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Habits of mind, heart & work.


We work hard to instill these primary habits in all of our work with Costanoa High School Students: "Use your mind well — Do the right thing —Work hard." Our goal is to not only prepare students for academic success, but for success throughout their lives with these positive habits.

Habits of Mind: Use your mind well

Habits of Mind are skills that students use to be critical thinkers. Habits of Mind are how to think, not what to think. Habits of Mind are applied to school work and everyday life. Costanoa High School students demonstrate the following:


EVIDENCE — Students can explain what is true and false.

  • How do we know what is true or false?

  • What information counts and how do we know?

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VIEWPOINTS — Students can explain multiple viewpoints.

  • How else might it look if we stepped into another's shoes or if we looked at it from a different perspective?

  • How else might it look if we had a different history or different expectations?

CONNECTIONS — Students can explain patterns and connections.

  • Is there a pattern?

  • What caused the effect and what are the possible consequences?

SUPPOSITIONS — Students can imagine alternative scenarios and outcomes.

  • What alternative solutions are possible?

  • How could this have turned out differently?

  • What if...?

MEANING — Students can explain what is important and relevant.

  • How does it matter to me?

  • How does it matter to others?

Habits of Heart: Do the right thing

Costanoa High School students listen to their hearts, contribute to our learning community, and demonstrate respect for self and others by doing the following:


  • Students TAKE RESPONSIBILITY for their own actions.

  • Students maintain SELF CONTROL by COMMUNICATING RESPECTFULLY in challenging situations.

  • Students make the CHOICE to respectfully follow school rules.

Habits of Work: Work Hard

Costanoa High School students focus on school work and demonstrate the following work and learning habits:

  • Students are reliable and make PUNCTUALITY and ATTENDANCE a priority.

  • Students are ACTIVE LEARNERS; they FOCUS ON LEARNING and give their personal BEST EFFORT.

  • Students come to school each day with a CLEAR MIND.

  • Students create, monitor, and revise GOALS.


We work to help students develop good habits for a lifetime of success.

Habits of Mind, Heart, and Work were inspired by the Coalition for Essential Schools!

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