and emotions that may trigger negative reactions and impulses. 


Mindful students' are happy, focused, engaged, demonstrate self-persuasion, impulse control, resilient, intrinsically motivated, emotionally grounded, centered, more curiouse, and academically successful.
Reference - Impulsivity (or impulsiveness) is a multifactorial construct that involves a tendency to act on a whim, displaying behavior characterized by little or no forethought, reflection, or consideration of the consequences.

I Am Persistent?
Not At All/Occasionally/Frequently/All of the Time
1 2 3 4 

Persisting - No matter what happens, you must stick to the task and never give up. Setting SMART goals with your students daily. weekly, or monthly that spell out explicit daily task will help students build persistence and sticktoitiveness. 
Reference - Persistence refers to perseverance in task, thoughts, or actions in spite of fatigue, setbacks, or frustration. Persistence can also be measured as the time invested in staying on task.
You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated. In fact, it may be necessary to encounter the defeats, so you can know who you are, what you can rise from, how you can still come out of it. Maya Angelou

I Am a Flexible Thinker?
Not At All/Occasionally/Frequently/All of the Time
1 2 3 4 

Flexibility in Thinking - After considering others’ opinions and ideas, be ready and willing to change your perspective and outlook. A Socratic mindset is simply ask-think-ask-rethink about new ideas and opinions that you are exposed to, with the fixability to think in new ways. Students use flexible thinking to learn new concepts and make connections with prior learning. Flexible thinking is critical to building competent background knowledge

Discovery consists of seeing what everybody has seen and thinking what nobody else has thought. Albert Szent-Gyorgyi
Reference- Cognitive flexibility has been described as the mental ability to switch between thinking about two different concepts, and to think about multiple concepts simultaneously.



I Listen to Understand?
Not At All/Occasionally/Frequently/All of the Time
1 2 3 4

Listen for Understanding with Empathy in Mind - "Pay Attention," "Stop Talking," or "Let's Get Focused Please" are on a teacher's verbal redial all day in a classroom where students do not have the "listen for understanding" habit of mind!  Nowadays, students tend to listen only if verbally prodded or put of fear to answer a pop question posed by the teacher, but empathetic listening purely for the goal of understanding is not practiced; this includes students mentally putting themselves in the shoes of others and appreciating their perspective. Give special attention "mindfulness" to new ideas by front loading positive or reflective mental questions, "why are these ideas important to me?", "if I dismiss or invalidate another person's ideas, opinions, or feelings, what negative habit of mind is interfering ?" Mental Mantra: When I give thoughts, feeling, opinions, and ideas of others significance, I become wise and learn powerful strategies.  

Reference - Listening for understanding is an attitude. The learner's effectiveness in personal life and in work depends on the ability to listen. The listener's purpose is to get a clear picture of what the speaker is saying. This message is revealed through the speaker's eyes, facial expressions, voice, emotions, and words.
Listen with curiosity. Speak with honesty. Act with integrity. The greatest problem with communication is we don’t listen to understand. We listen to reply. When we listen with curiosity, we don’t listen with the intent to reply. We listen for what’s behind the words.” ― Roy T. Bennett



I Am Authentic and Precise in my Actions?
Not At All/Occasionally/Frequently/All of the Time
1 2 3 4 


Clarity and Precision of Thoughts and Words - When thinking, writing and speaking, always strive for clarity; this means removing distortions, generalizations, minimization, exaggerations, omissions, and cognitive bias. Also, aim for accuracy in both your thinking and communication with others. Precise language is the use of precise nouns and realistic verbs that help you create a clear mental picture and idea.

Reference- A cognitive bias refers to the systematic pattern of deviation from norm or rationality in judgment, whereby inferences about other people and situations may be drawn in an illogical fashion. Individuals create their own "subjective social reality" from their perception of the input.

Take advantage of every opportunity to practice your communication skills so that when important occasions arise, you will have the gift, the style, the sharpness, the clarity, and the emotions to affect other people. Jim Rohn

I Am Reflective and Mindful of my Thoughts?
Not At All/Occasionally/Frequently/All of the Time
1 2 3 4 

Metacognition - Despite the fancy sounding word, this means you must always think about your own thinking; be aware of your thoughts at all times as well as your actions, reactions, and or intentions. Always consider and be mindful of the decisions or reactions you are making based on your thoughts and how they may impact others. Unchecked thoughts can trigger negative feelings and or reactions. The unexamined thought, feeling, decision, and or reaction may be the cause regret, poor judgment, or fear. Being mindful of what I think, feel, say and do affects me and others in positive or negative ways. Mental Mantra: I am mindful of the consequence of my choices on myself and others. 

Reference - Metacognition is "cognition about cognition", "thinking about thinking","knowing about knowing", becoming "aware of one's awareness" and higher-order thinking skills. The term comes from the root word meta, meaning "beyond". Metacognition can take many forms; it includes knowledge about when and how to use particular strategies for learning or for problem-solving. There are generally two components of metacognition: knowledge about cognition, and regulation of cognition
Simple shifts in points of view can open doors to expansions of consciousness as easily as rigid dispositions can close hearts and minds to such elevated awareness. It generally depends on whether you allow fear and anger to rule your actions or whether you give wisdom, courage, and compassion the authority to do so.”Aberjhani


I See the World as Brilliant and Beautiful?
Not At All/Occasionally/Frequently/All of the Time
1 2 3 4 


Responding with Wonderment and Awe - Be open to the wonders of the world and allow yourself to feel awestruck by the vastness and the beauty held within. Seek what is awe inspiring, unexpected, and fascinating in your world. Take time daily to stop and smell the roses, be inspired by the world's magnificent beauty. We withdraw from the world, keeping ourselves busy and distracted, missing the simple beauty of a sunset or a smile. When we walk in grace and give mindful attentiveness to the wonders around us we gain gratitude for ourselves and others. Writing down daily what is awe-inspiring, unexpected, and fascinating in your world can deeply touch your mind, heart, and soul. Be open and authentic with all beings coming or going, and seek with a curious heart, mind, and soul to be inspired by the world, yourself, and others. Mental Mantra: When surprises appear, I will pause and savor them and appreciate others.


To see a World in a Grain of Sand

And a Heaven in a Wild Flower,
Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand
And Eternity in an hour.”William Blake



I Question Everything and Seek Better Solutions?
Not At All/Occasionally/Frequently/All of the Time
1 2 3 4 


Questioning and posing problems - Develope a questioning mindset, the best way to understand something is to keep asking questions. Ask questions concerning everything that is challenging to your understanding, pose problems and find solutions for complex issues using a Socratic process. Whatever you’re doing, keep questioning your reasoning and build a solid foundation for your Socratic thinking. Asking questions helps focus the mind and Socratic questions help students develop critical thinking skills. Think and pose questions like "Socrates" using logic and deduction to dig deeper into the truth. By doing this, you will learn to overcome challenges by identifying the right strategy and steps to take to meet your goals. Determan the relevant data that is needed to help refine your questions, seek questions and strategies to help you get to the heart of the matter, and consider obstructions that may be hindering your thoughts, actions, and or success.  and adapt your solution as things change.

I think it's very important to have a feedback loop, where you're constantly thinking about what you've done and how you could be doing it better. I think that's the single best piece of advice: constantly think about how you could be doing things better and questioning yourself. Elon Musk



I Seek Accuracy and Truth in Myself?
Not At All/Occasionally/Frequently/All of the Time
1 2 3 4 

Accuracy - In your work and personal life, always check for errors twice and ensure you’re accurate in everything you do. As the old adage goes, "measure twice and cut once", because when we make an improper cut, the piece of wood is unusable. So, the little saying is about wasted effort and wasted resources. Over time, you will develop a natural and healthy desire for accuracy and craft. 

The perfection of style consists in the use of the exact speech necessary to convey the sense in the fewest words consistent with perspicuity (freedom from obscurity), at the same time having regard to appropriateness and harmony of expression. Its greater excellencies are directness, accuracy, appropriateness and perspicuity. Joseph P. Bradley

I Seek Wisdom and Knowledge?
Not At All/Occasionally/Frequently/All of the Time
1 2 3 4

Applying Past Knowledge to (Building and Adapting Wisdom) New Situations - Use your past mistakes, successes, experiences, and prior knowledge as your guide to meet new challenges. Learning, understanding, and developing critical thinking and wisdom is about making connections. Making an education meaningful and relevant starts with connecting classroom skills and concepts to real-life problems and solutions.  Every day, we will face new and different problems and situations to the ones we've encountered before, it is our wisdom that helps use adapt.  But that’s not to say that seeking and asking others to share their past experience and knowledge, is also important in helping you to find patterns, similarities, and solutions to problems that arise. With this, use your past knowledge and other experience to overcome any current challenges. 

By three methods we may learn wisdom: First, by reflection, which is noblest; Second, by imitation, which is easiest; and third by experience, which is the bitterest. Confucius



I Actively Seek Humor and a Chance to Laugh?
Not At All/Occasionally/Frequently/All of the Time
1 2 3 4 


Finding Humor - Be willing to laugh at yourself and share with your students the things that make you laugh; we all have a unique sense of humor so find what makes your students laugh and feel joy! Be whimsical, absurd, ironic, silly and approachable to your students. Laughter is a powerful somatic quieting exercise to relieve stress, fear, and anxiety.

Reference - Laughter has proven beneficial effects on various other aspects of biochemistry. It has been shown to lead to reductions in stress hormones such as cortisol and epinephrine. When laughing the brain also releases endorphins that can relieve some physical pain. Laughter also boosts the number of antibody-producing cells and enhances the effectiveness of T-cells, leading to a stronger immune system. A 2000 study found that people with heart disease were 40 percent less likely to laugh and be able to recognize humor in a variety of situations, compared to people of the same age without heart disease.
Laughter is important, not only because it makes us happy, it also has actual health benefits. And that's because laughter completely engages the body and releases the mind. It connects us to others, and that in itself has a healing effect. Marlo Thomas

I Work with Collaborative Teams?
Not At All/Occasionally/Frequently/All of the Time
1 2 3 4 

Interdependent Thinking (synergy) - Urge yourself to work in collaborative teams whenever posable, seek a positive dialogue that helps everyone work through problems, and listen to the input and perspective of others; even if you disagree or have a slightly different solution or opinion, be willing to listen and appreciate what others have to say. Empathetic listening to understand and giving mindful thought to your interactions or intentions when you share differing views is key for positive outcomes. All students can work more efficiently, learn deeper, and problem-solve better when cooperative guidelines, agendas, and plans are followed. Thinking interdependently helps everyone develop greater wisdom, critical thinking, and allows for a deeper understanding that comes from seeing multiple perspectives. 

Every human has four endowments - self awareness, conscience, independent will and creative imagination. These give us the ultimate human freedom... The power to choose, to respond, to change. Stephen Covey



I Stop and Smell the Roses?
Not At All/Occasionally/Frequently/All of the Time
1 2 3 4 


Gathering Data Through All Senses - Use all your senses to connect, understand, and appreciate your world. Throughout your day STOP and connect with the world through your senses, what do you hear, smell, see, taste, and touch? Be mindful, observing all your senses intentionally, this will help you live life a little more fully, you start becoming aware of what is amazing around you on a daily basis and you will become more grateful. When we close off from the world, or we stop connecting with the world around us we feel less attached and grounded. Everyone needs a sense of belonging, when we feel connected, we are more engaged and are better at adapting and coping with problems. 

Observe, record, tabulate, communicate. Use your five senses. Learn to see, learn to hear, learn to feel, learn to smell, and know that by practice alone you can become expert. William Osler

I Intentionally Get out of my Comfort Zone?
Not At All/Occasionally/Frequently/All of the Time
1 2 3 4 

Taking Responsible Risks - Schooling means you will try out new ideas, be challenged, and push through difficult tasks, and this part of getting a great education. Taking risk means failure and setbacks, you’re response to these barriers is the key to your success. Your outlook on failure, risk, and persistence say more than your aptitude. Life is always spicier when you try new and different skills or learn new interesting concept. In life, we have a fear of failure but this fear is completely unnecessary if the risks we take are measured and safe (despite being complex and difficult). Face your fears and anxiety by developing coping and adaptive skills that help you persist and overcome barriers. Failure is proof that you tried, and it's time to go try 100 more times, or if you're Thomas Edison 1,000 more times.



The biggest risk is not taking any risk... In a world that changing really quickly, the only strategy that is guaranteed to fail is not taking risks. Mark Zuckerberg

I Am Imaginative, Curious and Innovative?
Not At All/Occasionally/Frequently/All of the Time

1 2 3 4 

Creating, Imagining, Innovating, [and Curiousity] - Take the lead, be bold, following or doing the "norm" can leave you at the bottom or if your lucky the middle, NEVER the top, always step outside this fixed mindset box and be different. Make the decision to aim for originality and propose new ideas. Be bold, stop what you know is NOT WORKING and make innovation your mantra! Also consider asking the questions no one wants to ask and be honest with the data you find. Use that data from your questions to make real change and always consider what others might think. 

The United States is the most innovative country in the world. But our leadership could slip away if we fail to properly fund primary, secondary and higher education. Jeff Bingaman

I Am a Scholar and Researcher?
Not At All/Occasionally/Frequently/All of the Time
1 2 3 4

Always Be Open to Learning - Finally, and perhaps most importantly of all, stay curious, be open, be authentic, seek to continue your learning throughout your life, utilizing all of the habits above. If you don’t know something, be proud enough to admit it before moving forward and learning that new skill or seeking to understand something new. Stay curious and welcome new ideas, opinions, and information on all subjects.

Habits of Mind is knowing how to behave intelligently when you DON'T know the answer. It means having a disposition toward behaving intelligently when confronted with problems, the answers to which are not immediately known: dichotomies, dilemmas, enigmas and uncertainties.Arthur L. Costa, Ed. D.

[PDF]The 16 Habits of Mind identified by Costa and Kallick include:
Arthur L. Costa, Ed. D. and Bena Kallick, Ph.D. By definition, a problem is any stimulus, question, task, phenomenon, or discrepancy, the explanation for which is not immediately known. ... Habits of Mind are performed in response to those questions and problems the answers to which are NOT immediately known.

[PDF]16 Habits of Mind
(After Arthur L. Costa and Bena Kallick, Habits of Mind: A Developmental ... The Habits of Mind are an identified set of 16 problem solving, life related skills, ...

Listening for Understanding 2-2 1/2 hours. No communication skill is more important than listening. We spend more time listening than doing any other activity ..

Quotes regularly published at www.facebook.com/habitsofmind ... "Discovery consists of seeing what everybody has seen and thinking what nobody has thought." ... may be presumed not to have lost their flexibility, is the art of handling the ...

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