Friday, March 23, 2012

Reflections on Week 8 (Two Thumbs Up!)
Week 8 of the Spring Semester is now over, and there is only ONE MORE WEEK until Spring Break!  I think we all need it...  It has been a really great week in my Flipped Class.  I am very happy with what I am seeing and the progress my "methods" and "ideas" are making...

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! 

Math Analysis
I'm LOVING the growth I am seeing in my  Math Analysis students.  The conversations they are having in their groups are focused and challenging.  Using the "5 minute WSQ" strategy keeps them motivated and gives them a goal to meet.  I love that most of this week, the conversations were still continuing far past when the timer went off. I am able to go around to most every group and check in with them, asking to clarify confusions and to pose follow-up questions.  I love it :)

My Math Analysis students took their Unit P Test this week and data will be updated on the "Flip Data" tab soon.

This segment includes: 
(1) Online WSQs and Playlists
(2) Flipped Classroom Resources
(3) Update on Student Created Videos (week 2!)
(4) Student thoughts from the week

(1) Online WSQs and Playlists
This week I experimented with "Online WSQ's".  Basically, I had a small group of students volunteer to type their WSQ instead of write it.  They did it for two nights in a row, and the Google Forms can be found here and here.

My Thoughts:
I really liked the online submissions for several reasons:

  • I have the chance to read EVERY student's WSQ every night, and provide feedback as needed.  I am not able to do this in class when the WSQs are written in the notebooks, so some students do get away with not necessarily writing much or doing a thoughtful job on the assignment.  The spreadsheets that are created by the Google Forms were made public, so students can log in and see responses to their comments that night and read what their classmates are saying.  The two spreadsheets from this week are here and here.  I am not 100% happy with letting them read what their classmates say BEFORE they submit their own WSQ, but I don't know how to fix that yet.  Any ideas from those of you doing "Online" submissions after watching videos will be greatly appreciated :)
  • I can see EXACTLY when the student watched the video and submitted their WSQ, because they are time-stamped down to the second.  It tells me a lot if a student is watching my video at 3am, like one student who submitted their WSQ this week did.
  • It requires students to submit the WSQ right after they watched the video since it has to be done online and can't just be carelessly written in their notebook at lunch the next day
I am hesitant about the Online WSQ for the following reasons:

  • I don't feel like I can require every student to submit their WSQ online every night, because many students watch it offline.  However, if I don't REQUIRE that the WSQ been done online, I can see many students taking the easy way out and just staying with the written WSQ.  The only way I can counteract this is by requiring the WSQs be turned in, so those that handwrite them are still held accountable to the same standards.  I have heard some teachers (can't remember who, so if it's you, please tell me :)!!) talking about having students submit their WSQ orally like through a Google Voice number or something they could do with a cell phone call instead of needing internet access. I will need to look into that.
  • I am concerned about my students' ability to have the deep conversations in class if their notes and summaries aren't in front of them.  
My students' thoughts (6 of the students who tried it this week responded to the survey, full results here).  They really liked it.  They said that it didn't affect their ability to have the deep conversations with their group.  Four of the six said it was BETTER than the written WSQ, the other two said it was THE SAME.  They liked that the videos and WSQ were all embedded in a MentorMob playlist (see sample here and here) because it was easy to follow and they didn't have to look up the videos one by one.

(2) Flipped Classroom Resources
This week I took the opportunity to present additional "Flipped Classroom" resources to my students.  After my "I'm sick of the videos" post last week that has been incredibly popular, I decided to look into additional resources I could provide my students and ways I could encourage them to look for resources for themselves.  I found several additional online resources (more videos, online step-by-step quizzes, etc) provided by our textbook publisher as well as a few other teachers' YouTube Channels that have great videos for Math Analysis.

Next year I will be putting together a list at the beginning of the year of all these resources so students know from the start where they should be looking for help.  There's really no excuse for them not to learn, and there are so many different ways they can learn that they don't have to ever get stuck in a rut and get "sick" of one method or another.

(3) Update on Student Created Videos (week 2!)
I'm LOVING having my students make their own videos, and I can tell that they really are as well.  It is fun and engaging (especially using my iPad!!!) and they don't realize that it is good for their learning as well!  See the tab up top STUDENT CREATED VIDEOS to see all the videos that have been recorded so far.

When I first introduced the idea to my students last week, they weren't necessarily that excited about it.  It was just one more assignment for them to have to do.  I think most of their views have changed and it's something more "fun" now.

The funny thing is how "cool" the iPad is.  Students will wait in line to record their videos on their iPad instead of on their cell phone, iPod, or video camera. Hey, if that gets them excited about making the video because they get to use the iPad, so be it :)

I had three visitors to my class today, including a local Principal and two math teachers. I overheard this conversation between the principal and one of my students that just made me smile :)

Principal: "What are you doing with the camera"
Student: "We are recording ourselves teaching the math problems"
Principal: "What do you do with the videos after that?"
Student: "We give them to Mrs. Kirch and she posts them online so our classmates can watch"
Principal "So you're creating your own content... hmmm" :)

... I think this Principal really understood what was going on and how technology can be integrated successfully in a classroom - that was awesome!

(4) Student thoughts from the week
Every week I ask my students for feedback on how the week went.  See their comments on Week 8 here.

Algebra 1
My Algebra 1 classes are coming along... slowly but surely! I can point out several students in each class that have made A LOT of growth in this last week.  I feel like changing the seating arrangement has made a huge difference in that...

This segment includes:
(1) Who's an expert?
I am doing my best to grade concept quizzes immediately after students take them so they have immediate feedback on their progress and we can catch misconceptions right away.  One of the best things I did this week is what I will call "Who's an expert?"

When a student would come up to me to get their quiz graded and they got the problems wrong, instead of stopping everything and giving him a re-teaching session myself (I generally had 3-4 kids in line at any given time), I just shouted out "Who's a ________ expert?"   For example, "Who's a discriminant expert?"  "Who knows when a graph is skinny, fat, or normal?" Students would shout out and be excited to help their classmates understand the material.

I've come to the realization that sometimes students learn best from other students because they can put it into words that are more understandable.  I plan to take full advantage of that.

I also found it's important to make sure to check in with both students (the helper and the helpee) after a couple of minutes to make sure it was explained clearly and correctly.

I blogged about this originally on Monday here.

(2) Update on changing seating arrangements 
Note: I don't really refer to this as "good" and "bad" sides in class, but it is easiest to blog about it that way.  The "good" side gets to work in groups, move around, and pretty much do what they wish as they are working.  The "bad" side side sits in rows and cannot work with whoever they want.  If I catch them talking off task, they lose the privilege to even talk to their classmates for the rest of the period.

I was incredibly nervous about this, but it has probably been one of the best moves I could have made.  There is always controversy over "homogenous" vs. "heterogenous" grouping.  Just because I have split the class up doesn't mean I have ignored that completely.  My "good" side is not all homogenous.  It's not all A and B students. It's students who come to class, do their best, ask questions, and stay focused.  It's students who WANT to learn.  The students on the "bad" side are ones who rarely watch the videos, who are constantly off task, who I constantly have to get re-focused, and who are not making an effort.

I have found that trying to be heterogenous in terms of effort DOES NOT WORK. The dead weight is not pulled up by those around them.  The students around the dead weight are pulled down, annoyed, and frustrated.  

Students have the chance to move to the "good" or "bad" side at any point.  I made a point a few days where students on the "good" side came without their WSQ's complete. I had them pick a seat on the "bad" side in rows for that day and maybe the next day.  Then, if they came prepared, they were able to get their seat back.  I think the point was made pretty well.

Funny thing is: I had a student on the "bad" side all last week, and I felt like she earned her place on the "good" side by coming prepared, staying focused, etc.  I offered her a seat on the "good" side and she kindly turned it down and said "I like working better over here because I stay focused and get more done.  Plus, I like helping those around me on this side that need it".

Here are some interesting comments from the students regarding this.  They are all positive!

  • The full week of having our class divided into separate sides of the room has gone well for me. From sitting on the side with desks facing towards, has made me realize that I must stay on task all the time and there is no time to mess around. If i want to make it to the other side where everybody else is at, I have to show that i deserve to be moved. Also, I don't talk as much as I used to when we were in groups, so this helps me actually spend my time wisely. 
  • I like the seperated class because it gives me the chance to work with the people that actually do their work. I interact with the classmates asking them questions and getting help from them. I hope we can keep it this way because I like working with people who do their work.
  • it's better because we actually get our work done. im on the groups side. and all the people around us can help. its good because we all know eachother and we can ask anyone on the side were on. i like it more like that, even tho most of my friends are on the other side ;( its better for me
  • I think this week has been pretty good, I was on the can work side and i tried my best to get all my work done & I pretty much did (: 

(3) Update on "2 minute WSQ"
Students are continuing to show improvement with the "2 minute WSQ".  I like how this has kept them focused and guided, just like it has for Math Analysis.  I think after Spring Break I may increase it to 3 minutes and see how it goes.  I have actually messed around with the time all week to keep it "fresh and fun".  One day we did a "1 minute and 47 second WSQ", the other a "2 minute and 12 second WSQ".  

I am finding myself having to reset the timer less and less because students are staying on task.

Interesting comments from the students here:

  • The "2 minute WSQ" has helped me as a student because I get to learn from what my partners learned from the video that was assigned for homework. Also, when I have a question, I can just ask the person sitting next to me. We are always on task and focused on what we're supposed to be doing.  
  • The 2 minute wsq has helped me. It's easier to do this instead of reviewing with the whole class because it takes more time. I learned a lot of information from my friend because they asked questions that were important in the concept. When I'm done answering, My classmates and I go and work on one of the problems from the SSS. It will show us if we know the concept. 
  • it does help i guess because our groups answer our questions. and since my group is smart it's better for me !! 
  • Actually Yes, I think the "2 minute WSQ" has helped me because we tell each other what we learned and don´t waste so much time. & Yes it is easy to stay focused do to the reason that we have 2 minutes so we try to make it use full.  
(4) Update on Student Created Videos
Only a few more students made videos this week because we had a District Benchmark for two days and a pretty hard lesson on Tuesday with the Quadratic Formula. But, they are coming along. I actually let two girls take their concept quiz live with an Educreations screencast.  So, instead of doing the quiz by hand, I gave them the iPad and they had to work it out and explain it step by step (without any previous work being done).

I am contemplating making student created videos a requirement for Chapter 11 after Spring Break, but I'm not sure yet.  I don't feel that I have enough resources (only 1 iPad, and I don't feel 100% comfortable handing over my two video cameras or having them use cell phones in class yet) to make it a requirement.  However, I will continue to keep it an option.  If I can find a way to make it a meaningful assignment where all 115 of my Algebra 1 students could get it done during class time, I might consider it.

(5) Student Thoughts from the week

Every week I ask my students for feedback on how the week went.  See their comments on Week 8 here.

Sharing and Collaboration

Today I had the privilege to host three educators (1 Principal, 2 Teachers) from a nearby high school into my 5th and half of 6th period classes.  It was an amazing experience and the first time I have had visitors for a long period of time (i.e. more than 5-10 minutes) in my Flipped Class.  I asked them for some initial thoughts and reactions, so I will be blogging about that soon.

I am still working on getting all the data collected from my Flipping Teachers Survey... It's been a crazy week (or two, or three) and haven't had time to look through it all and decide how I am going to share it all. I am going to spend time looking at it and sharing during my Spring Break the first week of you have until then :)

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
All I can think of this week is that I love Flipping. I can't go back to Traditional Teaching.  Using video as a "time-shift" in instruction has completely changed my classroom.  Thank you amazing Flipping Friends for encouraging and helping me on this journey, and for sharing so much about your experiences!!!

I have had three different teachers (2 math, 1 science) talk to me this week about wanting to start flipping their classes next year.   Can't wait to continue to share and see this grow!

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?

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. 

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...