All Reflections from This Year can be Found Here.
I am very happy with the growth I have been seeing with my Math Analysis students. I have really been encouraging them daily to "take charge of their own learning" and "manage their time wisely to help them succeed". I feel like that is really starting to click with a lot of my students. It's definitely far from perfect, but I love the progress I have been noticing.
This week in Math Analysis we implemented the new "self-pacing/self-evaluating" process I described in my Week 2 reflection. Basically, I allowed students to be "waived" from certain assignments once they could show me proficiency. If it was super easy for them and they understood it after watching the video and completing the WSQ, they could come to class and take the concept quiz and then move on rather than spending the period practicing a concept they had already mastered.
Here are my thoughts on it from the first week of implementation. I feel like I need to continue to use this for at least a couple of more weeks to really get a grasp on if I like it or not:
3. I felt better about the work that was assigned to the students because they were doing it for their own good and for their own learning, not for the sake of getting the assignment done or feeling like they were doing busy work.
The "Flipped" part
I made a few important adjustments in the flipped classroom this week in terms of the expectations I have for students and their WSQ's:
-Even with a "bad" question, I was able to probe and use follow-up questions to get the deeper thinking I wanted out of my students.
-As the week went on, I saw improvement in students' original questions, and we could still continue to ask follow-up questions.
Random note - I love teaching math vocabulary with songs! Here is the one we are using this chapter to help students remember all the stuff about polynomial names and degrees: "Polynomial Degrees" (to the tune of ABC's/Twinkle Twinkle). The great thing was that when students took their concept quiz, I saw them all counting on their fingers and whispering/mouthing the words to the song to help them remember the names.
To see more of the songs & chants I use in my math classes, click on this link.
One of my top students in Algebra 1 stayed after class on Wednesday to talk to me. He was frustrated that I had to take class time out every day to lecture the students who weren't prepared and didn't think the "flipped classroom" was working because I just had to get mad every day. He didn't think it was fair to him that I waste class time getting "mad" at the students who didn't care. I appreciated him feeling open enough to come and talk to me about it and offered some guidance and solutions. First, I made him aware that I do look at the clock and no more than five minutes of class is spent on getting the class started and "kicking out" the kids who need to be talked to. Second, I reminded him that the beauty of the flipped classroom is that you can work at your own pace - whether that be slower or faster than the students around you. I told him that he is more than welcome to be working ahead and starting the assignments before I actually tell the class to get started. He needs to participate in the whole class portions (activities, group discussions, etc), but otherwise he can be working on his assignments. I told him that he can even choose to watch all the videos in one night if he wants and then just work by himself on the problems if he chooses. He was (somewhat surprisingly) very happy and satisfied with my responses and very grateful that he sensed that the flipped classroom could really help him. All in a 5 minute conversation! I am hoping to see him start to stretch and push himself next week; we will see!
Sharing and Collaboration
So far (as of 2/17/12), I have received 31 responses to my Flipped Classroom Questionnaire. If you have not yet had the time to fill out the survey, please try to do so before I close the survey in about a week. I would like to see between 100-200 responses, as I know there are thousands of teachers out their flipping. Please send the link to any and all teachers that you know are flipping, thinking about flipping, or have tried flipping. The survey is meant for all teachers in all subjects, all grade levels, all countries, all levels of experience with flipping etc. The link to the non-embedded survey is here. Feel free to email it, tweet it, post it, etc.
I have had several requests already for the results of the survey and I will be sharing as soon as the survey is closed. Responders do have the option to keep their responses private, so I do need to go through and edit the Google Docs survey and take out any unwanted public information before posting it. At that time, I will post the survey responses as a whole as well as blog about anything I feel is important. If you would like to personally be contacted when the results spreadsheet is available, please let me know by commenting below or sending me an email
I have also finished collecting information and questions from my staff from the presentation I gave about a week and a half ago. I will be posting a blog on that later this weekend as well and will link to it here when it is complete.
Please check out the list of blogs on my right hand side for other "Flipping Teachers" and check out #flipclass on Twitter for lots of great articles, insights, and experiences daily from teachers all around the world!
It was a pretty exciting week overall with feeling great about the flipped classroom every day when I came home (just ask my husband - sometimes the day is just full of complaints, but this week I had positive and exciting things to say every day!). What topped it all off was being voted by my colleagues as "Educator of the Year" for my school. It was an honor and a great surprise. It is nice to know that your hard work is being recognized and that people appreciate the effort you are giving to help your students succeed.
I have had several conversations with colleagues interested and exciting about trying to "flip" next school year. Most of them are going to wait until they have time to prep and prepare over the summer, but I am excited to see the excitement growing! :). I am hoping with the information I get from the survey I mentioned above will provide support for all of my colleagues of different subject areas with a contact of someone who also flips that same subject area and to whom they can look to for questions, support, and tips.
THINGS I'VE HEARD THIS WEEK THAT I LOVE:
- This week when I watched the videos, mainly Concept 8 Part 1, I had chances to see if I could get things on my own, by pausing, and then have it explained, which is something that is rarely seen in a regular class and helps me see my mistakes.
- If I want to go back and learn the steps in detail I can, and I won't have to stay after class or get weird looks like I'm stupid . . .
- The video for the unit circle is a video and not a one time lecture, so I can go back and watch instead of just looking at paper with numbers on it. It explains why everything is what it is, the patterns and the tricks and is an actual help at learning. It's not just mindless memorization, it gives reasons to why thing are what they are.
-It's fun and I feel like the flipped classrooms are a less stressful way to learn and if more teachers try it then less people will be stressed out, so it's like helping the world!
STUDENT 2 (Math Analysis):
-The flipped classroom this past week has helped me as a student because I could work at my own pace. Concepts that I had once covered were refreshed in my memory, and for concepts which were a bit more challenging I was able to still learn at my own pace. I did not have to worry about falling behind because I got to learn on my own time and ask questions in class. Flipped classroom allows me to spend more time on concepts that I need more help on than lessons that I already know.
-The "take the quizzes when you're ready" and "waiver" were a great idea because I could actually decide what to do for myself. We have to make our own choices later on anyway, so why not start now? :) It also helped me because I didn't have to spend too much time on something that I already knew and I could move on to more challenging concepts.
STUDENT 3 (Math Analysis):
-it allows me to review and understand the explanation and the concept from the videos.
-The "waivers" allowed those who understood the concept the following day a sort of reward or a pat on the back; exempting from additional homework (mandatory), but does not take away from additional practice.
-Also, answering our questions opens additional understanding of the concept (if the question is well-written). It allows a discussion within the group and opens different explanations/answers to one question (maybe/depends).
-Well, there was a particular discussion concerning the similarities and differences between the formulas of the ellipses and hyperbolas. We took into account the similar variables and formulas. But there were minor differences within the formula that played big roles to change the shape of a ellipse into a hyperbola (i.e. a^2+b^2=c^2 vs. a^2-b^2=c^2 or we switch a^2 and b^2 in ellipses while we switch the terms (y-k)^2 and (x-h)^2 in hyperbolas). Such discussions like these help me remember like "Oh yeah! I remember talking about that with my group."
STUDENT 4 (Algebra 1):
-It helped me see that I have done my work correctly. Help me focus more to make a GREAT summary. Also, it helped me prepare for a review of the concept that we learned.
-What I like most about the flipped classroom is that we get to do activities that apply to the concept we are learning. I like doing homework in the classroom rather than at home because it feels relaxed. When I need help on a problem, I can ask the teacher rather than wait the next day to get the answer. This week was very fun because it was a very easy week. We did activities and reviewed concepts that we had trouble on. The flipped classroom is great!
2. Coming up with a list of "key questions" myself for each concept to have handy to ask students, to have students discuss in groups, and to show students what "good, HOT questions" look like and sound like (modeling).
3. Splitting the class into three groups (Math Analysis - maybe have them split themselves; Algebra 1 - I would need to split them, at least for a while). High, Medium, and Low. High kids work together on their own (or tutor low kid). Medium kids work with me. Low kids work with a small group led by a "high kid" tutor. Will this work?