Saturday, March 31, 2012

Reflections on Week 9 (The Halfway Point!)
Week 9 of the Spring Semester is now over - we are now to the halfway point!  It is amazing to look back and see the growth and development of my flipped class over the last 9 weeks, both for me as the teacher and for my students as learners.  I can't wait to see what the next 9 weeks hold!

All Reflections from This Year can be Found Here. 

*Each week, I spend some time personally reflecting on the week - what I did, what worked, what didn't, what I liked, what I didn't, etc.  I try to organize my reflections in a similar manner each week, since they do get pretty long: (1) Math Analysis; (2) Algebra; (3) Sharing and Collaboration; (4) Other Thoughts; (5) Running lists (Things I've heard this week that I love; Characteristics and qualities of my flipped classroom that I want to keep; Changes I've made this week that I like; Ideas I'm still contemplating and experimenting with)I hope these reflections give you insight into my classroom and give you some ideas to try in your own flipped classroom.  I appreciate any comments, feedback, ideas, and follow-ups that you provide, so please comment and join in on the conversation! 

For those of you who read my weekly reflections consistently, you will notice a change this week compared to the past.  These posts will be shorter with links to more detailed external posts on specific topics.  I was finding (for myself) that it was hard for me to go back and find a previous post on a specific topic because it was hidden among a huge weekly reflection.  So, hopefully this will alleviate that problem.

I posted about several other topics this week, including:
1. Great student quotes from Math Analysis on Wednesday ("They just make me smile..."  post here)
2. Parent thoughts on the Flipped Classroom (post from Open House Thursday night here
3. #flipclass chat - Biggest Risks (thoughts from the chat archive from Monday night  since I wasn't able to participate in the live chat here)
4. Initial impressions (thoughts from 2 teachers and an administrator that visited my Flipped Classroom a week ago here)

Math Analysis
It has been another fabulous week in my Math Analysis flipped class.  I love the relationships that I am seeing my students develop with one another and the comfort level they have in working with each other and asking each other questions.  A true community is forming, and I really think that every student feels they add a valuable piece to the learning that happens every day.

I think that having the students begin creating their own content was a GREAT idea because it gave them one more level of ownership with the material.  I don't know how often/how many I want them to make them because with anything, "too much of a good thing is a bad thing".   With some continued feedback from my students over this week off of Spring Break, hopefully I'll have an idea of how to continue this throughout the year.

We tried A LOT of new things this week, including:
1. Online WSQ submissions (see new post here) I still have a lot of pros and cons with this idea - I'm not sure how to merge what I want with what I'm given under my current way of doing it.
2. My videos made using a new software on iPad (see new post here) This was basically an "epic fail" (in the words of one of my students). I'm going back to my usual way.
3. Continued student-created videos (see new post here). This turned out amazing. And, from my students' comments, they really understood the purpose and reasoning behind making them.  Definitely a keeper!
4. First "take home test" for trig identities (see new post here). Student feedback on the process was positive. I won't be grading these tests until later this week during spring break, so I'll have to post again later about that. Students liked the ability to use all available resources and having as much time as needed (some students spent 8 hours on the test!) to work through the trigonometric proofs.

I was talking with one of my students casually this week after school and they described class time as "chaotic but productive".  I would agree. It does get pretty crazy with students doing so many different things, but yet 95% of the students are on task throughout the whole period.

There were several instances this week where I wanted to take another "360" look at my classroom.  However, my iPod, cell phone, and two digital cameras were all being used by student groups to make their own videos that I couldn't.  If I could just freeze time and look around my classroom, it is seriously NOTHING like it has been in years past.  It is truly a student-centered place where learning is happening every day.

One issue I am encountering is just making sure all content is available for students in a variety of places.  So far this year, I have been uploading all videos to both YouTube and SchoolTube.  Honestly, it's a bit annoying having to upload videos to more than one place but here are my issues:
  1. YouTube streams well on all devices, especially mobile devices...but doesn't work on campus
  2. SchoolTube works on campus... but doesn't work on all mobile devices, doesn't stream as well, and is more prone to upload errors
The solution? I don't know. I wish YouTube would just be unblocked, but that is not an option (already asked about it). 
Thoughts? Ideas? Suggestions?

Algebra 1

I think I say this every week, but my Algebra 1 kids are "coming along".  I love what I am seeing from my top kids, my middle-of-the-road kids are making progress in the right direction, and I am still trying to find a way to motivate my low kids and have them at least learn SOMETHING every day.

One of my low-but-almost-middle-of-the-road students came in one morning earlier this week for some remediation and retaking, and said something to me that I immediately had to write down...
"I finally realized how lazy I was when I watched the videos. I was just wasting my time! Now I understand what you mean you say to actually watch it"
He was re-watching some videos from several weeks ago and I think it finally clicked with him that when he actually really watched the video and tried to make sense of it, he understood it!  He realized how much time he had wasted just going through the motions for most of the semester thus far.  I only hope that his epiphany lasts for the rest of the year and it rubs off on some of his classmates.  It is such an important discovery for the students to make, and I really think it is THEM that has to make it.  I can tell them over and over again the importance of watching a video and actually paying attention and learning from it, but at some point they have to realize the value of it and learn that lesson themselves.

We also tried A LOT of new things this week in Algebra 1, including:
1. up to a "3 minute WSQ"
2. Differentiation for "super-low" students (see new post here)
3. Daily Goals with Weekly Deadlines (see new post here)

I am getting happier as time goes on with the timed WSQ process in class.  I increased the time to three minutes this week without any issues - students still stayed focused and talked through the whole time period.  I feel like they are getting more comfortable with each other as well as with the process.  One of my favorite parts of these times is walking around the groups and hearing them ask questions of each other.  Normally, one of them will look up to me for the answer and before I have the chance to answer, their group member will jump in and answer it or at least begin talking about it. 

 I love the ability to NOT SPOON-FEED. If they are stuck on a problem, I do one of several things:
1) Ask them a probing question to get them thinking and try to trigger something.
If that doesn't work,
2) Ask around the room for a student who understands it or one who I remember helping with it earlier in the day or the day before.
If that still doesn't work,
3) Give them the first step or two of the problem and then set them out to work it out on their own/with their group.
 In the past, I would find myself working out the whole problem for them and showing them step-by-step how to do it.  At that point, they had the problem "done" but they hadn't done much learning. I did the amazing math, and they watched.  I don't think that is the way a student learns.

In sad/frustrating news, I had four students caught cheating this week in one class period of Algebra 1.  Two on the Chapter 9 test on Thursday (a student turned around and asked a question of the person behind him and later on the student tried to whisper the answer back), and another two today (a student took a classmate's homework assignment off her desk, erased her name, put his on it, and tried to submit it as his own).  It is so incredibly disappointing to me when those things happen.  Besides teaching my students about math, I hope I am teaching them about life and the value of responsibility, respect for themselves and others, and most of all INTEGRITY.  It takes a second to lose someone's trust, and a whole long time to earn it back once it's been lost.  Besides that, it is so sad to me that these students still think school is about "earning points" or "avoiding punishment".  The student who cheated on the test needed the answer to a simple division problem for a factor tree that was worth 2 points, but now he may have cost his entire test grade (school policy) in addition to receiving severe consequences.  The student who stole the homework assignment was trying to avoid a school-wide homework punishment, of which he is currently up to receiving a Saturday School because he has missed so many assignments in my class.  He stole an assignment that he had a week to complete on his own, but was too lazy to do so.  So now, he will be receiving a Saturday for that and another one for plagiarism.  Above all, it's just so disappointing that all four students involved are good kids.  They are kids I have seen progress in this year.  They are kids with so much potential.  They are kids who show me glimpses of greatness in both work ethic and math skill. Maybe it is good we have a week off from Spring Break and they can be ready to have a discussion about their actions when we come back.

Sharing and Collaboration

An AP Bio teacher at my school is seriously considering flipping for next school year and it is so awesome to have someone on campus to chat with about the flipped classroom.  His excitement is contagious and he has such great ideas already!  I'm hoping to have some comments from him on my blog soon, I'll link here when I do!

Speaking of connections, via my Flipped Class Survey that was sent out last Monday, I was able to get connected with a teacher about 10 minutes away from me that is also flipping Math Analysis Honors!  We are going to get together next week to chat and share ideas.  Super excited!

Lastly, I was able to have a UC Berkeley student come and observe me on Monday.  She is graduating this June and going to work with Teach for America in the fall.  It was great to be able to show her a completely different type of classroom and chat with her for quite a while on teaching methods, philosophy, and ideas.  I am hoping to get some feedback and questions from her on the flipped classroom soon, and I'll link here when I do!

If you haven't checked out my Blogroll on the right hand side of other flipping teachers, do so! It is only through sharing and community that we learn and grow!  Also, be sure to use #flipclass on twitter to join in the conversation.  If you are a "flipper" and  a "blogger" and don't see your blog on the right, please let me know. I would love to follow you and read up on your experiences!

Every Monday there is a #flipclass chat on Twitter (8pm EST).  Check it out and join in.  Connect with @bennettscience to find out more.

Other Thoughts
Plans are in place for me to be able to go to the ISTE conference this summer with a small group of teachers from my school and I REALLY hope that it goes through.  I looked through all of the presentations and sessions at the conference and there are so many that interest me, including several on the Flipped Classroom.  Thank goodness for a conference close to home!

"They just make me smile..."  post here
From their mouths... Comments and thoughts from my students for this week here.

CHARACTERISTICS AND QUALITIES OF MY FLIPPED CLASSROOM THAT I WANT TO KEEP (this list is now kept on a separate page here and is updated weekly)

1.  Online WSQ for whole class?
2.  Daily Goals with Weekly Deadlines for Algebra 1

IDEAS I'M STILL CONTEMPLATING & EXPERIMENTING WITH (running list each week with updates):

1. 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)... This will be tied in with the "Guided Summary" I will be starting to try out.  I think this is going to be put off in its entirety until this summer.

2. Begin coming up with activities students can do to apply their knowledge or practice their knowledge in different ways once they get the basics.  Again, this is something I think may just start to happen over the summer or next year since right now it's just crazy.

Thoughts, comments, ideas, your own experiences? Please share!!!

All Reflections from This Year can be Found Here. 

Week 9 "From their mouths" - student comments (Algebra 1 and Math Analysis)

From their mouths...

Every week I ask my students for some feedback on how the flipped classroom is going for them and if they have anything that stood out to them as really good or really bad.  Here are their thoughts from Week 9.

1. How was class time in general for you this week? How are you feeling about the flipped class? Do you feel you are changing as a student in any way (for the good or the bad)? If so, describe.
2. If you could change ONE THING about the flipped class, what would it be? If you had to choose ONE THING to DEFINITELY KEEP AND NEVER CHANGE, what would it be?

Math Analysis students
  • Class time is becoming more useful as the weeks go by because at first I think (not just me but) everyone was happy because they would have "free time" to talk to friends but I have then began to take advantage of that time and do some problems so that way if I have any questions about it I can just ask the teacher and also it gives me a head start on math homework for that day. The point is that I've begun to take responsibility and been productive during math class. I really like the flipped classroom for that reason that I'll have help while doing my math homework during class. In addition to taking responsibility, it definitely has changed me as a student in a good way because I have begun to think differently about education and taking the responsibility to learn the material for yourself. 
  • If I had to change one thing about the flipped classroom it would be to have a longer class period because I think the time goes by so fast and I am still working on the first few problems once the bell has rung. If I had to choose one thing to never change it would be that we keep learning from the videos because they have seriously been an advantage to my learning in math class. Especially, when concepts get really hard you always have those videos to rewatch and also watch the extra videos until you understand the concept (usually it just takes me the required videos to be able to learn the concepts with the help of being able to pause and rewind the videos).  
  • Class was good this week, but it is always hectic when we overlap the units b/c it is so much more work. I like the videos but don’t like how its very time consuming. With the videos & the WSQ & the classwork we don’t get to finish is too much sometimes.  [comment from me: I overlap units on purpose for two main reasons... (1) to give students time from when we finish learning the material to when they are tested on it since we are still all testing on the same day. (2) to try to help avoid the "cram session" because they actually have to learning several different concepts at once and still making sense of them.]
  • I think that we have the same amount of time as before. We still do our PQ during class time and could ask questions if we need to.
  • I think that class time this week was extremely useful however, I messed up on my own by not being productive during class. 
  • I am slowly opening up to the idea of flipped class room. I like the idea that the flipped class room is when you can give the students the chance to take learning into their own hands. I feel like I am changing as a student because I am doing my work at my own pace and also my own pace of learning.
  • If i could change one thing it would have to be the videos. I prefer watching one long videos as opposed to two short videos. I thing i would definitely keep forever and ever and ever is the WSQ chart. I think the chart keeps me on task and lets me know what to expect. [comment from me: this is one of the few students who prefers the longer videos.  Students generally have up to 15 minutes of video to watch a night (sometimes shorter). I try to break it up into 5-7 minute chunks and most students like that better.]
  • I wouldn't change anything because everything we do is useful or maybe just take the summary out. The videos and SSS we can always go back to them for help.
  • I really like how everything is ran but the only thing is that now that we have the playlists I feel like there is more work. One thing I would definitely keep is the guided summary. I feel like it helps point us in the direction of what we need to focus on and what not to focus on.   
  • This week was fine. The flipped classroom is not for me, but seems to be helping other students. I feel I am becoming somewhat in lead of my own learning as a student becuase if we cared to get a good grade, we would watch the lessons.

Algebra 1 students

  • Class time this week for me was really good, I was able to take quizzes, and get most of my classwork done. I feel that flipped class is helping me learn more about the chapter we are on. I love how we can work with anyone in the class if we need help! Also, i liked how each morning we worked on a 'ICGI' because it helped us get ready for that part of the test. Yes, I feel that i am changing as a student in many ways. The way i use my time in class has changed, and I am understanding the concepts a lot more than I used to. 
  • If i could change one thing about the flipped class, it would be to have a short video on the homework. For example, sometimes when I take a look at the PQ's, I don't understand problems when I am finishing them at home and I end up getting stuck. It would be nice if there were videos of problems from the PQ's. One thing to keep forever is writing a summary in our notebook after watching the video. 
  • I feel good this week went very well with the flipped classroom it feels the same as all the other flipped classrooms.  Class this week was difficult and easy. Reason being is because some of the assignments made sense too me but half the time i wasn't coming in for tutoring so i guess that's why most of the curriculum was pretty hard for me. The flipped class videos really do help, especially when i'm in need of some review videos. Also in need of a little bit of help. In a way I am changing as a student because before some of this stuff never made sense to me at all, and now most of it does.
  • i like the way class has been going; it's making me more responsible. i have to get my work done on my own time and keeping at my own pace. i like that a lot i feel like its helping me do better as a person and student.
  • I feel like I'm changing as a student because I moved to the good side and i get help from my fellow classmates.
  • i wouldn't change anything, i like the way its all going. i wouldn't change that every student gets to go at their own pace because it seems helpful to everyone this way. i like that we can still get everything signed off when we need it to be signed. 
  • the one thing is we should have at least two days to watch the we have time then get it signed off
  • I enjoy the flipped classroom very much!  Class time was very productive for me because I had to get ready for the test that was coming up.  It was very hectic because I was going back and forth putting the quizzes back while taking another one.  
  • I like having guided questions rather than a summary because the summary takes a lot of time from be because I have to write it down.  It takes me long just to think what I'm going to write down.  I want it to be thorough.  I wouldn't change letting us take the quizzes on our own because it helps me know that I'm not rushing.  The flipped classroom is the best!

How Flipping Helps... to differentiate for my struggling learners

As I've mentioned in previous posts, my Algebra 1 classes are separated into two sides, basically the kids who come prepared and do their work and can work with others in positive ways, and those who don't come prepared, don't watch the videos (even in class sometimes), and can't work even with a partner and stay focused on a task very well.

These are obviously my "very low" students - they failed first semester and are missing very basic math skills such as adding, subtracting, multiplying, and dividing.  They pretty much gave up on my class back in September.

I want them to leave my class at least learning something, so I have started to differentiate with them and hope that they at least take something from each chapter that we cover.

This last week, I had put together several different "activities" (mainly card-sort games) covering factor trees, factoring, zero product property, perfect squares, parts of quadratics, etc - all things we are covering in Chapter 9.  Instead of having them BS their way through the assigned problems that they don't have the basic knowledge for, I partnered them up and gave them one of the card sort activities to work on for the period.

I saw some very positive things from this:

1. Those students actually learned something, even if they didn't master the mainstream content.  One student who literally has about a 10% in my class worked on factor trees all week and actually got those problems right on the test!  She has literally not gotten anything right all year, and to see little successes I just hope that encourages her to keep working.

2.  These students had a task that they could focus on because it was "game-like" and had a goal.  Even if they were not 100% focused like the other side of the class and their discussions were far from being "high-level", they were much more focused and learning than if they were just working on the problem sets and quizzes like the rest of the students.

What this makes me think for the future:

1. Will ideas like this help to lead to a more mastery-based classroom for next year?  Is it better for those low students to still "fail" (receive an F on their report card) but actually MASTER Chapters 1-3 instead of just skimming over Chapters 1-6 and not understanding any of it for the first semester?  And, if that is the case, where would those students begin the 2nd semester at?  (With schedule changes at semester/different teachers, this could be an issue)

2.  I need to have activities/games like those (card sorts are so easy to make) for all chapters and concepts.  It is the same type of practice, but more hands on and doesn't feel as much like "work".

Submitting the WSQ online via Google Forms

This week I experimented with an "Online WSQ". This means that instead of students handwriting the answers to their WSQ after watching the video, they typed it in a Google Form that was embedded at the end of a playlist for the day.  (See sample below)

Create your own Playlist on MentorMob!

Some observations:
1. Having the online WSQ allows me to see exactly when students complete their homework as it time stamps their submission.  I have 72 Math analysis students this year.  The first night I had them do it, I kept track of how many students submitted them in different time periods.

Tuesday night:
between 3pm-9pm - 12 students
between 9pm-10pm - 12 students
between 10pm-11pm - 7 students
leaving 41 students
11pm-midnight - 14 students
midnight-1am - 1 student
1am-5am - 5 students
5am-8am - 4 students
8am-class time (submitted during lunch or during another class) - 6 students
class time or after - 4 students
Never submitted - 6 students

Wednesday night:
between 3pm-9pm - 16 students
between 9pm-10pm - 7 students
between 10pm-11pm - 8 students
leaving 41 students again!
11pm-midnight - 15 students
midnight-1am - 5 students
1am-5am - 3 students
5am-8am - 4 students
8am-class time (submitted during lunch or during another class) - 5 students
class time or after - 3 students
Never submitted - 6 students

2.  Some students' responses are very short, brief, and not detailed.  This made me think - Is this how their real WSQs are and I just haven't seen them?  This opens my eyes to a lot, but I can't sit here every night and read them as they are submitted.  However, having them submit it online gives them the knowledge that I will be reading them in detail at some point and if they don't do a complete job they will have to do it again.  With the written WSQ, it is basically impossible for me to read through each student's writing every day in class - there just isn't enough time!  So, I think the online WSQ holds them a little more accountable for the quality of their reflection.

3.  I can give students the link to the spreadsheet once they complete it so they can view others responses and answers to their questions if I have time to type them in and answer them.  I do this by linking to the spreadsheet in the confirmation screen once students have submitted their WSQ. My question - Will this be a useful tool?  Is this a way we can facilitate conversation among students?  Right now, I just have students viewing the document (I can type answers in).  However, I could give the students editing rights and have them comment on their classmates questions or something.  Not sure on all this yet...

4. I created a Wordle Word Cloud with what my students wrote for the question "What was the trickiest part of this concept for you?".  I heard about Wordle from another flipped classroom teacher (sorry I can't remember who it was at this point, but thank you!).  I thought it was kind of neat to have the visual of the "most written" words, which could lead to discussion in class.
Wordle: Unit R Concept 1

5. In each of the playlists, I included a "Secret Question" or two for the students to answer.  In the example playlist above, there were two secret questions - one in a separate 20 second clip and then one I talked about at the end of a video. 

These are the two math problems I wanted them to work out on their own before class.  In reality, we don't really go over those problems in class even though I say we are going to because I often forget and just assume they will go over them with their classmates. (Most probably don't).  So, they all had to submit their answers to these questions in the online WSQ and I was able to get great feedback that looked like this.

As you can see, the immediate feedback and data is great for starting class off with and for group discussion.  Without this, many students will walk in and say "oh yeah I got it, it was easy".  However, now it is clear that only 65% of the students got SQ#1 right, and only 59% got SQ#2 correct.  So, now we have a starting point for each group to compare answers and discuss solutions.  

In addition, I got these results in real-time throughout the evening if I decided to check the GoogleDocs form for the results.  I put the answers to the secret questions in the spreadsheet so when students received the link at the end of the survey, they could not only view their responses and their classmates responses, but they could see the right answers to the secret questions.

6. Class discussion ("5 minute WSQ") was just okay this week.  I feel like the kids struggled to hold as deep of a conversation as they have been having since they did not have their written WSQ in front of them.  I had the questions projected on the screen, but since they did not have their answers in front of them, they had to remember everything from memory.  Also, they could not add to what they wrote if they thought of something else after discussing it with their groups.  In addition, the questions they asked after the video didn't all get answered (normally they actually have to write down their answer in their notebook to ensure they asked it).

So... what to do?
  • I am going to continue to use the "playlist" on MentorMob, but NOT use Educreations. I would love to use YouTube, but I will probably have to end up using SchoolTube for the playlists because of students who view it at school.  I'm not sure if SchoolTube will have the same loading issues, but we'll see.  This also means I will have all the videos offline that students can still get on flash drive or watch on my non-internet computers if needed.  They just won't have the ease of the playlist.
  • I am going to continue to use an Online WSQ for at least a portion of the assignment.  If I now require some online, some handwritten, will that increase student workload?  They would be still doing the same amount, but now they would have to submit a portion online and a portion handwritten, which I am thinking my students will think is "so much more work".  What I am thinking is:
    • Online - "secret question" answers & "The part I understood the most is..."  & "the part I am still confused about is..."
    • Handwritten - 2-4 Guided summary questions + their own HOT question/answer
Student thoughts on the "Online WSQ" from this week
  • I actually prefer completing the WSQ online because less writing for me and its the same thing regardless since were just typing out our answers. The only thing I didn't like about the assignments from tues and wed is that they weren't up on youtube, and I'd rather watch them there.
  • The online WSQ was okay. I liked that I didn't have to write it out on paper and instead I could just type it out and submit it online. Also, doing the online WSQ is great because I was able to have the WSQ page and the concept videos open side by side so I could add some things to my WSQ when I heard it on the video (usually, I would be too busy taking notes in my SSS while watching the videos and I would have to wait until after the videos to write out my WSQ in my notebook). The "playlist" feature was a little bit confusing at first but I think I've got the hang of it. It was really helpful that the videos are all on the playlist in the steps so that I could easily go on to the next video. There were no technical difficulties for me while I was watching the videos or submitting the WSQ online.
  • I actually like the online WSQ b/c it makes us do it at home instead of at lunch before your class. But the entire lessons online the way you did it this week was a fail. 
  • I liked the idea of doing it online because that way i know what i need to answer and pay more attention to do. Because before I'd be doing the video i did my summary while listening and now i did everything right  after the videos.
  • I really liked the online WSQ. This is because I liked being able to do everything at once. The playlist feature was also very helpful because if it wasn't for that I would have to spend precious time scrolling and looking for the next video. Because I would watch the videos pretty late at night, I submitted the WSQ the next day during lunch. 
  • I did not like the "online WSQ" because I like the paper in front of me to discuss. Submitting the WSQ was easy because we just need to click the submit button.

Daily Goals with Weekly Deadlines - Algebra 1 style

This week I implemented the first week of "Daily Goals with Weekly deadlines" for my Algebra 1 students.  I've been doing that with my Math Analysis kiddos for the last 3 weeks (I ALWAYS trial things with my Honors students before trying them with CP).

I'm pretty happy with how it turned out.

I was afraid that students would procrastinate and not meet the daily goals because they knew they could still get it signed off later.  I didn't really see a big issue with that.  Most students were still on target every day, and I still had a few students working ahead of schedule.

My goal was to decrease a little stress off of the students and have them focus on their learning and less on rushing through assignments to "get their points".  I really hate seeing "crap" - assignments that are just rushed through or, even worse, just have junk written down that students hope I won't notice if I look over it too quickly.

It was exciting to see students still complete assignments from earlier in the week that they had missed or skipped.  In the past, they would have just left them undone.  Now their goal was to finish their whole chart by the end of the week.

Here are some student comments (student grammar and phrasing left intact):
  • It makes me feel better cause then if i missed a problem then i could ask for help if i didn't understand something the next day then i could fix it.. 
  • Home work being signed off like this every week is a good learning process. It helps so much knowing that you're given a tiny piece of paper and you're given assignments but you have the whole week too work at you're own pace and whatever you get done, you accomplish. The main thing for me about the way Ms. Kirch checks off hw is that i'm given all week and i can work at my own pace. 
  • i feel that is kinda good because it helps me out to finish them even though they are marked red so yeah it's pretty good.
  • i like the way it's being signed off.  it's little chaotic that we're all doing our own thing but i feel like it lets students be comfortable doing their own thing.
  • Good; it doesn't make a difference because i always do my homework and it is better than the other one because you can get red signatures whenever 
  • i like the new way we're doing because the other way we did it was kinda hard for me because one i day i would forget to do the wsq...but after that we can make it up
  • i thinks its great i like it way better than old way to do the wsq chart. you still can turn in the hw late and not get a hw card .
  • Honestly, I don't really care about how we get our charts signed off, because I always do my work no matter what. As long as i get all blue signatures, I'm good! Maybe other students like this new way of getting signed off, but my opinion didn't really change.  
  • I like the new way homework is being signed off.  It gives the student that chance to go back and do the homework and not get an empty box.  It is better to have a red signature than none because it is worth points.  The students now realize that they get the chance to actually do their homework and get a red signature rather than get a homework card.

Week 9 Student Thoughts: Take Home Test

Student feedback on the process was positive. I won't be grading these tests until later this week during spring break, so I'll have to post again later about that. Students liked the ability to use all available resources and having as much time as needed (some students spent 8 hours on the test!) to work through the trigonometric proofs.

I like to give take home tests for my students for the three trigonometric identity chapters so my students have as long as they need to struggle and work through the problems without the pressure of having to get it right the first time through.  Hopefully I will be able to continue the take home tests for the next two units.

I think the take home test gave us more time to think about and double check our answers instead of just having 40 minutes of class. Also, it's less pressuring doing the test at home because of the time thing. I think the expectations are reasonable since you shouldn't be able to have the help of anyone else but our resources. The test is only about our smartness and not of the other people!

I like the take home test for these lessons b/c they do take up a lot more time, but what I don’t like is having homework on top of that I would rather like to focus on the test. 

I think that the take home tests can be really good, if and only if people can be honest. If people are honest then it can be almost an assured A on the test. I predict that these tests will have a pretty high average compared to the other tests.

I like this better i have time to watch over the videos again and when i need help go back to them to refresh my memory. Using my sss was very helpful too they may not be the similar problems but somewhat alike and it helps reviewing them.

I really enjoyed the take home test. I was glad that we were able to use all the resources because for some of the tests that we took before.. I was stuck on some of the problems and with the student made videos, I was able to complete my test to the best of my ability.

Week 9 Student Thoughts - new video format

So I tried out a new video format this week with my students just to change it up and try something new.  I used the EduCreations app on my iPad instead of my normal document camera.

Here is sample video with my Document Camera (I've used this type all year)

Here is a sample video with the EduCreations app

I asked my students to give me feedback on the two-day EduCreations trial.  Overall, it was a BUST. 
  • Students said they were harder to follow and take notes off of than what they were used to. 
  • The videos also took a lot longer to load and students had problems with both audio and video.  They had to wait a long time for videos to load and audio to sync.  
  • Also, there was no way to get the videos uploaded to YouTube or SchoolTube.  
  • There was also no way to get the videos offline, so students had to use the internet to watch them.  This meant my two computers that I have in my classroom without internet access (they just have all the videos offline) were pretty useless the last few days.  
I think that the app is great for short, quick videos, such as the ones the students made, or ones when I just need to record a quick explanation to something.  However, for the regular "flipped classroom" videos, I don't think I'll be using it again.

I will be trying out the ever-famous Camtasia Studios this week with a trial that I received. I was told I would still be able to record it with my Document Camera, but then have a lot of other features and tools at my fingertips.  I'm excited to see how that goes.

Here is the question I asked my students:
Compare the Unit R videos to those from the rest of the year (made on the iPad instead of DocCam). Did you like them better/worse/same? Give reasons.

  • The Unit R videos on the iPad have their ups and downs. I like these because instead of just copying down the things you would write on the SSS on YouTube videos, now I take the notes you write and add some extra notes myself (such as important things you say). Also, I like the videos because there was more room for you to write and explain the problems instead of the limited space sometimes of the SSS. I didn't like these videos because I think YouTube is faster sometimes when loading the videos up.
  • I prefer the DocCam. b/c we can actually see what you are doing and we don’t have technical difficulties. Some of us couldn’t even hear half the time, to be honest at first I thought there was no sound. & it was really messy; the writing was everywhere so I didn’t know where to write on our SSS. 
  • I don't really like it. The thing i liked the most is that there were short videos butI prefer watching you doing it on the SSS that way i know what's going on.
  • I think that the Unit R videos were quite confusing. They were sort of sloppy. I like the videos done on the DocCam better. The reason why is because they are more neater and you can see them being spaced out on paper? I don't really know how to explain it but I really like the videos from the DocCam rather than the videos from the iPad.

Friday, March 30, 2012

FINAL CALL for the "Flipping Teachers" Survey!

I am still working on getting all the data collected from my Flipping Teachers Survey... (click link to take survey)

Survey will be closed and data will begin being posted on WEDNESDAY, April 4th!  

I will link to the data here, on Edmodo, on the Flipped Class Network, and on Twitter.  

If you would like a personal email of the raw data (spreadsheet form, full responses, any personal information that has been requested not to be shared deleted), please 
1) send me an email to crystal dot kirch at gmail dot com 
2) subject "Results of Flipping Teachers Survey"
3) include the email address you use to login to GoogleDocs so I can add your email address to the list

Please be sure to fill out the survey if you haven't done so already!

If you filled out the first part but not the extended part and would like to do so, please click this link here.

Week 9 Student Thoughts: Student-Created Videos

My Math Analysis Honors students began creating their own videos over the last week or so.  They would receive the instruction and in-class practice just like my "normal" flipped classroom, but throughout the course of the week they were required to make three videos for Unit Q.  Here are their thoughts after the whole Unit.  

See samples and other posts on Student-Created Content here.

Question to my Math Analysis students:
Tell me how you feel about the videos (you making the videos with a partner). Did you like them? Not like them (give reasons either way!). Did they help you learn in any way? Were they fun? What was the best part of them? What was the worst part of them? Please explain your answers as much as possible.

At first, students were very hesitant and not that excited about creating the videos.  However, I think these responses speak VOLUMES about the value of having students create their own content.  If I had to list out my purpose and goals for why I am having my students do this, it could be summarized in the words straight from my students' mouths below.  Amazing.  They get it.
  • I really liked making the videos with my partner. I felt that not only did it help me learn and understand, but i helped someone else understand the problem as well. It helped me learn because there is a difference between being able to do a problem and explaining it, and if you can explain it then you learn the best. I think the worst part was that sometimes in the videos you can hear the other people talking.
  • Watching and making the videos did help a lot because first of all we all have a different ways to explain how to do certain problems. Many have their own way of explaining and for example when i did the video with my partner i understood the problem better because we both had our own ways of solving it.
  • I felt that doing the videos with a partner was beneficial because if I didn't get one part, they would explain it to me and this would help me. I did like the videos but the thing is that I really don't like listening to my own voice. Yes, the videos did help me learn because when I was stuck on the problems in the SSS for the PQs/PTs, I would refer to the videos. I think the best part of them was having someone walk me through the problems. The worst part of them would be that it was kind of sloppy on the iPad.
  • I loved the videos!  They were very fun and we got to go through our classmates' videos instead of having to make Mrs. Kirch make all of the videos by herself.  I liked the videos a lot more than quizzes for this part; quizzes would have been stressful.  The "worst" part wasn't all that bad.  It took a lot of time to get our partner(s) together or to get electronics to work.  For example, my partner and I took awhile trying to get the iPad to take a picture of our work, but it was worthwhile.
  • I actually liked making the videos. I felt that it was good review, and we also got to see how it is to be on the other side of the screen. I think I actually prefer videos than the quiz. The videos worked really well for this unit since there were a lot of proofs and such things, so it was not so complicated trying to explain it and working it out on video. 
  • I liked making the videos because it helped me understand the problem we had to 'teach'. By doing the videos, I completely had to understand the problem to be able to explain it on the video. Understanding the problem was like teaching it to yourself and it was really helpful to do that especially with help from classmates. The best part of the videos was doing it with a partner and understanding the different ways you could do it (for example, your partner might have a different way than you). The worst part, for me, was explaining the problem because it's always hard for me to explain things even though I may completely understand it in my head.
  • Well at first I didn’t like them because I'm not very a techie but it wasn’t so bad. The main thing we must do is stay on top of it b/c if you wait for the last minute then you & your partner can't really work together. Since it was our first time it was a bit messy but I'm sure if we practice more we will get better at it. The best part of them was using you iPad that was fun ha. But it was very useful when trying to solve the answers to some we didn’t understand.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Parents and the Flipped Classroom (part 1)

Tonight was Open House, so I had all the parents who came fill out a short survey on the flipped class.  I had 33 parents come out of 180 (18%).

I sent out the survey to the rest of the parents via Edmodo, so hopefully I will get some more responses soon.  However, here's what we have after Open House:

Do you see your student watching math videos at home?

Do you think the flipped classroom has helped your student in math class?
Has not helped at all00%
Stayed about the same/haven't noticed a difference721%
helped a little927%
helped a lot1752%
Haven't really paid attention00%
There was also some open-ended questions, and parents said things such as:

(Student) enjoys flipped class. I think this concept should be utilized in more classes.

She stays up to late watching the videos, BUT this is better than her doing all her problems
that late.

I like the new system a lot. Because my daughter is always doing interesting things on the
computer.  I want to Congratulate You,  Thanks for always sending me the Text messages 
and always keeping in touch about my daughters education, and I hope i keep counting 
with your help I have very good comments from my daughter about you. Thank You so
 Much and God bless you.

No, but I have noticed that (student) has actually been practicing and doesn't stress so much 
like she was during first semester. 

From what I've seen and what my student has told me about her expierence to this point,
 I think its a great tool for teaching. And it appears to be successful in my opinion. 

it helps students to do better in class

As far as areas that (student) still doesn't understand, I always encourage him to come to
you for help. With the flipped class is this taking the place of in class learning to move 
on to other areas more quickly?  How has this helped and have you noticed a major
 improvement in other students?

I think the videos are good and help (student) learn the concepts. 

i see him watching and writhing notes 

I really think it has helped (student)

my son loves it. has not complained about the class. loves math

what is the reason for which flipped classroom is used

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