Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Student Question: Is your Flipped Classroom time productive & useful for your learning?

This week I asked my students for some feedback on our flipped class via Edmodo.  I am trying to use the phrase "our" flipped class because I want the students to have full ownership of what is going on in the classroom and their learning.

I spent some time today in Algebra 1 going over what it means to be an active listener and modeled for them what they look like right now when they watch videos based on my conversations with them vs. how they need to be watching the videos.  I'd have to say my acting skills got better as the day went on :).  The students really related to my examples of "bad" watching habits and found them humorous, but admitted that is what they do when they watch the videos. I'm just hoping that the students take our time today (I spent 10-15 minutes of class time going over it because I felt it was that important) and actually make some changes in how they are watching the videos instead of just taking today as a funny and amusing conversation.

I also talked about what their definition of a "flipped class" is.  None of them had a great definition, but they definitely mentioned the videos and working at their own pace.   I tried to make the connection for them between sitting in a traditional class mindlessly taking notes and sitting in front of a video mindlessly taking notes.  There is NO DIFFERENCE if that is what they are doing!  I find many of my Algebra 1 students will do whatever possible to just "get through" the video but not really think about it, ponder it, try to make it make sense, etc.  because that is what they are used to doing in all their years of education.  So, I tried my best to describe to them what the purpose of a flipped class is and how the emphasis should be on the fact that we can use class time more efficiently and effectively for their learning than in a traditional classroom.  If they don't process the information and do their best to receive and make meaning of the content in the video, our class time can not be used as well as it could.

I hope to see improvement with my Algebra 1 kids.  Most of my Math analysis kids are doing well; just a few that need some reminders and pushes.  The biggest struggle with my Math Analysis kids is making sure that when I plug formulas in the calculator to show them, that they actually plug the numbers in as well.  I made a "typo" on the calculator last night, so it was very clear in class today which kids just mindlessly copied my work instead of plugging it in and trying it themselves because they showed up to class with the WRONG answer!  That's one way to check  if they watched :)

Here are the questions that I asked for feedback.  My main focus was on how the students felt about our CLASS TIME and making our in-class time as useful, productive, beneficial, and enjoyable for the students.

1. Do you feel like class time is productive, beneficial, and useful for your learning? Why or why not? When you leave class, do you feel like "I learned something today, that was worth it?" Explain. 

2. Would you prefer that we do more "activities" (Su-hu-pu, conga line, problem solving "games", whole-class review, etc) rather than you being independent and working on problems, quizzes, questions, discussions, etc? Give a reason for your answer. What would help you to learn BEST?

3. What suggestions do YOU have for us to use our class time together for?

Here are ELEVEN responses (might add more as they come in):  There are definitely some "quotables" here...

1. I think class time is productive because I get to choose what to work on, whether it is taking quizzes, studying the SSS, or doing PQs. I always feel like I've accomplished something because I either took the quiz or I did the PQ and learned the concept. 

2. I'd rather not do the activities because independent working gets more done, as I am more comfortable talking to my partners than a bunch of people, and it's also not streamlined because explanations of topics never cover everything; questions randomly pop up here and there. 

3. I think class is fine as is and is better than what we had at the beginning of the year.

1. I feel like now that I'm beginning to pick up on the work and everything, I am starting to use the class time more beneficially. Before, I always used to finish WSQ'ing with my group then just spend the rest of the time trying to look busy. However, now... I feel like I am pacing myself to my learning speed which helps me better. I also try to work on a few problems and clarifying my steps to further understand how to work it out. Then, in the last 10 or so minutes in class I try to take the quizzes from the stuff that I was reviewing that day. 

2. To be honest, I kind of don't like the activities. I like independent work because with the activity.. sometimes you might not get some one-on-one time with the teacher to help you. Personally, I believe independent work is the best way that I learn. 

3. I like the way that the class is run but I feel like maybe we could have like a game to review one day before the test. Like maybe the white board group game where we race to see who can answer questions first and who can explain it more. Other than that, I don't know what to add because I love the way that class time is run :)

1. I feel the time in class is very helpful because I like working with other people. It's great when we have to chance to take the quizzes during class and having them graded instantly. The teacher can go over what we did wrong and have us retake it the next day. Whenever I leave class, my friends and I always talk about what we did in math. 

2. I like working by myself because I feel focused. Sometimes, I like doing activities that are applied with math(problem solving games). For example, in chapter 8a when we did the little review during class with the index cards. It helped me know that I know the concept well and I know how to solve the problem. I like it when we have to sides. One side gets it, and the other side doesn't. I like working with the people that know it because I work faster and get the work done. While the people that struggle ask me for help, I get slowed down and it takes longer for me to get it done. The people who are struggling can get help from the teacher. 

3. I enjoy doing the problem solving game because it is fun, but also educational.

1. Yes, because I can work with my partner while doing my PQ's and I get to take and retake quizzes in class. Yes, because I get my unanswered questions actually answered by the teacher or my classmates. 

2.I like the flipped classroom but whole-class reviews and activities would be great! I think we should do both not just one or the other because they are both a big help. 

3. I like the flipped classroom I just feel like sometimes we over do it but this way of learning is helping me :)

1. Yes i feel like class time is productive, because when you let us work alone i think you get more done because less is distracting you. 

2. Personally, i would rather not play those games because they're helpful but i would rather work by myself, I just feel like i can get more done that way and ask you questions. 

3. I think that class time works smoothly as it is.

STUDENT 6 (ALGEBRA 1 - low "F" STUDENT)  (grammar and spelling left identical to how it was received)
1) I doo think class is productive and sometimes hard bcuss the things are hard an i would like you if you would review more in class..

2)i think it would be better if you doo a whole class review insted of indepneted doing work it would  bet better for all of us.

3) i really dont have none i like it the way it iss.

1. I do feel as if class time is beneficial but only if the student has taken the initiative to learn and review the concept before entering class. If they haven't done so, there are plenty of opportunities for them to catch up and be up to date with the rest of the class whether they like it or not.

2. I'd rather be independent and work on problems, quizzes, etc. If students complain that they are a bit lonely and wish to work with someone....that's what their study buddy is for right?

3. I have no complaints as to how you are running the classroom at the moment. It is fine as it is and its success-fulness is proved in statistics if nothing else.

1. I feel like class time is productive, beneficial, and useful if used correctly. If I am able to take a quiz and fully understand the concept(s) by the end of class, it was worth it. 

2. No, I actually dislike the activities. It doesn't help me since I focus and understand better through independently working. Games and ect prove too distracting and the concept doesn't stick. I would learn best if it stayed the same. Games should be optional for those who want to participate. 

3. I couldn't think much besides what you are already doing. Maybe review or emergency concept lessons for tricky concepts.

1. yes, I think it is beneficial during class time. I feel that I am learning and better understanding the classwork. Yes, I feel like it is worth it to be in class. If I was absent I would not understand the work. 

2. I would prefer whole class review because we go over the problems before the test. 

3. I would like to see more students share the WSQV summarys and questions.

1. I feel class time is productive, beneficial, and useful for our learning because instead of everyone having to work on one certain assignment, we are able to use the time for the assignment where we need more help on. It allows us to get the extra help without having to come after school or something. Yes I feel like it was worth it, because when I'm in class I do the work that I had trouble on so that I can ask the people around me or the teacher for help when I get stuck and I actually end up learning and understanding what I didn't understand before.

1. Yes, i do feel that class time is productive and useful to my learning. I think class time is great because instead of wasting time, we all have the chance to take quizzes whenever we want and we can work on homework. By the end of class I honestly do feel like I learned something new, especially since I can get help from the other students if I don't understand something. 

2.. No, I do not think we should do other activities in class because it would be a waste of time when we can be learning new things in class. It is a better idea if we stick with doing work on our own during class because it gives us the advantage of having less homework. When we play games and other activities, many people in the class don't even participate and do not pay attention. So it is a better idea just to keep working on our own and with the other people around us during class time. 

3. The suggestions I have for us to use our class time for is go over the summary and discuss the concept if some people still do not understand even after they watched the video. Other than that, we should just keep using our time to do classwork, take quizzes, and if we get done early, start on the homework.

How do you make your flipped classroom time beneficial for your students? What has worked? What hasn't? What do you want to try?

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