I find my school week quite different from previous years. I started off my week by dragging my self in on Monday similar to my students, I hated Mondays, they are exhausting. Work was work and I left it there. The weekend was mine and if at all possible I didn’t bring anything home. I know, terrible teacher! I use to tell my students, “I don’t give work over the weekend. I’m not taking anything home, I don’t expect you to.” My first post indicated how much of a rut I was in, but I digress. The week developed with the desire to have my students doing “good” science but rarely surfaced. I would get beat down but the apathy and lack of focus of my students.

Fast forward to this past week. Monday was exhilarating. My students were greeted with enthusiasm and excitement of what will happen, what will we learn? Each day justifies my decision to transform my teaching. Tuesday took me away from my students to work on curriculum. I’ve been deeply involved with curriculum since 1993 when a partner now administrator, Bob Pacioni had me develop a greater appreciation. I found myself addressing the questions of what transformations I had made and less about the curriculum. Colleagues were curious, some deeply interested in learning more, but most decided that it was a lot of work, which I agreed. The comment that I had a hard time responding to, “Good luck with this, it looks great and I hope it works for you”. My response, “It has to work, cause I’m not going back”

The first summative assessment was given to my students. I used formative assessments to gauge where and to what level of understanding my students were currently at. The summative assessment confirmed my suspicions that we need more practice. This was not what the assessment told my students or parents. They only saw red bars on Activegrade, which resembled a big red cape similar to what bull would see being wave by a matador. The questions and emails were all justified, and calmed with explanation. (Parental learning curve shrinking). The “ah-ha” “winning” moment of the week was the day after the summative assessment during the next whiteboard session. Walking around the class discussing with students their findings, I noticed some students had their learning logs out on their tables. I asked one of my co-taught students, “why do you have your learning log out?” “I didn’t do well on a few of the standards and I looked my work over at home and I think I get it now”, she replied. “I just want to make sure I don’t make those mistakes any more”! That students’ comment is the reason this is going to work.