Monday, December 8, 2014

Believe You Can Succeed

This year, a new word has become a major part of our vocabulary in my 4th grade classroom.

It's a simple word, really, but it hold so much power.

The word?
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." 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!


  1. What a neat idea! Never thought about it, but it ties into our compound word standard for sure:) I'll have to give it a try. Thanks for the great tip!

    4th Works

  2. We watch this video as one of our calming breaks in grade 1
    This is a talk from Carol Dweck - in my math course we are doing a lot of work on Growth Mind Sets
    I love that you are using it so much students are using it with you!!

  3. This is such a great simple word that we all need to add as we're striving to do things! Thanks for the reminder!

    Swinging for Success

  4. What a great idea! I love how you printed it out and put it on your board! I'm so going to do this!!
    A Tall Drink of Water

  5. I must adopt this for my students as well. My students are so stressed out with the rigor of common core and the depth of thinking I am pushing them to. Their brains hurt! I adopted the phrase, "FAIL is the first attempt in learning" from "The Smartest Kids in The World and How They Got That Way. Adding "yet" would really help! Love this Jennifer!!



Thank you for taking the time for stopping by! I would love it if you would leave me a comment to let me know that you were here. (Please make sure that you are not a "No Reply Blogger" so that I can email you back.)