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How to Use Prodigy to Promote a Growth Mindset in Your Child

Laney Kennedy

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  • Prodigy School

With recent school closures leading to more time at home, parents like you probably want to keep their children motivated and self-reliant when it comes to learning. 

While you’re helping your child learn from home, promote a growth mindset to help them become lifelong learners. Not only will their learning skills improve, but they’ll actually enjoy learning more. 

We’ll show you how to use Prodigy to promote a growth mindset in your child, preparing them to learn and achieve more when they return to school!

Growth mindset definition 

First, let’s talk about what it means to have a growth mindset

Already familiar with growth mindsets? Feel free to skip to this section and find out how Prodigy can help!

fixed-mindset-vs.-growth-mindset
Image source: One Time Through

The concept, which has become increasingly important to teachers in their classrooms, was first popularized by Stanford University Professor Carol Dweck

Dweck argues that the way students perceive their ability to learn falls somewhere between a fixed and growth mindset

Here’s an example of what a student on either side of the spectrum might believe:

I have a: My abilities are:My achievement comes from: If I fail, it’s because:
Fixed mindsetFixed traitsNatural intelligence or talentI’m not good at this subject
Growth mindsetAble to develop with time, experience and effortHard work and trying new learning methodsI need to learn more and try harder next time

To develop a growth mindset, students must understand they’re not just “born smart.” Instead, their efforts and actions can impact their growth. 

And it’s true! Research shows growth mindsets keep students intrinsically motivated to put effort into school work and positively affect educational performance. This intrinsic motivation impacts how we think and, ultimately, our overall growth. 

How to teach kids about growth mindsets

Want to help your child understand what it means to have a growth mindset? Try these three tips: 

1. Teach them how it works

Tell your child all about how their brain makes new connections every time they learn. When they realize effort actually helps their brains grow so they can achieve more, they might be more willing to try! 

Tip: Show your child how neural connections work with something concrete to help them understand, like drawing or using LEGO.

growth-mindset-posters
Image source: Big Life Journal

2. Model growth mindset thinking

Model a growth mindset in your own daily life and encourage your child to follow your example. 

One way you can do this is to promote the power of YET in your household. Kids will notice this simple change in language more than you’d think!

If a task frustrates you, for example, replace “I can’t do this” with “I can’t do this yet.” This shows your child that you believe you can achieve things with effort and persistence. 

growth-mindset-activities
Image source: TidyLady Printables

3. Help them create SMART goals

Work with your child to create realistic goals for improvement. This will give them an idea of where to focus their efforts, so they can work toward positive growth! 

To be SMART, the goal must be: 

  • Strategic — Target a specific area you want to improve. Think about exactly what you want to accomplish and why. 
  • Measurable — Make sure you can measure your progress and specify how.
  • Achievable/Attainable  — Make your goal realistic, so you can take steps to reach it. Don’t make it too easy or too difficult. 
  • Relevant — Ask whether the goal is relevant to what you want to accomplish. If your goals is to improve a specific skill, it must be relevant to a certain area.
  • Timely/Time-bound — Set a timeline for when you’d like to achieve your goal. 

For example, a SMART goal your child makes might look like this: 

By the end of the month, I will be able to round two-digit numbers to the nearest 10th without hints, getting the correct answer at least 9 out of 10 times.

How to use Prodigy to promote a growth mindset 

Once you’ve covered the basics, how can you make sure your child continues to build a growth mindset?  

Prodigy can help! 

According to a recent study by Johns Hopkins University, Prodigy can boost learning outcomes and math achievement

This is because the more your child plays Prodigy, the more our adaptive algorithm adjusts to their specific learning needs, so they can achieve growth while being engaged and excited instead of frustrated or math anxious

Prodigy offers every child a personalized learning experience. They receive curriculum-aligned questions tailored to their exact learning strengths and needs, and can progress at their own pace. This helps ensure they stay motivated to keep learning and growing.

So, the best way to use Prodigy to promote a growth mindset? Encourage your child to play! 

Here are the two best ways to encourage more math practice in Prodigy: 

1. Set Goals and send Rewards 

Give your child new Goals and Rewards to keep them motivated to learn!  

Goals are a valuable tool to encourage your child to answer more questions and help them succeed. Instead of feeling discouraged when they get math questions wrong, they’ll be invested in completing their goal and want to keep trying!

Here’s how to set a new Goal: 

  1. Log in or sign up for your free parent account on Prodigy.
  2. Select the child you want to set a Goal for.
  3. In the Goal overview section of your dashboard, select Set a Goal and specify the number of questions you want your child to answer correctly. 
  4. Check back in your dashboard or Goal Progress report anytime to see how they’re progressing. 
How to set a new goal in Prodigy

When your child’s Goal is complete, you’ll be prompted to send them a reward for all their hard work! Select Send a Reward in the Goal overview section of your dashboard and they’ll receive an awesome in-game prize.

PS. Don’t forget to support your child’s learning progress using your parent reports to ensure learning continues and growth mindsets continue to thrive! 

2. Motivate them more with a Premium Membership!

Premium Memberships are the easiest and quickest way to level up engagement and inspire your child to improve their math skills! 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=52Akn3BOL08

Your Premium Membership unlocks exclusive in-game benefits: new pets and pet transformations, members-only items, full access to game areas and more! 

This empowers your child to: 

  • Master more math skills
  • Spend more time practicing math
  • Answer more curriculum-aligned math questions

More practice = more confidence!

The more empower your child to play Prodigy, the more they’ll realize that with practice and effort, they can achieve learning goals and get better at math. (While having lots of fun — bonus!)

Become a premium member today

How do you promote a growth mindset at home? Let us know in the comments below.