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Habits of Mind explained for students


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This is a document with bullet points describing each Habit of Mind in a way that older primary students could understand. The bullet points where written to one side of the page to allow students to record their own activities against these habits in a form of HOM diary.

Published in: Education, Health & Medicine

Habits of Mind explained for students

  1. 1. Persisting People who do this: Stick to a task until it is finished. Don’t give up easily Think hard about a problem and think of a way to try and attack it. They know where to begin, and what steps to perform. Have a range of ways to try and solve a problem. They will gather evidence to see if their first idea is working and if it isn’t they will try out another one. Can deal with situations when the answers aren’t always obvious.
  2. 2. Managing Impulsivity People who do this: Think before they act. Imagine how they are going to get to a goal before starting. Try to make sure they really understand all the directions and have a good strategy for solving the problem before starting. Don’t make instant judgements about an idea despite their own personal views. Consider alternatives and consequences to their ideas before beginning. Take time to reflect on an answer before giving it. Listen to other points of view
  3. 3. Listening to Others with Understanding and Empathy People who do this: Listen to others without interrupting with other information. Can reword what the person has said in their own words. Detect how other people are feeling by the way they speak and behave and respond appropriately. Can ask sensible questions to try and get a better understanding of what the person is saying. Can see the situation through the other person’s eyes despite how they personally feel.
  4. 4. Thinking Flexibly People who do this: Can change their mind when they receive new information. Can work on more than one activity at a time flicking from one to the other. Can change the way they approach a problem to suit the purpose. Try to think of original ways to solve problems. Have a good sense of humour. Can approach a problem from new angles. Can see things from many points of view. Can see the big picture as well as the smaller details.
  5. 5. Thinking about Thinking People who do this: Know what they know and what they don’t know. Can plan a strategy to produce the needed result. Are aware of the process they are going through to solve a problem, and keep track of the process and the steps they are going through. Reflect on the process they went through judging how effective they were. Aware of the effect their actions have on themselves, others and the environment. Judge what changes they would make if they were to do a similar activity again.
  6. 6. Striving for Accuracy and Precision People who do this: Take time to check their work to get the best possible results. They are very aware of the expectations on them and the standards they need to meet. Confirm that their work exactly meets the criteria they were given. Take pride in their work. Rework projects they decide do not meet the required standard. Don’t go for the quickest answer but instead go for the best.
  7. 7. Questioning and Posing Problems. People who do this: Know what questions to ask to find out the information they need. Ask a range of questions to get a more complete picture of their topic. Don’t accept everything they are told by asking how the information was gained. Ask what point of view the information is coming from. Ask how the information relates to other information. Ask hypothetical questions eg what might happen if… Look for things they can’t explain and then explore them.
  8. 8. Applying Past Knowledge to New Situations People who do this: Think about what they have learned in the past to help them solve a new problem. Use information gained in the past to justify and explain their actions in the present. Can take concepts they have used in the past and apply them to a completely different type of problem. Use knowledge from the past and make connections with new concepts they are learning in the present.
  9. 9. Thinking and Communicating with Clarity and Precision People who do this: Speak about their ideas in a way that is very easy to understand and straight to the point. Use the correct names and terms for things. They do not overgeneralise (Teachers never understand me), delete (I was told to) or distort (we can play games during wet play)sections of information. Justify clearly why they think a certain way.
  10. 10. Gathering Data through All the Senses People who do this: Know that all information gets into their brain through their senses. Are alert and open to information that is around them to be gathered through the senses. Are willing to use all their senses to experience something – not just one or two.
  11. 11. Creating, Imagining and Innovating People who do this: Try to solve problems in a new and inventive way. Examine problems from many angles and think of alternatives. Think of where they want to end up and work backwards. Take risks and push themselves. Work on tasks because they enjoy it not because they might get a reward. Are open to criticism – they want to know what other people think. Know that being creative is something you work at, not something you are born with.
  12. 12. Responding with Wonderment and Awe People who do this: Look for interesting problems to solve because they enjoy it. Enjoy making up their own problems. Love learning! Can see beauty in everything around them. Are curious about the world.
  13. 13. Taking Responsible Risks People who do this: Push themselves past where they feel comfortable to achieve goals. Challenge themselves by trying situations which are unpredictable. Accept that failure is part of learning and will give things a go despite the chance of failing. View setbacks as an interesting challenge that helps them to find out more about the way they learn. Are aware of the consequences of taking the risk and know which ones are not worth taking.
  14. 14. Finding humour People who do this: Can look at situations from original and interesting angles. Look for humour in appropriate situations. Appreciate the humour of others. Play with words to find humour. Can see the absurdness of situations. Are able to laugh at themselves.
  15. 15. Thinking Interdependently People who do this: Know that a group can achieve more than an individual. Are sensitive to the needs and feelings of others. Know that no one person has all the answers. Can justify their ideas but are willing to change their ideas after listening to others. Are willing to receive positive and constructive feedback from others. Can listen carefully to others and work to reach agreement with the group. Support others in the group.
  16. 16. Learning Continuously People who do this: Constantly search for new and better ways to do things. Try to improve them. Treat all experiences as learning opportunities. Realise that there is always more to learn so are not closed to new learning situations. Know that asking new questions is more valuable than knowing answers.