Training, consultancy and resources to improve teaching and learning
You are here > Members' Resources > Online Learning Magazine > 2013 Magazine Issues > Issue 31: Hard Work
Books Membership

To read the learning magazine, download resources and to access site resources you'll need to join and login:

  • Standard Member: Free
    Monthly updates, magazine & limited resources
  • Teacher Premium Member: £24 per annum
    Monthly updates, magazine & all teacher resources
Find out more about each level >>
Books Training Events
Designing Effective Online Teaching & Training
Two 2hr Online Sessions
Wed 15th, Fri 17th
13:45 to 15:45
Further Info on Course

Free Online Zoom School
Next session:   4th July 9:15am
Further Info on Course

Thinking Heads: 6 Sessions
for headteachers
One session each half term
Starts 1 Oct 20
  To be held Online or
Wandsworth, South London
depending on Covid-19
Further Info on Course

Availability On Key Dates:
All 20/21 Key Dates Available !

Professional Learning Available From Mike:
Online Training
Curriculum Design & Development
INSET & Non Closure Days
(New) Headteacher Executive Coaching
Thinking Heads Facilitation
Coaching Skills for Leaders
Video Coaching for Improved Teaching
Challenge 10 Toolkit - Quality Teaching
Programmes for MATs/TSAs/LAs
Books Teacher Premium Offer

Book Cover MI in PracticeMar 2020
This month's Teacher Premium Offer:

Multiple Intelligences in Practice £20.00
with free standard delivery in the UK

See expired members offers  

Shop Free Shop Delivery

Teacher Premium Members receive

  • Free UK Standard Delivery in the Thinking Classroom Book Shop
Magazine Issue 31: Hard Work
January 13

This month ... ideas about Hard Work

Article: Hard Work
New Resources
Mike's Books
Additional Resources

This Month's Article:

Hard Work

Hard Work An Article that tackles Hard Work head on and offers a way to develop a shared, effective understanding of it in class. Find out about deferred gratification & the 1972 Stanford Marshmallow experiment. Watch a video of its 2012 update.

This is a Free Sample Resource

Categories: Article, Learning Styles, Any Subject, Educators

Tags: Hard Work Mindset Effort
Failure, Injury & Giving Up
The London Olympics 2012 is long finished yet lingers in many ways. As the just-then-successful Olympic athletes were interviewed, breathless and sweating after their events, I began to notice a common thread in their tales. They were talking about failure. They were talking about injury. They were talking about nearly (or actually) giving up on themselves and on their sport. They were laying themselves bare and exposing the true nature of success: it’s fragile, hard won and rests upon learning-from-failure and on-going battles of emotional, physical and physiological self-belief. These athletes only succeeded because they’d been right to the edge of themselves (and over the edge in some cases), to the point of giving up, to the place where their broken bodies had nothing left to give. They had worked so very, very hard.

What is Hard Work?
How do you and your pupils respond to the phrase Hard Work? Is it relished or run from? Is it embraced as the route to eventual success or ejected for the sake of easier short term gains? It’s worth exploring this in class, not least so there’s a common understanding of what it actually means to tell a learner to ‘work harder’.

Here’s a definition for you to play around with and then to make your own:
Hard Work is the effort we put in to things that will eventually lead to personal success BUT are also one or more of the following: unappealing, new, unfamiliar, outside our experience or comfort zone, have unknown results, take a relatively long time or are repetitive. Hard work is different to different people and can change with context, state of mind and attitude.

Significant here is the word ‘eventually’. Work is often ‘hard’ because we have to wait for its results; we have to wait for our success. We learn to defer gratification.

Marshmallows, Rewards and Trust
In the famous Stanford Marshmallow experiment of 1972, children were offered a single marshmallow to eat immediately or promised two if they could wait a while. Children who showed the self-control to wait for the second sweet were, 10 and 20 years later, found to have been more successful at school and regarded as more competent by their parents. 

In an intriguing follow up from Rochester University in 2012 the experiment was repeated with a twist. This time the children experienced either a reliable or unreliable environment just before the marshmallow test: they were offered a similar type of choice - such as using a meagre set of art materials right away or waiting for the experimenter to fetch a much better set. Some of the children waited and the better materials turned up. But for others, the researcher returned empty handed and explained that the materials weren’t actually available.

It was found that those who were primed with a reliable previous experience could wait far longer for the second marshmallow than those who had been let down.

Kick-Starting Hard Work
In class this could be applied as follows: the more that children experience the fruits of their hard work, the more hard work they’ll want to put in. They will learn to trust themselves and to believe that success and rewards eventually (and always) follow on from their efforts. Our skill and judgement as their teachers is to offer just the right level of challenge and, ultimately, to teach them to seek out and to know the same for themselves. For each pupil we must help cause that first spark, that one vital proof that working hard is worth it. Because once a child has experienced the satisfaction of hard work paying off, they can always refer back to it as evidence of their ability to succeed.

New Resources:

Huff Thinking

Huff Thinking A Thinking Skills Tool providing 6 realistic stages of learning. Helps pupils to assess their progress and to learn that feeling stuck, working hard and persevering are all valuable parts of the journey.

This is a Free Sample Resource

Find out more or Download now:
Categories: Thinking Tool, Meta Cognition, Any Subject, Junior, Secondary, Skills-Based Learning

Tags: Hard Work Mindset Effort

Huff Thinking Powerpoint

Huff Thinking Powerpoint A Thinking Tool Template in Powerpoint, offering several editable alternative ways to represent 6 stages of realistic stages of learning as discussed in Huff Thinking.

Categories: Thinking Tool, Meta Cognition, Learning Styles, Any Subject, Junior, Secondary

Tags: Hard Work Mindset Effort
Teacher Premium Resource: Login or Upgrade to Teacher Premium to access this resource.

Numeracy Think Sheet - Number and Pattern

Numeracy Think Sheet - Number and Pattern A Think Sheet using images to help pupils think in detail about patterns and number. Suitable for Junior and more able infant pupils.

Categories: Think Sheet, Thinking Skills, Mathematics, Junior

Tags: Numeracy Pattern Mathematics
Teacher Premium Resource: Login or Upgrade to Teacher Premium to access this resource.

Mike's Books:

None this month - I'll have to write one!:

Additional Resources:

Thinking Classroom Archive:

Another Thinking Tool from April 2012 which extends progress planning.

Timeline Thinking

Timeline Thinking A Thinking Skills Tool to help older pupils think clearly about their futures and the steps needed to reach their goals. Includes a blank prompt sheet.

Categories: Thinking Tool, Meta Cognition, Skills-Based Learning, Transition, Other Subject, Secondary, Tertiary

Tags: Success Mindset Goals Careers
Teacher Premium Resource: Login or Upgrade to Teacher Premium to access this resource.

Additional Think Sheets related to this month's themes.

Numeracy Think Sheet - Counting On

Numeracy Think Sheet - Counting On A Think Sheet using Thinking Classroom ideas to develop basic numeracy skills.

Categories: Think Sheet, Mathematics, Infant, Junior, Thinking Skills

Tags: Counting Numeracy
Teacher Premium Resource: Login or Upgrade to Teacher Premium to access this resource.

PSHE Think Sheet - Success

PSHE Think Sheet - Success A Think Sheet of Thinking Classroom ideas for tackling the real issues around success, failure & effort.

Categories: Think Sheet, PSHE, Junior, Secondary, Thinking Skills

Tags: Success Mindset
Teacher Premium Resource: Login or Upgrade to Teacher Premium to access this resource.


How Children Succeed
by Paul Tough

How Children Succeed <br>by Paul Tough Find out about grit, hard work and how character influences success.

Available from Amazon

Opens in a New Window
Categories: Suggested Books, Professional Development, Assessment

Tags: Character Success Thought Leader Growth Mindset


Deferred Gratification Research

Deferred Gratification Research Children were offered a single marshmallow to eat immediately or promised two if they could wait a while...

Opens in a New Window
Categories: Websites, Research, Psychology

Tags: Child Development

Updated Deferred Gratification Research

Updated Deferred Gratification Research Does trust influence self control and life success?

Opens in a New Window
Categories: Websites, Research, Psychology

Tags: Child Development

Next month we think about...coaching.