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Posts: 122
Reply with quote  #1 
How do you hope to implement “learning from failure” in your classroom?

Or if you already include this in your classroom, share an example of how "learning from failure" has been a success with your students.

Maggie Susong
ATPE Member Engagement Coordinator

Posts: 12
Reply with quote  #2 
I do an activity in math each Friday that I call Group Problem Solving.  The kids love it!  I will give them 5 very rigorous questions and as a group of 4, they are competing with other groups to solve the problems the quickest.  The team that answers the questions correct on the  first try gets 10 points, then 9 on the second try and so on.  Not only is it a great way to assess just by hearing what they know and don't know, it also throws some competition in the mix.  Here's how the learning from failure happens.  If the students answer the question incorrectly, then they have to go back to their group and find a different way to correctly answer the question.  Team members try new strategies and think their thought processes out loud so the ret of the team and I can hear them.  Each group member is responsible for explaining their answer to me, so no one can just write down an answer and bring it to me.  This encourages different ways and views of thinking, all the time helping to move from a fixed mindset to a growth mindset.
Stacey Ward

Posts: 27
Reply with quote  #3 
I'd like to be able to show students that sometimes in order to become successful that failure can occur. Students would work in pairs to research someone they can relate to or are familiar with that didn't give up on their dream after having failed initially. This assignment will be modeled for students using people like Michael Jordan, Steven P. Jobs, or Howard Schultz. Students will create a presentation to reveal the failure of the person, how the person moved past the failure into success. Students will have a reflection piece where they orally discuss self to text connections, personal failures & why it's important to move past it. This exercise should help with the growth mindset.

Posts: 98
Reply with quote  #4 
The way I would implement learning from failure is to let students redo work that they did not do well on. If they score less than a 70 on an assignment they could have a chance to correct it for more credit. This would encourage them to try again so that they could learn from their mistakes.

Posts: 44
Reply with quote  #5 
I've done this several ways already, and hope to consciously find additional ways to encourage students.

When students do badly on an assignment or test (less than 70, usually), I allow them to re-do the assignment (after a bit of re-teaching, if necessary) to improve their grade. This hopefully helps them learn the material better and also allows them to approach each assignment with the knowledge that, if they fail, they will most likely get another chance.

In our social studies class, we often play a review game before tests.  Each student has to answer a question, but of they get it wrong, they can confer with their team and correct it. The team then gets half of the original points allotted for that question, instead of 0.

Another way I touch on learning from failure is in a biography project students complete in which they learn about a famous American. As part of their research, they have to identify hardships this person faced and overcame on their way to "success."  I think I'll focus on that part a bit more next year, helping the kids realize that even famous people failed many times before achieving something great.

I hope I have established a culture in the classroom in which student are not afraid to fail at something. I always encourage them to try again or try something new.


Posts: 14
Reply with quote  #6 
How do you hope to implement “learning from failure” in your classroom?

Or if you already include this in your classroom, share an example of how "learning from failure" has been a success with your students.

I believe that it is important for students to fail sometimes. It teaches them to learn from their mistakes and do better the next time. I want them to know it is okay to make mistakes. The key idea is to keep persevering and making an effort in order to grow and develop new skills.

I hope to help my students to be more intrinsically motivated to learn from failure and be successful. They must be guided by their own self-determination in an engaging activity. This is the best motivating factor. Students need to feel autonomous in their pursuits, but are still held accountable. Therefore, I need to engage students in challenging activities without coercion or guilt.

Laura Niehues

Posts: 19
Reply with quote  #7 

This fall, I would like discuss brain growth more often with my students, with regular reminders. I already talk to my classes about how your brain grows when you use it. Next I would like to mention the study which shows differences in brain signals when one recognizes and error then either learns from it or not.

One thing that I would like to strengthen healthy student participation during class because students learn when they explain themselves. Generally, I ask a student responding to a question and listen for an explanation. If incorrect, I try to lead the student to the idea with another question. The big challenge for me here is that students who come to a lesson already knowing the concept jump in without giving the learning student the chance to explain, reducing many opportunities to learn from a misunderstanding. I intend to be more explicit about talking out of turn rules and remind students of the benefits of being mistaken.

Tamra M.
M/S H/S Math Teacher

Posts: 42
Reply with quote  #8 
How do you hope to implement “learning from failure” in your classroom? 

Or if you already include this in your classroom, share an example of how "learning from failure" has been a success with your students.

When I taught secondary math classes in front of large groups I used to use "learning from failure" a lot.  We would review over missed math problems and discuss what students did incorrectly.  When reviewing over district practice exams and EOC missed problems we would also use it regularly.  We could compare percentages of missed problems and review over the most common errors discussing what students could have and should have done differently to be more successful.

Jennifer Goedken

Posts: 43
Reply with quote  #9 
In my guidance lessons I like to talk about sports where athletes have more failure than success. We talk about Michael Jordan and Stephen Curry.
S. Braddock

Posts: 27
Reply with quote  #10 
Since I am in all content area classrooms of middle school and work with all students as an inclusion teacher, I point out to students where they were and what they had learned during a unit of study based on their work ethic and what they put into their learning. With my special education students, I feel that this is a constant with them as many have families that do not have a growth mindset. Nonetheless, I use many real life stories of peoples lives that they can relate to, some personal, of how they can, with hard work and effort, persevere through difficult times. I say times, because with many students, not only special ed, struggle with  a whole array of "things" while in school. These range from educational, personal, athletic, etc...The goal is to teach them that when life gets tough to think it through and that THEY need to get "tougher". 
Sherry Ayres

Posts: 26
Reply with quote  #11 
I do use the "learn from failure" with my kids.  I start by saying that if they do everything correctly the first time then there is no need for me to be in the classroom and they are free to advance to 3rd grade.  That sets the tone that there is always something that can be worked on to make them a better student, and me a better teacher.  One strategy I like to do with my kids, after they look at their grades is to have them go back and correct mistakes.  There are a few that think since they only missed 1 or 2 questions that it isn't important.  I let them know that it is important to make sure that they don't make that same mistake on a future assignment.  What they do find out that they marked an answer incorrectly, or even sometimes didn't mark an answer at all.  They are learning to become critical test takers and learning the importance of double checking their work.  I even share with my students when I have to redo work.  It is a life skill that will be with them forever. 

Posts: 61
Reply with quote  #12 

Once students understand that it’s okay to make mistakes (“fail”), they will be more willing to take risks and try to do or learn new and harder skills.  As a vocational instructor, I don’t gives out grades.  In the end, the students must learn the material to complete the program.  We have set requirements that they must meet.  When they turn in an assignment, I’m looking for comprehension or a specific skill level.  I will work one-on-one with them, or have other students work with them, until they meet the requirements.  They are constantly encouraged to succeed.  As Gene Krantz, former NASA flight director, said about Apollo 13, "Failure is Not an Option!"  If the task wasn’t successful, they went back to the drawing board until they solved it.  I avoid using the word “fail”, but I totally agree with the importance of not being afraid to not succeed the first time.  I have a quote on my board that if you never go up to bat, you’ll never get a home run.  It’s a constant reminder to my students to try.  Only then can I help them succeed.


Posts: 89
Reply with quote  #13 

One of the first things I would do to implement “learning from failure” in my classroom would be to post quotes like the one Ricci included from Michael Jordan around the classroom.  As I read Mindsets in the Classroom, I continue to make connections to the book Outliers, by Malcom Gladwell.  He discussed several stories of how persistence and practice were what led to the success of people like Mozart and Bill Gates.  This supports a growth mindset in children.  Secondly, I would have an open dialogue throughout the school year about how our brains work and how we learn from our mistakes and failures, and how we (adults included) need to continue to practice to make new connections (neurons).  It would be fun to have students come up with a challenge/new learning experience for me to accomplish during the school year, like learning a foreign language, learning to play golf, learning homeopathy, fermenting various foods, chef knife skills, etc.  I could update them on my failures, struggles, and progress throughout the school year (focusing on how I learned from my errors of course). Modeling is so important for young minds.

One of the things I would continue to do daily as a teacher is to praise each student’s specific efforts, not focusing so much on the outcome.  Working toward each student feeling a personal satisfaction when they master a new skill would also be an emphasis.  In schools today, I notice a lot of extrinsic rewards given out and I know it’s done for the right reasons, but I worry it will diminish my children’s intrinsic motivation. 

As a science teacher, there are lots of activities I can set up for students to learn from failure! A great experiment I use early on in the school year that teaches proper laboratory procedures is a salt water density experiment where the object is to carefully make a rainbow out of different saltwater ratio made liquids (plus food dye).  In the past, I was the one that made the different density liquids (from heaviest to lightest so they would float on top of each other and make a rainbow).  The next time I use the experiment, I can change it to where each group of students has to figure out how much salt to use to create a density difference in their liquids.  There’s going to be lots of trial and error in that experiment (learning the scientific method along the way).  What a great way to teach how most science experiments are failures! This experiment changed from one of just testing out new skills to one that also makes students think critically.  


Posts: 49
Reply with quote  #14 

I think that my first job is to work with students to change they way that they view failure.  I need to help them see that it is not a sign of weakness, but a chance to make adjustments and learn from the situation.  I really believe that the most worthwhile accomplishments are the ones that we first failed at.  Success doesn't really mean anything unless it required effort to accomplish (and some failures along the way). 

I do not think that one failure should define our students, so I offer opportunities to redo work when students score lower than 70%.  I also do a bit of reteaching in the area that seemed to cause misunderstanding before they redo their work. 

I think Ricci is correct in saying that we need to prevent students from having a fear of failure that might lead to not trying difficult tasks.  I see this in high school where students sometimes stick to the easier level classes to avoid a damaging grade on their transcript. 


Posts: 5
Reply with quote  #15 
How do you hope to implement “learning from failure” in your classroom?

Or if you already include this in your classroom, share an example of how "learning from failure" has been a success with your students.

I have to admit that I have had to think about this one because I do grade myself as a teacher by how the passing grades my students earn. It is my inner drive that pushes me to pass and I push my students to only succeed. Thinking about this and with the Olympics taking place right now it has helped me to REALLY see that not everyone is a winner. Those who are not, right now a winner, can take this experience and grow from it.

What I want to do this year design a lesson around "How to deal with failure and turn it into Gold" Look at various segments of people who are winners now to look back and see that they were not and will not always be winners. How did they react, deal, change their mindset, implement a stronger strategy for change and then succeed.

I teach U.S. History and Federal Government. There are ample examples of this along with those who could not accept failure and where they ended up.
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