What can I do on this page?
How do I use this Habits of Mind matrix?

Click to see a How-To GIF.

1. Give an award to a friend, classmate or someone you met here on Youth Voices. Both teachers and students can recognize one another.

2. Choose one of the Habits of Mind on this page, and point — with links and a description — to the work that you think shows a student’s accomplishment.

3. The member being recognized receives a notification in his/her/their profile with your comments and links attached, and that member is added to a list of “people who have earned this” habit.

4. There are no limits on how short or long the writing of a recognition might be, or on how many times a member can be recognized for a habit, on how many habits members can be recognized for, or on how many habits you can award.

5. You can also create additional habits by clicking here.

Hábitos de la Mente (español), Other Languages

What are Habits of Mind?

“A Habit of Mind is a pattern of intellectual behaviors that leads to productive actions” (Costa & Kallick). This is why we are trying to inform kids of these habits and consider what it means. These habits presented to us are teaching kids, whether it is from their parents or teachers, habits that are performed by them on a day to day basis.

The meaning behind Arthur L. Costa’s & Bena Kallick’s book, Learning and Leading with Habits of Mind is to help students get into the habit of behaving intelligently. Costa and Kallik present a compelling case for why it’s more relevant than ever to align the missions of schools and classrooms to teach students how to think and behave intelligently when they encounter problems and challenges in learning and in life. All students of all ages should be learning and incorporating these 16 habits in their lives. (Click here to see more.)

by Savannah, Sellersburg, Indiana


Stick to it!

Persevering in a task through to completion; remaining focused. Looking for ways to reach your goal when stuck. Not giving up. (Click here to see more.)

People who have earned this:

Managing Impulsivity

Take your time!

Thinking before acting; remaining calm, thoughtful, and deliberative. (Click here to see more.)

People who have earned this:

Listening with understanding and empathy

Understand others!

Devoting mental energy to another person’s thoughts and ideas. Make an effort to perceive another’s point of view and emotions. (Click here to see more.)


People who have earned this:

  • Profile photo of Edwin
  • Profile photo of Tristan
  • Profile photo of Sara

Thinking flexibly

Look at it another way!

Being able to change perspectives, generate alternatives, consider options. (Click here to see more.)

Thinking about your thinking (Metacognition)

Thinking about your thinking (Metacognition)

Being aware of your own thoughts, feelings, strategies, and actions and their effects on others. (Click here to see more.)


People who have earned this:

  • Profile photo of Sara

Striving for accuracy

Check it again!

Always doing your best. Setting high standards. Checking and finding ways to improve constantly. (Click here to see more.)

People who have earned this:

Questioning and posing problems

How do you know?

Having a questioning attitude; knowing what data are needed & developing questioning strategies to produce those data. Finding problems to solve.

People who have earned this:

Applying past knowledge to new situations

Use what you learn!

Accessing prior knowledge; transferring knowledge beyond the situation in which it was learned. (Click here to see more.)

People who have earned this:

  • Profile photo of Karis

Thinking & communicating with clarity and precision

Be clear!

Strive for accurate communication in both written and oral form; avoiding over-generalizations, distortions, deletions and exaggerations.

Gathering data through all senses

Use your natural pathways!

Pay attention to the world around you. Gather data through all the senses: taste, touch, smell, hearing and sight. (Click here to see more.)

People who have earned this:

  • Profile photo of Nico

Creating, imagining, and innovating

Try a different way!

Generating new and novel ideas, fluency, originality. (Click here to see more.)

Responding with wonderment and awe

Have fun figuring it out!

Finding the world awesome, mysterious and being intrigued with phenomena and beauty. (Click here to see more.)

Taking responsible risks

Venture out!

Being adventuresome; living on the edge of one’s competence. Try new things consistently. (Click here to see more.)

People who have earned this:

Finding humor

Laugh a little!

Finding the whimsical, incongruous and unexpected. Being able to laugh at one’s self. (Click here to see more.)


People who have earned this:

Thinking interdependently

Work together!

Being able to work in groups and learn from others in reciprocal situations. Teamwork.

People who have earned this:

  • Profile photo of Ella

Remaining open to continuous learning

Learn from experiences!

Having humility and pride when admitting we don’t know; resisting complacency. (Click here to see more.)

Youth Voices is an open publishing platform for youth. The site is organized by teachers with support from the National Writing Project. Opinions expressed by writers are their own.

CC BY-SA 4.0All work on Youth Voices is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License


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