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2. Ability is Expandable

Teach students that the brain grows when they practice and learn new material.

There is accumulating evidence showing a connection between how students perceive their ability and their academic success. If students believe they cannot change their abilities, they are less likely to try. But, if they believe that they can improve and expand their abilities, they are more likely to take on challenges and explore new concepts. Instead of resigning themselves to defeat, they are willing to increase their effort and look for different ways to solve a problem, such as asking for help, working with a tutor, or simply devoting more time to tasks. Teachers are in a powerful position to help students realize that their abilities are expandable. They can use a variety of instructional techniques to provide students with opportunities to practice math and science skills and they can communicate to students about improving their abilities.