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Or science notebook. As you may recall, science note-booking is where it went from bad to worse school-wise for Simon about a month ago. This is where he got confused on a particularly rough day, didn’t understand the assignment, didn’t raise his hand for help, messed up, cried, and lost his first dollar. Today marks two weeks to the day since I chatted with Mr. Sowder, he promised Simon he wouldn’t take dollars away for crying any more, and Simon began to rebound.

Today is also the day Simon’s most recent science notebook came home. The unit they just finished was on properties, and Simon scored a NI for “Needs Improvement” on his first assignment. This is the first NI he’s gotten all year, and I’m sure he knows about it and is mightily unhappy about it. Or should I say I’m sure he knew about it and broke down in part because of it.

After this come 12 more assignments. Simon scored a O for Outstanding in 7 of those and a S for Satisfactory in 5. Most of those “S”s came in assignments that required drawing, a skill Simon is woefully lacking in. (Matt would like to add here that he was/is just as bad when it comes to drawing.) He performed above grade level–the “O” score–on all the more conceptual tasks.

Not coincidentally, Simon told me the day after his chat with Mr. Sowder that he was back to liking science. Yesterday he told me that science note-booking was getting easier. Which brings me to my most recent theory, theories actually:

1. I’m willing to bet that at least some of Simon’s freak-out was the direct result of his seeing that “NI” grade.

2. I’m further willing to bet that some of his mental improvement was the direct result of the “O” he earned the next time out.

3. Finally, the day will come when math and science require no drawing–or at least no drawing that can’t be computer assisted. That day is going to make Simon one very happy and very successful student!

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