What are Habits of Mind?

Habits of Mind…


Stick to it!

Persevering in a task through to completion; remaining focused. Looking for ways to reach your goal when stuck. Not giving up.

Managing Impulsivity

Take your time!

Thinking before acting; remaining calm, thoughtful, and deliberative.

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.

Thinking flexibly

Look at it another way!

Being able to change perspectives, generate alternatives, consider options.

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.

Striving for accuracy

Check it again!

Always doing your best. Setting high standards. Checking and finding ways to improve constantly.

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.

Applying past knowledge to new situations

Use what you learn!

Accessing prior knowledge; transferring knowledge beyond the situation in which it was learned.

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.

Creating, imagining, and innovating

Try a different way!

Generating new and novel ideas, fluency, originality.

Responding with wonderment and awe

Have fun figuring it out!

Finding the world awesome, mysterious and being intrigued with phenomena and beauty.

Invents delicious recipes for cooking

The recipes the inventor creates are innovative and savory

Reads with an open mind

The text this writer produces demonstrates flexible thinking and reflects a willingness to change their stance on an issue or validate new information.

The writer considers the input of others and generates alternative ideas and solutions. The writer acknowledges the additional layers of complexity around an issue. This was sparked by comments made by students who read posts and change their minds.

…Illuminates a topic’s situation in a larger context.

The situation this student illuminates is inventive and thoughtful.

Gives Clear Commands and Rewards While Training Puppies

The commands and rewards this dog-person gives are consistent and humane.

It’s important to train your puppy not for the sake of training them but because you want to have good communication between you and your dog. You are not alway going to be able to let your dog do whatever they want to do, so you will need to get their attention and ask them to work with you. A positive human-dog dyad is important to build so everybody can be happy.

People who have earned this:

  • Profile photo of Paul
  • Profile photo of Ms. Hernandez-Speer

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.

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