This guide contains a collection of questions and their answers to help prepare you to teach with Mindsets Challenges. Mindsets Challenges spark students interest and understanding of how math and science works in the world around them. It’s a flexible tool and resource that works in a variety of teacher led situations.

 

When is the best time (or best way) to use a Mindsets Challenge? +

The best way to use Mindsets Challenges varies depending on your goal. Follow these tips depending on what you’d like to achieve.

  • To spark initial motivation, use a Mindsets Challenge at the beginning of an instructional unit.
  • For formative assessment, to build up to a project, and sustain motivation, use a Mindsets Challenge in the middle of an instructional unit.
  • To stretch students ability to transfer skills to new situations, use a Mindsets Challenge at the end of an instructional unit or as review.

How to use a Mindsets Challenge at the beginning of an instructional unit +

Using a Mindsets Challenge at the beginning of an instructional unit is a great way to pre-emptively answer the question “Where will I ever use this?” Students may get stuck - that is ok! Productive struggle can help build motivation. Use student responses to pre-assess abilities and help guide future lessons. This can allow you to tailor instruction to students' ability level with each skill.

How to use a Mindsets Challenge in the middle of an instructional unit +

The middle of an instructional unit is also a good time to help students see applications of what they are learning. Using a Mindsets Challenge in the middle of an instructional helps make the practice and standards meaningful. Also, you can use the Mindsets Challenge itself as a formative assessment, and to build up to end of instructional unit projects. Pair students of varying ability, and use the hints to help students who struggle.

How to use a Mindsets Challenge at the end of an instructional +

Although each student is different, the end of an instructional unit maximizes the chance for students to successfully transfer academic skills to a real-world context. This is also where you can encourage richer discussion between students using the facilitator tips, and use the challenges to lead into projects with the suggested project extensions.

How to use a Mindsets Challenge as review +

Spaced repetition is a powerful, evidence-based approach to keeping skills in long-term memory.

  • Use Mindsets Challenges to turn review into an enriching and instructionally relevant treat.
  • Even better, the broad range of stories for Mindsets Challenges helps students improve their transfer skills to new situations.