Friday, April 11, 2014

Blending with station rotation in high school math - my first attempts

I'm going to try something new this next week in my Algebra 1/Course 1 class...  We've been doing a sort of "in-class" flip since November-ish and I am happy but not so happy with it.

Here is what I've liked about the "in-class" flip

  • Students can work at their own pace
  • Class time is focused on them working and learning, not on listening to me
  • The "troublemakers" are not slowing down or affecting the rest of the class
  • It's a more active and engaging learning environment for all

Here are my "annoyances" that I am trying to tweak out by trying this change

  • Many of my students have not been able to handle the self-paced system I've tried.  They will only get about a half day's work done each day and never try to catch back up.
  • Students are grouped each day by how much work they have gotten done, and once they are behind it is very hard to catch back up.  The self-grouping does not work well as they are not at a mature enough level to know with whom to sit within their group.
  • I haven't been able to work with some of my struggling students as much as I want
  • Despite lots of modeling and reminders about being "FIT", some students struggle to stay focused on the video lesson in class. They continue to have it playing when they aren't paying attention to it.
  • Sometimes there are things I want to do as a class, whether it be a review, warm-up, etc and it's been hard not having the students on the same page at all.  This new method will allow me to start class together and revisit concepts as a class if needed before starting the rotations.

Here are my plans:

  • Students are grouped in one of three groups.  They are labeled by the tables they sit at.
    • Group A/B - I've set this group to be my lowest group.  There is a huge portable whiteboard right in front of table A that I can do small group teaching at just with them
    • Group C/D - This is my middle group.  They are students that need some guidance and extra attention.  Table C has the main huge whiteboard right by it.
    • Group E/F - This is my top group.  These students don't need much guidance and will get their work done without much prompting from me.  Many of these students finish both classwork and homework during class time.  They generally get their questions answered by each other and will stay on task without me babysitting them.
  • As it stands right now, Group A/B has about 6 students in each period.  Group C/D has between 10-12, and Group E/F has between 12-15.  I think that works out nicely as the group that needs the most attention is the smallest.  They will be allowed to move between groups if directed by me based on their progress and understanding of the material.
  • My plan is to have about 3 rotations each class period.  Groups A/B and C/D will each have one rotation with me and a second with the iPods.  A/B will start with me because they need more prompting, whereas C/D will begin with an iPod lesson and then meet with me.  The third rotation for both of those groups will be the "Practice" time (PW is Practice Worksheet).  Group E/F will be on their own for all the iPod activities.  They will do a check in with me (not a structured teaching time) when they are done and then move on to "practice" time.  Because of the sessions with me, Groups A/B and C/D will not watch ALL the iPod videos - they will only watch about half of them and get the other half of the instruction directly from me, guided and watched over.
  • Each day will start in the same place.  If students did not finish their PW from the night before, they will move on with the class and have to make up their practice if they want their stamp. 
  • Students will not actually be moving tables/seats.  Rather, I will be moving around the room.  We will see how this works out.  It might be better to have an "iPod station", "Kirch station", "Practice station".  However, the amount of time wasted and distractions present when students have to move all their stuff (because they won't leave their backpacks or purses for one second) is a concern.
  • Here are all my resources, links, and plans for the next week.  I would love your thoughts and feedback if you have any experience with a model like this, or even if you don't have any experience but have some ideas.
  • I will definitely blog about this next weekend to let you know how it goes :)

Week 1 HW chart
Week 1 Student Packet
Week 1 PW packet
Week 1 PW packet answer key (pages 9-16)

Week 1 Desmos Graphs:
page 3   page 4   page 5   page 6 bottom   page 7 top   page 7 bottom   page 8   page 10   page 14

Week 1 iPod activity links:
As’g 1 – page 2
As’g 3 – page 3
As’g 4 – page 4
As’g 5 – page 5
As’g 8 – page 6/7
As’g 9 – page 7/8
As’g 13 – page 10-13
As’g 16 – page 14
*This will be done as a whole class so there is no iPod activity for it.

Week 1 Group Assignments and Rotations
DAY & Goal
MONDAY - Assignments #1-2
→office for hw cards
→ lesson individually on iPods
→PW time
→lesson with Mrs. Kirch 
→ PW time
→lesson on iPods
→ PW time
TUESDAY - Assignments #3-7

→ Activity #3-4 Lesson with Mrs. Kirch (+desmos)
 → iPod activity #5
→PW time
→-iPod activities 3-4
→ Activity #5 with Mrs. Kirch (+desmos)
 → PW time
→ iPod activities 3-5 →Check in with Mrs. Kirch (+desmos)
→ PW time
WEDNESDAY - Assignments #8-12 (PERIOD 6 TBD)
→ Activity 8 w/ Mrs. Kirch
→ iPod activity 9, 10
→ Check in
→ PW time
→ iPod activity 8
→ Activity 9,10 with Mrs. Kirch
→ PW time
→ Activities 8-10
→ Check in with Mrs. Kirch → PW Time
THURSDAY - Assignments #13-15

→ Whole Class Activity
→ PW time together
→ PW time individual
→ Whole Class Activity
→ PW time individual
→ PW time together
→ Whole Class Activity
→ PW time
FRIDAY - Assignments #16-18 + Quiz

→ Activity 16 with Mrs. Kirch
→ Quiz
→ PW Time
→ PW time
→ Activity 16 with Mrs. Kirch → Quiz
→ Quiz
→ iPod activity 16
→ Discuss w/ Mrs. Kirch
→ PW time
Please note: iPod activities are available for ALL students to reference and watch again outside of class.  If you are absent, you must watch the iPod activity for the lesson you missed before you return. 

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