Yesterday my students were practicing evaluating functions using function notation, which really is just another excuse to practice order of operations and exponents work. One of my students was working on a problem and called me over because he got stuck. "Mrs. Freed, I don't know what I'm doing wrong." I took a look, saw that he had already tried it twice, looked over what he had done and pointed out a mistake. He was able to quickly fixed it and moved on with the problem. I recognized this as a huge improvement from last year, and took the time to acknowledge it.
"One thing I see you doing right now is persevering when you encountered something that was challenging. You didn't give up. You didn't quit. You asked for help. You persevered. You moved on and kept going. This is a huge improvement from last year that I think is helping you be more successful."
He looked at me, laughed a little and replied, "Mrs. Freed, you're the one who taught me to do that!"
Next week, I'm planning on asking him what I did that helped him learn it, because I want all my students to learn it!