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

Laney Kennedy

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With kids spending more time at home and virtual learning becoming more important than ever this school year, 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 a lifelong learner. 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 throughout the year!

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!

List of 10 growth mindset vs. fixed mindset statements

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

Below are some examples of what a student on either side of the spectrum might believe.

If a student has a fixed mindset, they might believe:

  • Their abilities are fixed traits
  • Their achievement comes from natural intelligence or talent
  • If they fail, it's because they're not good at the subject

If a student has a growth mindset, they might believe:

  • Their abilities are able to develop with time, experience and effort
  • Their achievement comes from hard work and trying new learning methods
  • If they fail, it's because they 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 printable for kids

Or try using printables, like this one from 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. 

"The power of YET" poster

Tip: try putting this poster from TidyLady Printables up in your home!

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.

Tip: use this printable from Apples and Bananas Education to help your child keep their goals SMART!

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 Math Game can help, since it's proven to 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 grow and learn in an engaging and fun way, instead of frustrated or math anxious

Example of Prodigy Math Game's gameplay experience for players

Prodigy offers every child a personalized learning experience. Your child will receive curriculum-aligned questions tailored to their exact learning strengths and needs, and can progress through these questions 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!

View of the Goal Progress tool in Prodigy's parent account

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. 

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.

Set a Goal now!

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! 

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!