teenage students in a classroomFrom Mindset Works, the story of middle school Music Director Julie Ahlorn who puts the concept of a growth mindset into actions.  The story says:

“At the beginning of the year I tell students I am going to give them a gift. I give them a written theory assessment and sight-reading playing test. I give them this test at the beginning of the year knowing that most likely they will struggle and fail because this test is everything they should know in orchestra by the end of their 8th grade year. I tell them I don’t grade them on this test because it is for them to learn from. I want them to see where they are now and where they can be in 9 months or 18 months. I give them their same test back at the end of the year and have them fill in the parts of the test they didn’t answer and correct any questions they got wrong with a different colored pen. I also have them sight-read a piece they will learn at the end of the year at the back of the book. I video each individual student playing this piece. Many can hardly play it. When I have them play it at the end of the year it is easy for them and they play it with ease. Again, I don’t do this to make them feel like failures but to prove a point at the end of the year. I want them to see how much they have learned and that hard work and practice pay off! I ask them what is going to happen between now (the beginning of the year) and when they do this test at the end of the year. I point out “A lot of hard work and practice!”…”

Read the full story at Watch Growth Minded Middle School-ers in Action!