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Habits of Mind

Habits of Mind

"Habits of Mind are the characteristics of what intelligent people do when they are confronted with problems, the resolutions of which are not immediately apparent." (Arthur L. Costa)

Apply Past Knowledge

Use what you learn.  Access prior knowledge.  Transfer knowledge to other situations

Create, Imagine, and Innovate

Try a different way.  Generate new and novel ideas.  fluency and originality.

Find Humor

Smile and laugh.  Find the whimsical, incongruous and unexpected.  Be able to laugh at oneself.

Gather Data Through all Senses

Use your natural pathways.  Pay attention to the world around you.  Gather data through all senses: taste, touch, smell, hearing and sight.

Listen and Respond with Empathy and Understanding

Understand others.  Devote energy to another person’s thought and ideas. Make an effort to perceive another’s point of view and emotions.  Walk in another’s shoes.

Manage Impulsivity

Take you time.  Think before acting.  Remain calm, thoughtful and deliberate.


Stick with it even when something is hard.  Persist.

Question and Pose Problems

How do you know?  Have a questioning attitude.  Know what data are needed and develop questioning strategies to use those data.  Find problems to solve.  Enjoy the challenge of grappling with a problem.

Remain Open to Continuous Learning

Learn from experiences.  Have humility and pride when admitting you don’t know.  Resist complacency.  Engage actively.

Respond with Wonderment and Awe

Find the world awesome and mysterious--the new and the ordinary.   Be intrigued with phenomena and beauty.  Be passionate.

Strive for Accuracy

Set high standards.  Be precise.  Check your thinking and your work.  Do it as well as you can.

Take Responsible Risks

Venture out.  Be adventurous. Live on the edge of  one’s competence.  Be willing to be uncomfortable. Try new things.

Think about your Thinking:  Metacognition

Be aware of your own thoughts, strategies, feelings and actions and their effects on others.  be able to articulate your thinking and feelings.  Reflect.

Think and Communicate with Clarity and Precision

Be clear.  Think before speaking.  Strive for accurate communication in both written and oral form.  Avoid over-generalizations, distortions, deletions and exaggerations.  Eliminate “like”, “kinda thing”, “you know what I mean” and other extra, imprecise words and phrases from your speech.

Think Flexibly

Look at it another way.  Be able to change perspectives, generate alternatives, and consider options.

Think Interdependently

Work together.  Share ideas to create proposals and solutions.  Learn from one another’s ideas and experiences.


Works by former Fifth and Sixth Grade Artists,
inspired by the artist Gabriele Munter.