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Posts: 63
Reply with quote  #16 

When I did a long term substitute job I would allow the students who did not do well on a graded assignment (anything below 70) to redo it for a better grade. I also implemented this for tests.  I’ve always felt that you should learn from your mistakes and that your mistakes are not the end of the world. Allowing students to learn from their mistakes from redoing what they did wrong really helped some understand  the material better and gave them encouragement that their low grade was the end of the line for them.


Posts: 32
Reply with quote  #17 
In the past I have always offered students the option of "learning from failure" by re-studying and re-answering exam questions that they missed.  To me the point of an exam is not primarily to "grade" a student, but to be used as a motivational tool to encourage them to learn the subject matter.  

In the future, after reading this segment of "Mindset in the Classroom", I plan to add an encouragement at the beginning of exam reviews which will point out current sports figures and famous historical persons of the past who overcame failure with determination and resolve.  It has been proven time and again, its not the brightest person in the room who succeeds, but the most determined.  A defeatist attitude can cause the brightest to fail, while determination can enable the average person to succeed beyond his/her dreams.  As teachers, I think our greatest responsibility is to motivate our students for a lifetime of learning so that when they leave our care and move to the next level they will continue to learn. 

Rita Wilcox

Posts: 83
Reply with quote  #18 
I love the block/building center in my classroom, because I get to watch my students actively learn from failure.  In the beginning, their structures are wobbly and tip over easily.  When they topple, I ask the students why they think the building fell and how they can make it stronger or taller, and provide opportunities for them to experiment.  I always try to cheer for their hard work more than for their successful structures. 

Posts: 14
Reply with quote  #19 

This will be my first year teaching and I have several ideas on how to promote failure in my classroom. For starters, I would like to put either on my door or create a section in my classroom of “Famous Failures” with example quotes or information such as the one provided in the book by Michael Jordan. I would like to recreate a poster of an acronym I’ve seen that states:





As a Language Arts teacher, I would also like for my students to analyze J.K. Rowling’s Harvard Commencement speech from 2008. She speaks about the importance of failure and imagination. This could translate into their own writing activity having to do with failure and what they did to continue on past it, and improve.   

The school I will be teaching at has low parental involvement, but I would like to make an effort to “develop a plan for sharing information about the malleability of the mind with parents” (pg 75). I would like to give them the tools to help cultivate a growth mindset in their homes such as with the examples given in the book on pages 77-78. And of course I myself must model these behaviors as well as constantly promoting failure and finding alternative ways to succeed.



Posts: 94
Reply with quote  #20 

Learning from Failure
A strategy, I would like to implement:  I’ve witnessed an elementary math teacher use this strategy with the morning math warm up.  After about 15 minutes, the teacher then goes over the work with the class.  He will draw a student name from the can (Popsicle sticks with names) and ask that student to come to the board and work the problem.  The student works the math problem as classmates look on.  He will go over the problem.  If it is correct, he’ll then show the common ways the problem could have been miscalculated.  This gives students a chance to see what changes they need to make the next time to solve similar math problems.  Or he may ask another student for input on how to the correct problem.  As students exit the room after math, he takes up the warm up math paper.  This is used to gauge where students are at.  No grade is taken.

Already do this:
Something, I do with my tutoring groups:  Once a unit is completed, there are questions at the end that are to be answered.  Depending on the reading level of the group (I may read the questions out loud).  After students answer questions independently, I have a look at each paper.  For those that are incorrect, I’ll give them a chance to correct without penalty to their grade.  This gives the student an opportunity to go back and reread and find out what they could have done differently for a more accurate outcome.  We also discuss why some answers are better than others.  The re-do does not count against their grade.

And another to implement:
And for further encouragement in “learning from failure”:  From the book titled: Ready-to-Use Resources for Mindsets in the Classroom (Everything Educators Need for School Success).  I would like to post these quotes on my wall from page 8:

In this classroom, we will always:

  • Practice resiliency and perseverance. 
  • Welcome everyone to participate in challenging tasks. 
  • Praise effort perseverance, and the processes that we use to learn. 
  • Understand that “struggle” is an important part of learning. 
  • Learn from our errors and failures.  Think about neurons connecting when we struggle or do challenging work. 

And of course have a discussion about what each of these mean and refer back to on a regular basis.


Posts: 19
Reply with quote  #21 
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.

Our school has done if the student makes below a 70 then they may redo the assignment after they have come to tutoring. The assignment to be redone does not have to be the same "paper" but contain the same information/concepts.


Posts: 38
Reply with quote  #22 
To implement learning from failure in my classroom, each failure would represent data, and we would redo erroneous problems as a class, the person that made the error must be present and if not participating in the error, must be attentive to the redo and discussion about it.

Posts: 67
Reply with quote  #23 

I’m not currently teaching, but when I was in a classroom, I would not allow my students to say “I can’t.”  This is something I’ve never allowed my tutoring students to say either.  I always respond by telling them not to say they can’t do something.  Just because you haven’t done it yet, doesn’t mean that you can’t do it.  It just means you need to try a different way of going about it.  Sometimes it just means that you need practice.  Nobody who is considered “great” at anything got there without a great deal of repetitive practice and a lot of failure.   I have always challenged my students to do harder things than they think they can, and tried to create an atmosphere in my class/sessions where challenges and hard things are considered fun and something not to be afraid of.  A lot of that comes across in my enthusiasm for challenging tasks.  Another part of the way I do that is by letting the kids see me fail – not doing so intentionally, but not covering it up when it happens.  I point it out and verbally think through what I did wrong, how to correct it, and what I should learn from it.   One thing I would like to work on is an increased focus on the effort students put forth, not necessarily the results.  I try to do this already, but it’s not one of my strongest areas.  I think I don’t do it as much as I should, because I’m leery of creating students who feel they deserve participation awards for everything.  There’s a fine line in there somewhere.  


Posts: 45
Reply with quote  #24 
Letting the students know about some of the famous people who have failed is the first major step.  Many were mentioned in the book.  There were athletes, authors, scientists and others who tried many times before being successful. After they know about these people and have learned about their stories, it is important to let them know that the next step is coming up with a new plan or changes to the old one. What are they going to differently to move forward.  They have to be able to make some changes and adjustments in order to finally come to success. It may be many times of trying again and making changes before they complete it in what would be called a "successful" manner.

Posts: 42
Reply with quote  #25 

I tell my students constantly that it is ok if they make a mistake, as long as they learn from it.  This applies not only with their class work but also when they have behavior problems.  When it comes to their class work I would like to give them a chance to redo an assignment that they did not get a good grade on.  I believe this will help in many ways but especially on helping the students learn what they did wrong and what the correct way is to do it. 


Posts: 37
Reply with quote  #26 
The computer program we use in my department allows students to learn from failure by giving them immediate feedback and allowing them to redo the problems they get wrong as many times as needed to get it correct.  It also allows them to try another similar problem even if they get the problem correct just to make sure they really understand it. On exams, our department policy is that they get two attempts for each exam and we keep the higher grade.  

I try to encourage all my students as much as possible to keep trying and not get discouraged when they get something wrong.  I go over their tests with them and show them their mistakes and how to correct them so they can study that before taking their second attempt (when they take their first attempt early enough).  

Something new I want to try this semester is to show them a video I was introduced to this summer about how our brains actually grow when we make mistakes and how making mistakes is actually important for us to learn the material.  I am hoping that it encourages especially those students who come in with anxiety and the fixed mindset that they just aren't good at math.  I'm hoping it helps to encourage more of a growth mindset and gives them a reason to keep trying and not give up.  

Posts: 148
Reply with quote  #27 
In my class, I have growth mindset posters posted that remind students that failing is not something to be ashamed of.  Too often the students I receive have the idea that if they do not make a certain grade, they are failures.  We also praise students anytime they do better than they did last time or find one of their own mistakes.  One exercise that I do in class is I make mistakes on examples after I teach a topic and students must work to find it.  They really love seeing me fail and correcting me. I have noticed that when I appear to fail my students do not shut down when they experience failure.

Posts: 6
Reply with quote  #28 
Learning from failure in my class comes with discussion after losing games. Games by their nature have a winner and loser. We learn from losing when we discuss the strategy each student employed. Students sharing what they tried would definitely be learning from failure.

Posts: 6
Reply with quote  #29 
Any student who fails a test is allowed to come to tutoring/re-learning time. They then are allowed to take a new test over the failed concepts. Students have until the end of the grading period to bring up a test grade even if it means re-taking a concept multiple times.
I also make sure my students understand that "failure" is all a part of growing in our learning. I try to make all re-learning positive. 

Julie S

Posts: 39
Reply with quote  #30 
The way I will implement learning from failure is by providing students with a short pre-assessment of the topic to be covered next. I will use a software program like Kahoot or Quizizz and allow them to see how much or little they know about the subject. Then I will introduce topic, let students work in groups to complete an assignment, review the assignment with whole class and then give them the same pre-assessment questions as a post-test. By this time students should complete this assessment with at least 90% accuracy.
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