A Soundtrack for a Growth Mindset

A Soundtrack for a Growth Mindset
Everyone enjoys music!  Hearing a tune can bring back a memory or a certain time and learning song lyrics also helps memory development.  There are so many ways to use music in your classroom; changing the lyrics to fit a lesson, learning a song about the 50 states, singing a song about lining up...the possibilities are endless! 

Music has become a regular part of my students' day.  While students are working I put music on in the background and while it may seem like one more distraction in the room, it actually does the opposite.  Students sing along quietly to themselves, work quietly so they can hear the music, and it also serves as a noise monitor: if we cannot hear the music, then we are too loud! 

For a long time, I would simply turn on Pandora and choose a fun, kid's station and set the music as our background.  But I soon realized that I wanted the music to be purposeful, just like each other aspect of our day.  Creating a playlist that would promote a growth mindset was fun and intentionally feeding students with positivity.  Listening to the lyrics and hearing the students repeat them is inspiring!  So when you think of songs that promote a growth mindset, what songs do you think you can add to your playlist?  Here are some of my favorites!  (In no particular order!)

1.  Shakira-Try Everything

Image result for shakira try everything

Have you seen Zootopia?  The overall message of the movie is a lesson we can all appreciate and Shakira as the gazelle is also an added bonus!  "Try Everything" is not only a catchy song, but really is the epitome of a growth mindset with lyrics like, "I mess up but I'll start again." And, "I wanna try even though I could fail."  The whole song is just waiting to be a poster hanging in my classroom!!  The chorus sings, "I won't give up, no I won't give in 'til I reach the end and then I'll start again.  No I won't leave, I wanna try everything, I wanna try even though I could fail."  Growth mindset gold, friends!!  When your students are walking around singing those words, you can only smile!!

2.  Katy Perry-Firework
Image result for katy perry firework

When this song first came out, my class performed this in the school talent show.  I had each student write what made them a "firework" and took pictures of them holding their signs and those pictures played on a slideshow in the background.  Every time I hear this song, it reminds me of that performance and how special it was...and it just makes me want to do that activity again and again, teach them all that they are each a firework and unique and special!  This song is always a favorite with kids and when they are singing along to, "There's a spark in you,  you just gotta ignite and shine, just own the night like the Fourth of July," I'm sure you will be singing along too!! 

3.  Will.I.Am-What I Am 
Image result for will i am sesame
I am not going to lie...I have been know to put this song on "infinite looper" and just let it play.  I just love it so much!  It is such a fun song, and while it is from Sesame Street, kids of any age love it and benefit from the amazing message.  Again, this song is just begging me to make posters of every lyric and hang them everywhere!  "There's only one me, I am it.  Have a dream, I'll follow it.  It's up to me to try,"  "Keep on reaching high, never gonna quit, I'll keep getting stronger." 
4.  Bruno Mars-Don't Give Up
Image result for bruno mars sesame street

Ok, fine, you caught me...I love the songs from Sesame Street!  But, really?  What's not to love!!  This song is a favorite at home and at school for me!  "When you wanna do something that's new.  And it seems really, really hard to do.  You feel like quitting, you feel you're through.  Well I have some advice for you.  Don't give up, keep on trying."  And it's Bruno Mars...so you know it's a catchy tune!  The message is a powerful one that can turn in to a great conversation as well! 
Have I gone too far with the Sesame Street songs?  Just one more?
5.  Janelle Monae-The Power of Yet
Image result for sesame street the power of yet
This song is truly what a growth mindset is ALL about!  The "power of yet" teaches kids not to give up; you may not be able to do something...YET!!  Don't get frustrated, just add "yet" on to the end of your sentence.  I love to pair this song with this brochure that is part of my growth mindset pack.  When you add "yet" on to your thoughts, you are capable of anything! "You didn't do it right now, but keep trying you'll learn how, you just didn't get it yet, but you'll get it soon I bet.  That's the power of yet."
Do you have any other favorite songs that promote a growth mindset? 

For a FREE set of growth mindset exit tickets, click below!
You can find a more complete list of songs, short clips and read aloud books along with activities to teach a growth mindset HERE.

Happy Teaching!


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