Sunday, April 29, 2012


Feeling a little overwhelmed this week, and it's only Sunday night...
 I think it may be the fact that I can see summer in sight.

  •  I have two and a half more units to make flipped videos for, and just two units to get the curriculum modified and tweaked from last year. I started using camtasia studios to edit my videos with about a month ago, and I love it...the downside is I spend twice as much time making every video because I add an intro, edit some stuff, add annotations, etc. I think they are better quality videos, but the time is definitely wearing on me.
 Making the videos seriously takes a lot of time, and if I had to give advice to a newbie, I would definitely say to start small. I am a very goal-oriented person and once I start something, I have to finish it. If I wasn't that way, I may have slowed down a bit more on fully flipping this first year because I am worn out. I love making the videos once I start and get in the groove, but at this point in the year sitting in a comfy chair reading a great book just seems so much more appealing.

Word of advice: start with one class only. I'm not a fan of the "half-flipped" class as some of my students want, but if that works for you, start there. You don't have to make a video for every lesson. Don't burn yourself out. Don't try to make each of them perfect the first time around either.

  •  I have a couple of other assignments related to the flipped classroom to complete, and as excited as I am about them, sometimes you just can't see the light at the end of the tunnel! I started my weekend to do list with six items, and I am ending it with six items, still. More things just got added as the weekend went on!! 
  • My math analysis colleague and I are considering putting together a mini summer course for our students to complete over the summer (similar to a summer packet like they have done in years past, but this time with video support like flipped classroom lessons). However, that adds one more thing to my plate to get done before the end of the school year when the kids head off for summer. I don't necessarily have to have all the videos recorded, but I do have to have them all planned out. 
  •  This week is crazy with 30 minute classes all week instead of the usual 54 because of our state testing. And next week is ap testing. This leads to crazy, stressed kids. And, for my math analysis kiddos, my class is a lot of times the only non-ap class they are taking... So guess which class gets put on the back burner? 
  • Did I mention I am out of my classroom four, maybe five, times this month?

 I am trying to stay positive, make my to do lists, stay organized, and take it one step at a time. Friday night is almost here... Again :)

 In better news, I am getting really great feedback on the student survey my kids are doing and am excited to get the final 30-40 responses between today and tomorrow so I can start blogging about it all. 

 Hoping to breathe a little this week and find time to blog at some point before friday's reflection post. We will see how it goes... One day at a time!!!!


  1. I have really enjoyed following your blogs regarding a flipped classroom. I currently teach Algebra I and Geometry and was a little nervous when our district starting talking about having a flipped classroom because of the number of "at-risk" students in my classroom. You have made a huge impact on my willingness to even consider doing this for next year. We currently have upper level math classes that have already switched to this, and they love it. I will continue to follow your blog. My only question to you is, do you have a huge problem with students not watching the videos or podcasts at home the night before? That is a huge concern of mine because I have no student computers in my classroom.

    1. So great to hear you are thinking of flipping next year :). I don't have a HUGE problem with the videos... there are still kids that come unprepared (it's worse on Mondays after a weekend, so I am trying to avoid assigning a video on the weekend), but not too bad. Calling parents in class has helped the last week or so (I blogged about that last week).
      Since I do have 3 class computers, students have that option still and some use it. Since you don't have any, you do need to consider what those kids would do - go to the library? Somehow get a class computer? etc. The activities you do in class need to be meaningful and engaging so the kids WANT to come prepared. I'm still working on that aspect - sometimes it's good, sometimes not so much. But, keep your expectations high, get parent support, and hopefully the kids will come around :) Good luck! I'll look forward to hearing how it goes!

    2. I will keep you posted with how it goes. One last question, the discussions that you have the students complete once they finished watching your videos, how often to you collect those and since the students have all hour to work on their assignments, do you asign more work than you would in a traditional classroom?

    3. The WSQs are never collected, but kept in the student's math notebook. As they are discussing, I do a quick walk around and see what they have done. Also, for Math Analysis, I have started doing an "online wsq" via a google form, so they are all "turned in" electronically. I am still working out the kinks of that system, but I do like that I have the chance to read what every student wrote.

      I would say the WSQ discussion takes anywhere from 5-10 minutes (sometimes longer, depending on the topic), so I still assign about the same amount of homework. Them discussing and working together takes a little longer than them just working independently. Sometimes, in fact, they don't even finish the classwork I assign and have to finish it at home in addition to the new video. I try to play it by ear and assign what I feel is enough to keep them working the whole period but to not have to bring any home. It's also a motivating tool to stay on task during class so they don't have any extra homework.

  2. I think that you could save alot of time by not making your videos "cool" I tell my Ss they are informational only and NOT meant to entertain. I will do that in class :)

    1. I wouldn't necessarily say I'm making them "cool" - they definitely aren't entertaining annotations :).
      The annotations I do add are meant to be informational and to bring attention to the important points in the video. Since I record my videos with just a document camera (my hand and a paper), I have found that having the annotations is really important in clarifying key information and making sure what I want to stick out to the students does.

      I do agree with the videos not needing "entertainment" though. I used to add "weird facts" and jokes in the videos, and I don't do that anymore... even though there are still about 3-4 students in every class begging for them. I tell them if they want jokes, they can search online at and get them! :)

      Thanks for the comment!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...