Monday, April 16, 2012

Thinking about Next Year...

Okay, so tonight's #flipclass chat got me starting to think about next year and starting to flip from Day 1.

So, this is the first "brainstorming" post of the spring!

This post is a work in progress and more questions and thoughts may be added as time goes on!

Please join in the conversation in the comments below.  I know there are a lot of teachers out there who are asking the same questions!  If you have further questions along these same lines, please put them in the comments as well!

Some thoughts and questions:

1. How do you present the Flipped Class to your students from the first day?  What "training " do you do for them?  Do you "wean them off" traditional or just jump right in?

2. How do you present the Flipped Class to parents from the first day, before they get to know you as a teacher?

3. Do you have any letters written or intro videos made that you used at the beginning of the year that you would be willing to share?

Things I want to do:

1. Have my students from this year make some short intro videos for next year:

Ideas for topics:
-What is the flipped classroom?
-How to be successful in the flipped classroom
-How to get the most out of the videos
-How to get the most out of class time
-What challenges they can expect
-What rewards they can anticipate

Things I want to consider more deeply:

1. Student-created videos as an assessment tool.  When are mini-quizzes better?  When would short videos be better? Individual or partner? Times for both?

2. Do I want to let kids move more at their own pace (mastery-learning type), or do I still want to take a full year to get this whole thing under my belt before charging into that next level?  What are the pros and cons of keeping everyone on the same page vs. mastery learning?

3. I see much lower video-completion rates on the weekends.  How can I adjust the "pacing" of my class so students don't have to watch videos every night (or at least 3-4 times a week right now).  Since I teach a new concept every day (with rare exceptions), how would this work?  Should I have them watch "two concepts" worth of videos and then spend two days practicing it, etc?  Or would that one night of video watching be overbearing if it was really two days worth of material?


  1. This is a stream of consciousness reply because I have some time right now. I make longer videos and give them a longer time to think about viewing them...a little easier in a science class I think.

    I think kids will adjust to however the class is run. The ones who dont normally do their homework won't watch the videos either.

    3. I also have a drop in weekend watching but that is because the culture in our country (good or bad) is weekends are for a break.

    2. I would love to allow kids to work at their own pace but that would mean ALOT of extra work on my part I think. Any ideas you have on this are welcome!

    1. student created videos are a great idea here we do not have the infrastructure yet. I would not assign that as homework.

    1. Thanks for the comment!

      1. The longer I teach, the more I am leaning towards weekends being a break. But, I do keep going back and forth. Maybe no weekend hw/video could be a reward for working well in class that week?

      2. I will keep thinking through the "work at own pace" thing. I had one kid doing it for a month or so, and it worked okay. But, it was really hard to sit down and great ONE test and make ONE answer key because he was the only one that needed it. He ended up having to wait a week sometimes to get his test back. He also didn't participate in the group discussions that I think are so vital in my class. If everyone was on different pages, it might get kind of crazy. I'm willing to explore it to a certain extent, so we'll see

      3. Student-created videos are classwork. I have one iPad, 2 digital cameras (my own), and then students can use their cell phones or cameras as well. So far it has been working great. No fancy technology. One take videos, 1-2 minutes long. Works well in math, not sure for science because it is less problem-based.

  2. question 1:
    I introduced full-on flipped class at the beginning of a new unit, mid-semester. We had already done some "active learning" in-class, such as small-group activities, clicker questions, and large-group workshops, so not much was entirely new.

    When we started the flipped unit, I gave them a doc with an intro to what the flipped class was (I can share that in reference to question 3 if you like), followed by detailed objectives, assessment metrics, and project info for the unit. That way, they knew ahead of time what they needed to know and do, to guide and motivate their prep work out of class.

    Also, I did very little video "lectures." I gave them written reference material (definitions of terms and concepts to be familiar with, and which they could bring to class and quizzes/tests) and videos that served as demos for the composition, arranging, and analysis work (it's a music class). I think the combination of specific objectives and project details with reference resources, rather than lectures, helped motivate the reading and watching.

    Also, as an aside, I highly recommend the use of WordPress or the like to create HTML-based resources for a flipped class. It allows seamless integration of text, images, audio, and video; and it offers a place for students to comment directly on the page (privately, if set up that way) with questions, answers, and comments.

    1. Thanks for your comment! I started in the same way you did - mid-semester. I would love to see the doc you handed out. I created one (see letter to parents link on the top right), but I would love to compare and modify.

      I don't necessarily think my videos are "lectures" either, more modeling, demos, and sample problems. It's just easier to call them "video lectures", I guess. Maybe we can find a new word for them :)

      Thanks for the suggestion of the blog site. I am playing around with one right now on Blogspot (since that is what I use here) for organizing videos, but not much else at this point. I am planning on trying to figure out exactly how I want to organize it between now and September. Do you have a class "blog" site that you organize your stuff on for a sample?

      thanks again for the comment!

    2. Maybe I'll DM you with the current website I'm working on. It's still in the early stages getting ready for next year, and I don't want it going out into the great wide web until I refine it a bit more.

      Here's the doc I made for the final unit of my flipped 100-level music theory class: I think it's safe for public consumption!

    3. Thanks for the DM/link. I think I might start working on something similar over the summer. I just need to find the best way to organize it to be as user-friendly as possible.

      Thanks for the doc link as well. I think that reading a bunch of other teachers' intros to their flipped classroom is great in trying to put together one for myself.



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