Small Wins for Growing Habits and Skills with Diverse Learners

Let’s be real. One of the hardest things for people to do is build a new habit. It takes commitment, focus, drive, and a constant reminder or way to trigger that action. In the learning environment habits play an equally important role as mastering curriculum. For many students habits may come naturally and become part of a routine – something they don’t even think about or focus on…they just do it.

For students with learning disabilities, habits of mind do not come easily – making learning even more complicated due to this missing ingredient. On top of the deficits that come into play for students with learning disabilities, such as, retaining information, processing, skill performance, and executive functioning, building a new habit demands a plan of action and the support of teachers. In the end, when students with learning disabilities take an opportunity to build a habit, they will be more inclined to improve their academic performance, skills, and most importantly, confidence.

In my blog post “Small Wins for Growing Habits and Skills with Diverse Learners,” I discuss three strategies for building growth with a Habit of Mind for students with learning disabilities. The habit will be connected to the classroom where students need support, focus, and a mindful path to success within a particular skill. And, through “Small Wins” the ability to build a skill by the use of a habit should display gradual growth and increased self-monitoring.

On January 22nd, Michele De Bellis from The Institute for Habits of Mind, will be facilitating a Habits of Mind Training at Kent ISD. Recently, Nelli Koster spoke with Erica at Kenowa Middle School  and one of her students about her experience with using Habits of Mind in the classroom.

Video of EricaLet’s celebrate a victory!

There is something to be said about accomplishing a goal…..and even a small goal. When success is achieved in any goal we set for ourselves it does deserve a pat on the back, congrats, or even a little celebration. When we as teachers set goals and challenge students, it shows we believe in their ability and character. When they see we care and show recognition….that’s the biggest victory of all.

Habits of Mind Professional Learning Opportunity

Would you like to learn more about Habits of Mind? Join us on January 22nd at Kent ISD with Michele De Bellis from The Institute for Habits of Mind . Click here to learn more and register today!


This blog post was written by Daniel Vollrath, Ed.D. (@HabitsofMindInc) is a special education teacher at Hunterdon Central Regional High School in New Jersey, and a United States Professional Development Trainer for the Habits of Mind Institute.

Daniel will be presenting on select topics in Special Education, Executive Functioning, & Habits of Mind. Please feel free to email any questions or ideas you may have in regard to topics – danvollrath44@gmail.com. In addition, follow Daniel on Twitter – @HabitsofMindInc, Facebook, and LinkedIn. 

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