I left school yesterday on cloud nine. It was my third day of running my class with all of the things I've been planning and working on all summer and let me just say I couldn't be happier. I LOVE this so much. I think the reason I am so excited and optimistic is because it doesn't feel gimmicky or like I'm doing busy work stuff. I am watching kids work their butts off on math like I have NEVER seen before! That is what I am so pumped up about.
I even have a student in 8th, who has always been (had him in 7th last year) a behavior issue, it was always a success just to keep his behavior in check. Well yesterday I got to sit at an empty group of desks, work one on one with him and sent him back to his table where he worked quietly until dismissal. I think I had tears of joy in my eyes.
I also noticed I am asking so many higher order questions and pushing the kids so much harder. I've gone from, "no you don't have to show work" to "not only do you have to show work, but explain why your are doing what you are doing." I am pushing them to use vocabulary correctly, I was amazed at how many of my "smart" kids were writing things like "divide 90 from 2" for example.
Ok I am getting chills again. I need to keep this short because now I am going to go through all of my lesson plans this week and tweak them just a bit with all the little successful tweeks I did this week!