Habits of Mind

During a professional development on 08/27/14, teachers were given a list of the Habits of Mind and asked to vote on the ten most important to them. Then, the top eight were selected to be the focus of this school year. Everyone looked a little puzzled … What now? What are we supposed to do with these habits? How do we teach them? When do we incorporate them? I gleefully asked, “Will we receive the Habits of Mind books?” This sparked more questions from my peers … What books? Is this a curriculum?

Lucky for me, when I was an administrator, I facilitated a professional learning community (PLC) that explored the Habits of Mind my last year as an elementary school assistant principal. The following year, I returned to the classroom and I implemented the Habits of Mind with my fifth grade students. So, I’m excited to see that this is a school-wide initiative. Thus, I decided to write this post to share my knowledge of Habits of Mind.

According to Learning and Leading with Habits of Mind (You can read unlocked chapters.),

Increasingly we are adopting the mental model that intelligence is a set of teachable, learnable behaviors that all human beings can continue to develop and improve throughout their lifetimes. We must help students think powerfully about ideas, learn to critique as well as support others’ thinking, and become thoughtful problem solvers and decision makers. The Habits of Mind provide a set of behaviors that discipline intellectual processes.

The books quotes Lauren Resnick, “One’s intelligence is the sum of one’s habits of mind.”

The premise behind this philosophy is that teachers’ instruction should be habit forming and the habits should have a positive impact on students’ intelligence.

ASCD has an Action toolkit, Developing Habits of Mind in Elementary Schools that has tools to explore the meanings, expand the capacities, increase alertness, extend values, and build commitment of the habits. This is the book I used when I implemented the habits. I used the explore the meanings activities as a part of my orientation for students during the first five weeks of school.

Helpful Resources:

Habits of Mind

Edutopia Blog

The Institute for Habits of Mind

Mindful by Design (YouTube Channel)

I will add more resources as I find them. Let me know what you think about the resources and subscribe to receive updates to this post.


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