Praise the process, first.
summer, my oldest and my youngest daughter spent a week together,
making a stand-up paddle board. They bought a kit and borrowed power
tools. They had very little experience and zero supervision. But, they
did approach the entire project with a Growth Mindset. My only
contribution to the project was to exact from them one promise, "Wear Goggles".
project was most certainly not error-free. What they did discover,
however, was that almost all mistakes can be eradicated if given
sufficient amounts of time and sandpaper.
mixed epoxy resin, sealed the frame with fiberglass and created a
pretty impressive paddleboard. All along, I doubted their ability to
bring the project to completion. And yet, they did it! I think that
hefty doses of process praise (from their Dad) kept them going when the project may have faltered. In the end, the process praise resulted in a great final product.
Sometimes, we classroom teachers are so concerned with outcomes that we tend to emphasize the perfect final product more often than we notice (and praise) the effort in the process.
end, all of the mistakes come together to make a beautiful, if
imperfect, finished product. Begin with a Growth Mindset, and who knows
what might be able to float!