SLPs Love Tips & Tricks (Guest Blogger Series): Growth Mindset

Today I have Marisha from Road to Speech sharing a fascinating topic and how she uses it in her therapy room!

The concept of growth mindset is taking the education field by storm, and the same can be true for SLPs and speech therapy! Our guest blogger shares how she works on instilling a growth mindset in her speech students in this post, so click through to get her tips!

Hi! I'm so excited to be guest blogging today. I'm Marisha from Road to Speech. I'll be sharing three quick and easy tools that I use to help my students with communication disorders learn about growth mindset. Before I share these strategies, I want to give you a little background on growth mindset.

What is growth mindset?

Growth mindset is all about how we perceive our abilities. Instead of thinking that we are smart or “not smart” (fixed mindset), people with a growth mindset believe that intelligence can be developed. Mindset can be applied to a variety of skills—not just intelligence (e.g., math, reading, social skills, basketball, etc.). If you want to read more, check out Mindset: The New Psychology of Success by Dr. Carol Dweck, a psychology professor at Stanford University. She explains more of what this mindset looks like, reviews the research behind it, and gives ideas on how we can use this mindset to help our students. Amazing read!

Why growth mindset in speech?

Given my students’ speech/language disabilities, many components of school are challenging. Each and every one of my students has a unique set of skills and strengths, however, it is easy for students with communication challenges to give up on school. I saw it happen again and again, and I knew something had to be done. I started “piloting” growth mindset talk in my speech therapy room and saw amazing results. Students were becoming more engaged and making progress, and teachers started noticing changes too. It wasn’t the “perfect solution” for all of my students, but it was definitely a step in the right direction.

I have found that talking about creating roads in our brains resonates with my students, and these are the tools that I use to help illustrate that point.

Note: What I tell students about their brains is not 100% accurate. It is neurologically based, but I took some “creative license” to make the lessons more imageable and relatable for my students. 

{1} Drawings

Quick and easy! We draw pictures of the “smooth” and “rough” roads in our brains.

The concept of growth mindset is taking the education field by storm, and the same can be true for SLPs and speech therapy! Our guest blogger shares how she works on instilling a growth mindset in her speech students in this post, so click through to get her tips!
{2} Play Doh
My students create their own brain models as we talk about ways to “grow our brains.”
The concept of growth mindset is taking the education field by storm, and the same can be true for SLPs and speech therapy! Our guest blogger shares how she works on instilling a growth mindset in her speech students in this post, so click through to get her tips!

{3} Obstacle Courses
So that students can really experience smooth vs. rough roads, I grab a handful of rocks and sticks from outside. We set up a road and drive a toy car through it. Then we talk about what we can do to “clear” the road (e.g., practicing, asking for help, implementing strategies) and remove the obstacles as we talk. For extra fun, we create a “life size” obstacle course (using chairs, books, blind folds, etc.). We again remove obstacles as we talk about the different strategies that we can use the build our brains.
The concept of growth mindset is taking the education field by storm, and the same can be true for SLPs and speech therapy! Our guest blogger shares how she works on instilling a growth mindset in her speech students in this post, so click through to get her tips!

If you want to hear more about how I implement growth mindset in my speech therapy sessions, check out my blog at www.roadtospeech.com. You can even find a video of one version of the “brain talk” I give students!

Are you looking for another post to read about mindset in speech? Check out this one!