It's a simple word, really, but it hold so much power.
One tiny, three letter word has made all the difference.
"I don't get it" becomes "I don't get it...yet."
"I'm not finished...yet."
"I can't figure it out...yet."
"I can't do it...yet."
Adding the word "yet" to the end of these sentences establishes a growth mindset for my young learners. "Yet" tells the student that with hard work and perseverance, they can succeed. It puts them in control. It encourages them to keep going, that learning something new is within reach, that hard work can pay off.
Before, students would say "I don't get it" (my favorite), giving themselves permission to avoid hard work. When I began introducing the word "yet", students would need a few reminders to add it on. Now, it is a natural part of our classroom conversation.
A funny story...Last week, I was helping a student with a long division problem. I had been working with this student almost every day to help him learn how to divide, but he just wasn't catching on. He was having much difficulty and was trying to explain to me where he was having trouble. He explained his thinking as he pointed to the digits in the division problem, but I was becoming more and more confused at what he was trying to do. I said, "I'm sorry...but I don't understand you." He responded, "Mrs. Laffin, you don't understand me...yet." Ahhh...giving me a taste of my own medicine. :)
Try introducing the word "yet" in your classroom and see what happens. I'd love to hear how it goes!