Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Starting to Plan for next year...

I've been putting this off for 4 weeks already (oh no, are we really on week 4 of summer already! :/ ).  How to begin wrapping my mind around what I want to do next year in my Flipped Classroom?  My mind felt so jumbled and confused that I knew I just needed to start listing things out.  What better way than using index cards that I can move around and sort together and write all over??

I decided to start by:

  1. listing all the ideas I have on separate index cards.  
  2. categorize the index cards into a few categories: 
    1.  "Training" I need to do
    2. "At home stuff"
    3. "In class stuff" 
    4. "Random"
  3. start to go through and make notes on each of the individual cards (some on the back, if needed).

Here are my four categories, after making extra notes on all of them.  You can click on the picture if you want to read all the wonderful stuff I wrote :)

My kitchen table has become my "spread everything out and work" office while my hubby's out of town. I hope I don't have to clean it up when he comes home though :).  I find that I organize well when I can just spread out and see everything at once. It helps me put the pieces together.

That's step 1.

My next plan is to:

  1. Read back through my blog posts to remind myself of things I did this year that worked and didn't work
  2. Ask questions on Twitter of things I'm not quite sure how I want to do yet, to see if anyone else has tried
  3. Read my "Choice Boards/Menu" book I bought a few months ago but haven't opened yet
  4. Start making up my syllabus, tech instructions, etc once I have my head wrapped around it. (Syllabus in paper format + video format)
  5. Make my intro to #flipclass videos for students and parents (both including video clips from my end of year interviews, the video of my class from #flipcon12, and then ME!)
  6. Whatever I think of next :)
I'm finding that my big focus is (again) on Math Analysis.  Thankfully, this next year I have THREE sections of Math Analysis and only TWO sections of Algebra 1.  Last year it was in reverse, and let me tell you, 120 ninth and tenth graders wore me out. I'm excited to only have about 80 of them and have my 120 be full of juniors and seniors :).  So, I do need to find a balance and decide what I am going to do with my Math Analysis vs. what I am going to do with my Algebra 1's.  

Definitely going to do with both courses:
Tutorials on Sophia, hosted on class sites and
Edmodo for private communication and messaging to students and parents

Not sure if it will be both yet:
Student-created videos (iPad, cell phone or iPod, digital camera, etc)
Word Problem Playlists (MentorMob)
Student Blogs (Blogger)
ThinkBinder Chat Rooms
Online WSQs (but I'm leaning towards a big YES for both on this)
Having to collect/curate supplementary materials for each chapter on a MentorMob Playlist

How are you planning for next year?


  1. Being a newbie to #flipclass here's my plan:

    1. topic list
    2. Algebra I videos - initial units
    2a. Algebra I assessments
    2b. Algebra I assignments
    3. Geometry tutorials (tech how-to's)
    3a. Creating assessments/assignments

    Alg I is going to be more flipclass than Geometry - going to be a lot of paperless with Geometry using google docs/sites to journal, submit Geogebra applets, etc.

    That's a general overview. We'll see.

    1. I like your flow, and that is exactly how I started earlier this year when I started what I call "really flipping". (I don't think what I did in October/November was "really flipping" - it was just using videos. Like #flipclass 001 instead of 101) :)

      I like your focus on assessments before assignments. Are you planning on doing any differentiated assessments (like different than normal quiz/test)? That is one of my focuses for this next year, so I"m hoping to come up with some good ideas.

      Thanks for sharing! Looking forward to seeing how your #flipclass goes this year!

  2. I am working along the same general plan using Edmodo and Sophia as my two main communications and delivery. I like that you host everything on blogspot. I have done this in the past but I didn't present the whole year with tabs. I like your format on the blogspot so I will add that to my summer to do list.

    One other thought I was wondering is how do you measure for your formative assessment cycle? I use a free online software to create my own content for daily formative assessment and I use their tutor skill builders to review/preview skills. This is a real time tool that gives immediate data reports. It has changed the way I teach and save me so much time with daily work allowing me more time to plan and teach. If you go to the log in screen and then click on tell me more, it will take you to their teacherwiki which has a wealth of information and training videos. Sorry, I don't mean to add to your already long summer list. :)

    1. Thanks for the comment and for sharing assistments. I checked out the intro video and will look thru the wiki later today or tomorrow when I have some time. If it's a time saver, I will look into it for sure :).

  3. Only on second week of holis here, but I know what you mean about hot time creeps up on you and yes I too am feeling jumbled and overwhelmed. I like the index card organization method, thanks for sharing that :)
    Plans in no order:
    1. Considering students blogs or digital portfolios ( I looked yesterday at and it might be a nice option). The choices for these seem almost to endless, so my plan was to do an investigative blog post on this topic to try and get more resources collected (rather than 15 tabs open at once)
    2. Back end my videos - after talking with Ramsey at ISTE and again on Twitter I feel I need to give this a try. My challenge with this is I think I would need help of some other biology teachers to come up with some good solid inquiry type questions. So my plan here is to ask Scott Harkness (@hark07) if he would like to do some collaboration in this regard.
    3. Fully implement standard based grading and find a software that will help me to generate percentages.
    4. Design some alternative challenge assessments for a couple of units as alternative (or addition to, not sure) to paper and pencil tests.
    That's all for now! Great question and idea for organizing.

    1. Hi Carolyn :)
      1. Hmm I've heard of threering but haven't done a lot of research on it. I'll look forward to what hearing about what you find.
      2. As I've been planning more, I have been trying to think of inquiry questions, discussions, activities that might go along with some of the lessons (definitely not all, but some) this year. I'm not sure how that will all work, but I will be trying to put it in there this year and then maybe that will be my goal next summer based on how this year goes.
      3. Have you been able to find a good SBG program yet? I'm sure you'll post about it when you do, so I'll look forward to that.
      4. Great idea! That was on my summer to-do list way back in February, but it's been pushed down the priority list. I would still like to wrap my head around some ideas if I have the time, or at least trial some things out. I'd love to hear what you come up with for "alternative" assessments - I love the idea but still don't have my head wrapped around it.

      Thanks for sharing :)

  4. I started organizing for next year as well - I started getting worried that it was too late!
    1. Moved ideas around on my syllabus and recreating the topics for my units (I'm history so I have more wiggle room than math I would think)
    2. Created rough outline of first week - what I need to video, hard copy create, and in general "learn" myself!

    I feel like as I do the videos myself (newbie to flipping) I'll be learning what I expect the students to be able to do in terms of tech. Still need to work on the assessments - but I have a feeling that's next weeks big challenge!

    1. Don't you feel like "so much to do, so little time!". I'm just hoping to get as much done in the next four weeks as possible, knowing that I'm sure there is some stuff that will still have to be done during the school year. But hey, we can hope!

      I think my next "task" is to create that rough outline for the first week.I have really been rethinking my first week of school compared to how I've done it the last five years but don't have a grasp on what that looks like. I want to do a much better job of training and introducing my students to #flipclass and all the tech stuff they'll be using rather than jumping headfirst into content.

      Thanks for the comment!

  5. I like your thought/planning process. I'm constantly amazed by how much you're able to do within your class, and outside of it.

  6. I can totally relate to spreading out over the kitchen table! I do the same thing and my hubby hates it LOL! Love the index cards too!!
    I am a complete newbie (to flipping and to an extent teaching itself!) I am trying not to be Flip 101. Here is what I have so far...

    1. I was thinking of doing it on a whiteboard and then realized it would be annoying if I wanted to move things around... so index cards it was!
      I love your initial thoughts and am so glad you are blogging through your process. I think it's helpful to think through in writing (it seems to just make so much more sense!) and then try to put the pieces together.

  7. My first day of teaching students will be August 20. This week is week 7 of my summer vacation. Goes by so fast. I have fewer students but more distinct classes to think about.

    1. Precalculus syllabus (10 students)
    2. Algebra 2 syllabus (12 students)
    3. Geometry syllabus (10 Students)
    4. Algebra 1 syllabus (6 students)
    5. Assessments/Assignments for these classes
    6. First week of school plan for teaching procedures
    7. See if ASSISTments will work for me (I had started looking at it late May)
    8. Standards based grading


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