Thursday, July 19, 2012

Students need to experience the benefits of change to believe in the value of it.

I read somewhere recently that students can't be expected to believe in the value of changes for their learning before they have experienced the benefits of such changes. 

Thank you MathManTP for reminding me out how important it is to teach students how to change the way they learn in order to make them accountable for their learning. Once they experience the value of the changes they will make it their way of learning. 

It is important to teach students how to listen to a video. I model (in a funny way) I am the student and I watch a video the wrong way. Next, I ask for ideas on what would make good listening with a "video for learning" which is different than a "video for entertainment." A few tips I have learned from other teachers doing this; keep the videos short (2-3 min) at least in the beginning and set the learning goals of the video up front so students know what they are listening for. I also provide 2 column note templates with very clear goals or some parts started so all they have to do is complete the notes. My school uses 2-column notes in all grades and content areas so my students come trained with this skill. Also, have follow up discussions about the at home experience. I think my biggest mistake in the classroom is not taking the time for discussions because I am rushing through the curriculum. Students always surprise me with their rich ideas.

6 Things to remember in September:

  • Start flipping lessons with quick (2min) videos
  • Model listening to a "learning video"
  • Clearly state goals of video
  • Provide 2 column notes with some parts left blank for notes from video
  • Quick online formative assessment for data to structure collaborative class groups
  •  Make collaborative class groups dynamic, fun, interesting so students experience the value of the change to flipped lessons

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Everybody wins with flipping lessons!

It occurs to me as we all discuss flipping lessons that this is really not any different than asking students to go home and read a chapter for tomorrow's lesson. Yesterday someone asked me what I do about the student that doesn't do the homework. The good news is I don't have to do anything! I don't have to repeat the lesson. Absent or non-homework students can go sit at a classroom computer and do the lesson at the start of class while all the other students jump into the collaborative math work with me. My absent students often check Edmodo for the lesson before class because they don't like to be left out of the collaborative work. Everybody winds with flipping lessons! :-)

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

My plan so far....

The problem with technology is there are too many choices. I have been busy exploring sites and reading other teachers' thoughts on best tools for flipping. I am overwhelmed with information so I have decided I just need to start my plan and adjust as I go. This is what I have so far:

Google Site: I am planning to use my Google site to present each unit of work. I don't have a textbook aligned with the current common core standards so I am building my unit around each standard.I will post this link once I have it much to do and so little time...... will be where all communication with students will happen. I call this the doorway into everything we do. Edmodo is so easy to use and the students (at least in 6th grade) like that they can ask me or other students homework questions. If you don't know about, go check it out.  It is a great communication tool for students and teachers. is where I do as much of my assessment as possible. I use this for daily formative assessment and plan to always have a few questions at the end of flipped lessons. This tool is free! It gives you instant data reports and I can create the content. I will start each day knowing who has done the flipped lesson and assess some levels of understanding to organize my collaborative class work.
Take this introduction tour to learn more at their teacher wiki. is a great visual organizer of groups of your favorites. I am building a tab of favorites resources for my students, one for tools to build my flipped lessons, and one that is for academic resources with common core...etc. is a great presentation platform for students and teachers. I am going to use it to present some of my flipped lessons. It is free and teachers share their lessons too. You can create a lesson page with video (yours or someone elses), links, readings, uploads....etc... It makes for a nice flipped lesson page.

Lastly, I have decided to purchase a MacBook Air and Camtasia video software. My laptop is big and old. It has a poor mike and camera and it weights a lot to carry around. I decided this will be worth the investment in the long run as I create all my new lessons.

Let me know if you have any great ideas or your thoughts on my plan.