All Reflections from This Year can be Found Here.
My Math Analysis students continued to work on Unit M (Conic Sections).
Okay I just lost some of you on that description :) My point is, this is A LOT to go over, learn, and understand.
I do need to take more time in my Algebra 1 class to work on the summaries as a class. The only issue is, there are still several students (probably 5-10 a class every day, out of 36-38 students in every class) that show up not having watched the video and/or written the WSQ. I guess I could still do it, I just need to make it a priority.
In terms of the usefulness of class time, I feel like my classes made progress this week. They still need daily reminders of my expectations for group work and even within the class period they have to be reminded to get back on task, but I still feel like there is progress. I need to remind myself that these are CP freshmen and sophomores who are still in Algebra 1 because they have struggled with math in the past - and normally it's not just struggled in math, it's struggled with general study skills and time management.
The time that students spend on my class outside of class is still pretty pitiful. They will, for the most part, watch the videos. [In fact, I stopped in and chatted with our librarian and one of our counselors who were supervising our "Library Late Night" we had this Wednesday and they said many of my students were in the lab watching my videos and they loved what they saw - the students were pausing, taking notes, rewinding, etc - everything they were supposed to be doing!]. However, if they leave class with one or two problems left unfinished, their assignment is to finish them before class the next day. They don't. For the most part, anyways. The only reason they should leave class with a few problems unfinished is if they are off task. They are given plenty of time to work through them. If I feel like the whole class has been on task and working hard and still don't finish the problems, then I will cut down the assignment. But, when I see them off task and not focused, there is no way I will reward them for that behavior by cutting down their assignment.
Thus, so far, one of my goals of cutting down HW cards in Algebra 1 is not coming to fruition. 75% of my students in each of my classes for Algebra 1 this week will receive their first HW card. I am hoping they will learn sooner rather than later that it really just takes a little bit of effort, responsibility, and focus to meet my expectations. I'm not expecting them to work magic or to become math superstars overnight - I just expect them to try their best and work hard in class. We will keep working...
Sharing and Collaboration: Staff Presentation
I presented My Flipped Classroom to my entire staff (teachers, admin, counselors, etc) at our Delayed Start PD this week. Overall, the response was very positive. I will be blogging later this weekend about their thoughts, questions, and concerns based on a Google Forms survey I gave them. (Pre-presentation and Post-Presentation survey) So far, I have about 40 responses to each survey, which is about half our staff.
Our Principal also told me I may be getting visitors from three nearby school districts who want to see my Flipped Classroom in action. One of her mentors, a retired Principal, sits in on many of our Leadership meetings and discussions and was there for my first presentation of the flipped classroom last week. He liked it so much he told some of the other Principals that he works with and they want to learn more about it. Hopefully I will be able to blog about that soon!
I did get a call from one of our Assistant Principals on Friday. He got an email from a concerned staff member about student use of electronics in the classroom. We have a very strict policy regarding cell phones, iPods, etc. Students are allowed to "have them" on campus but they should not be visible at any time they are on campus. He asked if I allowed students to use iPods or other devices during class. At this point, I told him no. Because I have three laptops, students have been able to use those if they needed to watch the videos. Only a few students have the videos loaded on their iPods or have 3G and can stream them. I do have a few, however, who will be in my classroom outside of school hours (before school or after school tutoring) and will use their personal electronic devices to watch videos on. He said he was fine with that, and he was even fine with the students using them during my class time with my monitoring and under the system I have in place. I was glad to hear of his support for an issue that will probably come up at some point in the year. It also reminded me, though, that there will always be others who will not be supportive of any "changes" or "modifications" of the rules, even if it leads to increased student understanding, engagement, and involvement in their learning.
I did have one issue in Math Analysis on Wednesday with a student frustrated with the Flipped Classroom. At the end of the period (last 2 minutes), I called the class back together to summarize where they should be and to remind them of the expectations that are set on them to guide and take charge of their own learning. Without any prompting, one male student shouted out "I Hate the Flipped Classroom! I want to go back to Traditional!". This led two female students to say, "Yeah, I want traditional!". After quickly making it clear that this was not discussion time and their behavior was not appropriate, I went on to remind the students of what I needed to say. I pulled the 3 students aside to my back room after class to discuss with them the incident that just happened. The male student is one of my highest achieving students and was very visibly frustrated, and I think almost embarrassed that he got himself in "trouble". The other two girls are the ones who have been complainers all year and no matter what we do, they have something to say about it. I called them back to basically tell them that they are entitled to their opinions, but there are mature and appropriate ways to express their opinions and what just occurred was not one of them. I reminded them that I am the professional educator and I make decisions based on what I think it best for my students as a whole, and the Flipped Classroom is the model that I am using.
That evening, I actually ran into the young man again at the Library Late Night I mentioned earlier. I pulled him aside individually and talked about why he was feeling the way he was. Before this, I had discussed with one of my colleagues how I should deal with the situation, and she said "It sounds like those three students are just trying to give you solutions for a problem, but they haven't even told you what the problem is!". I agreed - they were all trying to tell me what to do, but they hadn't told me why they were dissatisfied with the Flipped Classroom. The young man expressed to me that in the past, he was able to get his math homework done in his other classes during the day and never had to bring any of it home. Now that his homework is watching videos, he has to do math homework and home and that is frustrating to him. He finally stated the problem!!! With that, I was able to come up with a suggested solution for him. I am going to allow him to work at his own pace (mainly working ahead) and not feel tied down to the pace I have set up for the rest of the class. Ideally, this means that he would take maybe one or two nights a week to watch all of the lessons for the week, and then he could use his time in class (and in other classes) to get done what he needs to get done. This, coupled with the "waiver" feature I talked about earlier, will hopefully solve his frustrations. We will see.
As far as the two girls go, I have not talked with them further about their outbursts. I did change their seats the next day because they were actually sitting right next to each other, and we all know how much easier it is to complain when we have someone to complain with. We will see how it goes...
THINGS I'VE HEARD THIS WEEK THAT I LOVE:
CHANGES I'VE MADE THIS WEEK THAT I LIKE:
IDEAS I'M STILL CONTEMPLATING & EXPERIMENTING WITH:
Thoughts, comments, ideas, your own experiences? Please share!!!
All Reflections from This Year can be Found Here.