Wednesday, June 20, 2012

#flipcon12 (Wed morning) - RYAN CURTIS, DALIA ZYGAS

Note: I would highly suggest you check out these sessions yourself as well, because what stood out to me may not be what impacts you the most! :) 
Register for virtual access to all these sessions here.

See previous posts about #flipcon12 here:
#flipcon12 (Tues morning)
#flipcon12 (Tues afternoon)

This has been an early morning! I woke up at 6:15 to get the first session of the day and I definitely think it's time for a nap! I have a small break before the keynote, so we'll see :)

This morning I was able to see Ryan Curtis' workshop on Algebra PBL with Google Sites, the tail end of Brett Clark's session (will have to watch the full thing in the archive), Dalia Zygas' workshop on alternative assessment ideas, and the last 15 minutes of Kristin Daniel's and Wayne Feller's presentation on the Stillwater project (can't wait to see the whole thing!)

Ryan Curtis is a math teacher who has been having his students basically create their own businesses (using a Goggle site) and then apply the different math skills they are learning to an aspect of the business.  It's a very interesting idea that I would like to look more into once I have time to process.  I really want my students to use more technology THEMSELVES next year and GoogleSites is a great way.  I also like the PBL aspect of what he presented, since I've been looking for math ideas for a while.

Here are some things that stood out to me, which is definitely not all inclusive of everything he talked about... (from Ryan in bold, from me in italics):

Ryan Curtis workshop: Making Algebra come to life -

  • Mr. Q-U-E - YouTube
    • Awesome math raps on all content. Share with students next year?

  • DETAILS OF BUSINESS: Students create their own businesses online and updating the website (on a business consulting team with two other students - so they are editing the other two students’ websites as well!)
    • Had his students use Google Sites (google account → share with teacher’s email address only)
      • Side note: He thinks that when students enter 7th grade, parents should “own” the student’s email address... The power of Google Docs, Sites, Calendar can’t be just pushed aside! Don’t shuffle it off to the school - parents need to be involved!
        • I agree... I am amazed/appalled when students enter 9th grade and don't have an email address. Same thing when a student enters 9th grade with 5 email addresses because they kept "forgetting" the login so they just created new ones. Email is essential in today's world (although some teens would disagree and say they never email, they just text...). We need to teach students how to use email both appropriately and effectively. I am a huge fan of Google, and although some people are hesitant with how much information Google is collecting about them, I am not concerned at this point. I use Google everything - gmail, reader, calendar, docs, sites, etc.
    • This is the real assessment!  The “quest” is an afterthought
      • What a great authentic assessment! My only concern is: Can students REALLY learn all the content from a unit with this one project? Sometimes I feel like there are lots of small things that are important as well...
    • By the end of the year students have a web portfolio of math topics and their applications
      • Such a great sample of their work and learning!
    • Can use any tool to illustrate their learning BESIDES written notes
      • Videos
      • Prezis
      • SlideRocket
      • ScreenCast
        • Love all of these ideas and getting students "out of the box" of just typing or doing powerpoints. They need to become proficient with technology. Even in today's "digital native" world, I still have a lot of students who are uncomfortable with technology and have a hard time figuring things out. It's a life skill that needs to be learned.
  • Logistics
    • Spend extra time at start to allow “personalization” of websites - student buy-in
        • Four great tips. Sometimes I forget that it is worth it to spend the time for students to invest in their projects because I want to "get through more stuff". But, it is valuable and I need to remember that.
    • Develop relationships with 2-3 consultants
      • I love the consultant idea. Like Ryan mentioned, that basically means they are doing "3 projects" because they have their own + 2 others to look over.
    • Highlight a student’s website each week (same website all period all week)
      • Great student buy-in... take pride in their work. I need to do this more!
    • Call a parent or two on Friday (let them know what is going on and keep them involved)
      • I think parent involvement with this is key, especially since it is all online (still private to whoever has access, but still). They need to be informed, but also excited about what their student is doing!
  • On Day 1, teacher gives the “hook” (see samples on website)
    • Coming up with great "hooks" will be my roadblock in starting this.  Ryan suggested at the end of his session to collaborate with each other and share ideas so we could just have a huge "bank" of hooks. 
    • This website has his "sample" with the full hook, as well as several student examples of varying levels of proficiency
  • Have students take a quiz as a group first - they have to get 100% as a group. Once they got 100% on the group quiz, they take it individually and must get an 80%.
    • They have four times to retake it
    • If they want to retake it again, they have to write a letter explaining why they should be given the chance
      • Interesting idea about having students take a group quiz first. They HAVE to get 100% together before they can take it individually. I'm not sure how this would look in my classroom, but I like the idea.
  • He suggests looking and using what is out there for the videos first (Brightstorm, Khan Academy, Virtual Nerd, Nutshellmath)
    • This was the one thing in his presentation that I disagree with greatly. Yes, making my own videos takes a lot of time... but I feel it is SOOOOOOOOOOOOOO important. Will I add those sites to my "supplementary resources" page for my students? Of Course! But I will never send them to those sites as the first point of instruction. I just think it's so important that I am teaching my own kids.
  • Take time to show them video note taking
    • Passive vs. Active!!!!
    • “You write everything down written down in the video... AT LEAST... if not more!”
      • I need to make sure to SPEND TIME to do this next year. Students really don't know how to take notes from a video! They are used to passively watching TV or YouTube videos - not learning from them! Still trying to decide how to present this to them - a combination of instructing, modeling, practicing together, etc?
  • “Is it okay to give them three or four days to work on something like this?”
    • Yes!
    • High level bloom’s
    • have something to show for it, not just a test
    • Have to work on pretty much three projects because they are editing them
      • This is my biggest concern with PBL is time, since we already don't "cover" the material. But like he said, this work is high level Bloom's and the students are not just memorizing facts and spitting them back out. We are going to start implementing CCSS next year (full implementation 2013-14 for our district) and I am excited to see how that transitions. Although, in California, of course our state added the full extra 15% to the national standards, so we still have more to cover!
  • Email him if you want his bank of questions from his moodle account
  • Released questions put on Moodle - I like that students can get instant feedback on those questions for test prep
    • Random note, but I would like to do a better/ different job of my "test prep" time for my that CSTs (state testing in CA) will be going away in 2 years :). I like somehow having them online with instant feedback... but yes, it would take a lot of time - he had his TA's do all the work.
  • Peer editing
    • Just kinda notice as walking around, since most of the work is done in class (some done at home)
    • If there is a bad error (spelling, etc), call the whole group out on it (not in front of the class, but in front of the group)
      • I asked this question online of how he monitors the peer editing. I think accountability and knowing you are going to be asked about your teammates' work is key.
  • Day 1: Give the hook. Day 2: Start taking their group quiz (can move on to individual). Day 3-7 work on team/solo quizzes. Day 8: As a whole class, come back and talk about th eoriginal problem and how the math learned can be used. Day 9: Work on in class. Day 10: Peer edit and turn in. Day 11: Give “Quest” (summative)
    • So, I'm glad he gave the outline for a unit. 11 days...Basically 6 days of practice and quizzing before they even get into the projects. I would love to actually see this in action (even clips from each day) and talk to students about it.
  • Side note: I have my Math Analysis Honors kids do a Business Plan (full-blown) when we talk about Profit, Revenue, Cost functions and systems of equations. I could totally see them doing a Google Site instead of typing and printing it all. That way they could embed prezi's, powerpoints, videos, etc. It would also be paperless (yes!!!). All students could edit it at any time and they wouldn't have to worry about who has the document. I could see their progress at any time, not just when they decide to submit stuff to me... hmmmm great idea!!!!

Dalia Zygas (@daliazygas) is a chemistry teacher who presented on some different types of assessment she does in her flipped class.  Since I am really trying to focus on differentiation next year, this session was of high interest to me.

Here are some things that stood out to me, which is definitely not all inclusive of everything he talked about... (from Dalia in bold, from me in italics):

Dalia Zygas: Alternative Assessments
  • Very surprised about their lack of understanding of self-awareness (metacognition). Fail a quiz and not realize that they need to do something else before the test
    • “Not knowing that they don’t know”
      • I have the same type of students - I am amazed! They take concept quizzes and have to chart their progress (see Sample here), they should pretty much know how they are going to do come the big test. I actually did my Master's Action Research progress on my concept quizzes (see link to my research on the "About me" tab and there is a correlation between quiz scores and test scores. But somehow, the students still think that if they show up on the day of the test without having passed a quiz, that they will do fine on the test!
      • So, this makes me think of a couple of things. #1 we need to train our students in metacognition, like Dalia mentioned, and help them to understand "how to know what they know" and "how to know what they don't know" so they can learn more/better! #2 our students need to show us they are ready for a test before we have them take it - the whole thing from yesterday with "don't waste my time or yours by taking a test you aren't ready for!". I have thought several times over the last few years about REQUIRING that my students pass all their quizzes before being "allowed" to take the test, but I just haven't done it yet. I guess I'm afraid that a few students would just be constantly stuck on a unit or concept and never move on. It's the whole mastery learning thing I just am not ready for yet. I would like to think more about some aspects of it for next year though.
  • “Concept Check” with teacher
    • asking them questions on their work pages to make sure they actually understood what was going on
    • Students in shock at first that they have to be able to explain their work
    • “So, if this number changed to this, how would that change your problem?”
    • “If you can do a problem right here in front of me, I can give you the points”
    • Benefits:
      • Students get immediate feedback
      • Opportunity to discuss what went wrong and refine strategy
      • Mastery
      • Personal Contact
      • Not just “copy work” to get the “points” - teacher doesn’t have to be the detective of who is copying.
        • I would love to use this as a form of assessment next year. I always have conversations with my students, but to actually "show proficiency" they do a regular old paper/pencil quiz or test. What is wrong with an oral exam? I love that this also holds them accountable to being able to explain their work and not just "do the work" without really knowing what they are doing, or like Dalia mentioned, just copying the hw from one another. It also provides great feedback to me as a teacher of exactly where my students are messing up.
  • Assessment (purposes)
    • Demonstrate skills and understanding
    • provide diagnostic info
    • learning opportunity
  • Open resource quiz
    • can use notes, hw, etc
    • “People in life have resources”
    • Must be careful about the type of questions you ask
      • I have thought a lot about this as well over the last year. Is it important that my students have all of the steps and formulas fully memorized when in today's world, they can access those via the internet at the snap of a finger? Or, is it important to me that they know how to APPLY them and USE them? The one thing holding me back is the stupid state tests - they have to be able to do those tests with NO NOTES and NO CALCULATOR! So, I feel held accountable to make sure they learn how to do it by memory.
      • Also, the three take home tests I gave this year for Math Analysis didn't turn out so hot - my students didn't study or practice as much because they told themselves "Oh it's open note/video/etc". Then when they got to the test and I put really tough questions on there, they were in shock.
  • Partner Quiz
    • Way harder material that they can’t just do by themselves
    • Not announced in advance (that it is partners)
    • Submit “best version”
    • paired by achievement (top 2, next 2, etc)
      • Interesting idea; don't know where that would fit in my class with the way I have it structured where students are not all quizzing on the same day
  • Web 2.0 Projects - connect what they are learning with their passions!
    • Glogster (another option:
    • Sliderocket
      • Definitely want students doing more Web 2.0 as a normal part of my class! I even want them to have their own blogs that are used throughout the year... still trying to figure out privacy issues.
  • Underachieving students
    • bright students but not academically successful
    • parents aren’t necessarily aware
    • students must learn to advocate for themselves
    • students want to “slide by” with multiple guess tests
      • Does Dalia work at my school?!?!?! :)
  • Learning strategy and teaching metacognition by having a plan!
    • “Homework is not for me, it’s for you!”
    • Kids need to think about their thinking. What is your process? What is your next plan?
    • Reflect on the learning process!!!
    • Steps:
      • Basics
      • Practice
      • Assess
        • Same thoughts as the beginning with teaching metacognition strategies throughout all these differentiated assessments. We need different ways to assess what students know and understand, but they also need to learn how to tell if they really know something and how to keep practicing something until it's mastered. I don't want to be the one to tell a student "you don't get it". I want THEM to know that and then know what to do so they can get it!

Alright!  Last afternoon session coming soon after a quick power nap!  We have Jon and Aaron's keynote, and then I am flipping a coin between two afternoon sessions I really want to go to.  I am SO glad they are archived because then at least I know I can watch them next week after ISTE.  Patience, patience :)

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...