In our middle school, teachers can write Academic Notifications for students who struggle. These are notices that are sent home outlining specific issues ranging from academic to behavioral. This week I wrote my third Academic Notification this year. This is easily a tenfold reduction in notifications than in past years by this time of the year. I have typically sent notifications whenever a student failed a quiz, missed at least three assignments in a quarter and/or dipped significantly from earlier in the year. Don't get me wrong: I could have sent multiple notifications this year because students have failed quizzes and skipped assignments. The difference with this model is that a student can retake a quiz and jump from a 0 to a perfect score in less than 24 hours; this is no exaggeration, that jump actually occurred for one student. So by the time a notification would even be processed in the office, it would be obsolete. Even a student who skipped an assignment could make it up within a class period or at home that very night. The point is that the grades are so much more fluid in this model. I've seen a student in deep water on Monday but actually end up ahead of peers by Friday. I appreciate the hectic nature of the course because it seems more authentic. Just as microclimates can experience temperature fluctuations, a student's understanding of a concept can swiftly change from total confusion to sudden understanding. Ever witnessed an "ah ha" moment? This flipped model with traces of mastery and standards-based grading is responsive to these changes.