Monday, July 20, 2015

FlipCon15 Learning & Reflection

There were a lot of amazing sessions at FlipCon this year.  So many, in fact, that I have a ton of virtual archive watching to do in the next few weeks.  They all seemed to overlap with each other!  ;

I was able to attend three sessions (besides the two I presented).  I attended two great sessions that had direct applications to the math classroom.  The other one was on students generating the content for the class.  I am really excited to bring some of these ideas to the teachers I am working with.  Several of them will also apply to non-math classrooms as well.

 Leveraging The Flipped Classroom to Increase Writing and Discourse in Mathematics

Ideas Shared:
  1. "Backs to Front" - students partner up, one facing the front screen and the other with their back to the screen.  The teacher projects a list of 4-5 vocabulary words or concepts on the screen.  The goal is for the person with their back to the screen to correctly identify what the word or phrase is.  You can do this in a couple different ways.  The person facing front could just be allowed to use words, could use hand motions, words and hand motions, or with drawings.  Another option instead of having just words / phrases on the screen would be to have pictures.  The person facing front has to describe the drawing for the guesser to draw themselves.  You can have the drawing visible (so the person facing front can adjust directions accordingly) or have the drawing hidden (so the person facing front has no idea what is being drawn and if it is correct).   Whatever way you do it, it's important for the person with their back facing the front to give feedback to the person facing the front and tell them what they could have said to make them understand it better.
  2. Handling homework questions - Since most of the teachers I work with spend quite a lot of time going over homework questions, there were some great suggestions here.  Instead of asking the question, "Which ones did you not understand?" or "What would you like me to go over?", ask the question, "Do you feel comfortable enough with the problem to explain it in class to your group".  You could gather this information via a Google Form before class (even if they do it the first minute of class it would work), or you could make a frequency chart with sticky notes or "x's" on the whiteboard.
  3. Thinking and Questioning Prompts- Tara shared a handout she has for question frames and starters.  I had gathered a bunch from online but this is so much more concise and (I think) easier for students to understand.  I'm very excited to share this with my math teachers, especially since I am actually leading some of the ELD training at my district for the math content area this fall!
  4. Number talks - I've seen number talks modeled multiple times at different workshops and have come to the realization that they are valuable at all grade levels, not just elementary.  In addition to number sense and strategies, they are very good for working memory (how much information a student can hold in their head at a time).  One strategy I had never heard before with number talks is that after a student holds their thumb in front of their chest for having a solution, they are asked to think of another way - and they would hold up TWO fingers if they had TWO strategies, and THREE fingers once they had a THIRD, etc.  This keeps everyone thinking and working during the number talk time, and it helps kids to undrestand that there are multiple ways to represent problems and not just "one right way".
  5. Zach shared about his Pre-Calc blogging, which he does a combination of reflective blogging (what was difficult about it? What did you gain from it?) mixed with specific prompts.  I am hoping to get a couple teachers on board with having their students blog, even if it is just through a Haiku wikiproject or something more "closed".  He even shared his blog scoring rubric for Pre-Cal and Calc!
  6. Vocabulary Tic-Tac-Toe - put 9 words  on a Tic-Tac-Toe board.  The students choose any Tic-Tac-Toe direction (horizontal, vertical, diagonal) to use all three words in a sentence that relates them to each other. 

The Inquiry-Based Flipped Classroom

There is a website called that allows you to make Desmos graphs into GIFs!  This is so cool!

Zach shared a sampleweekly plan for his "inquiry-based" flipped classroom.  This is the practical stuff that teachers need in order to see how it could be implemented in their classroom!!!

Flipping Content Creation

I think the most interesting thing about this session (besides it was facilitated by my awesome roomie!) was that it wasn't just about student created videos - it was about student created content… the students actually create the content that is used in the class!
A few key notes (see her slides as well for more details on the process)
  • The biggest difference between project/presentation and Student Generated Content (SGC) is the AUDIENCE
  • When creating rubrics, have a "4" for the perfect score, but then add a column for a "5" for pushing it to the next limit / challenging students beyond

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