Sunday, September 30, 2012

Week 5 - successful and not so successful

Week 5 has been interesting with flipping lessons. I still am only flipping about two per week. I am waiting for my students to  demonstrate an ability to keep up with the work and stay organized. This will be my signal to add a third day of flipped content. I am hoping to flip content at least 3 times a week. This week I also exported my smartboard class lesson as a PDF and uploaded it to Edmodo for additional review of class notes. It was handy for those who were absent too. Students had watched an introductory video on the content, and only had to answer one question with not notes. I delivered more content and examples on the smartboard in class the next day. Most of the notes came from this. Exporting the PDF allowed students to relax and listen rather than worry about writing down all the  notes. They filled  in the the remaining notes that night from the PDF. I guess I flipped the content in stages over two nights and one lesson. This was a successful way to deliver the content and still gave me more class time to work with students on problems. My end goal is to increase classroom time with practice

What was not so successful is the parents and all their questions. They are not sure about this flipping and their student's homework/classwork grades. Homework/classwork grades in my class are only 10% to track the learning progress. Parents want their children to have nothing but A's in the grade book and can't seem to understand that 10% will not impact the overall grade to any great degree. I use an online assessment tool and students get a percent of achievement almost daily. We don't expect high percents until we have practiced a concept for a few days. Parents want to see 100 percent achievement on every homework. It is a shame that learning is so grade orientated. We incorrectly teach students to earn A's rather than learn content.

One problem I have is the students who are focused on getting the answer but not learning the content. Several students in each class are copying answers from their group work rather than understanding the concept and doing it themselves. I can see this from the lack of notebook work and questioning in group discussions. This week, I will be implementing notebook checkers at the start of every class to check notebook work from preceding night's classwork/homework.

I still need to figure out how to support--

  •  struggling students who are not used to thinking and just used to getting the right answer any way they can
  • high achievers who think they should have an A every day on every new lesson
  • parents who are having trouble shifting their understanding of the flipped classroom and class/work homework grades

Monday, September 17, 2012

Starting week 4- looking for regular routine

So far flipping the class is taking a lot of training of my students with organizing and note taking from video. This is the beginning of week four. I am hoping we are into the swing this week. I also have to teach them how to collaborate more in their groups in class. One thing for sure, running a flipped class uses all the 21st century skills, collaboration, communication, critical thinking and creating. I think all the training will be worth it in the long run. It will make the students better learners and thinkers. 

We have achieved:

  •  getting everyone trained and online with different web resources. Some students are still working out issues at home with devices. I don't think everyone understands this is not a one time online experience, we are learning this way all year. Many students inform me they just can't get online for one reason or another. They seem to think I am going to say ok, just skip it. I question and problem solve with them. Once they realize they will have to stay for late bus after school work to get online, they seem to find answers to their device problems. hmmmmm.....
  • Everyone seems to have done well with the introductions to problem solving but many are still mixing up work in one notebook
  • The 2-column notes are starting to shape up. There are a handful in each class that still need lots of instruction and I will continue to follow them closely.

My goals for week 4:

  • to launch the students into independent note-taking from video content. We are using 2-column notes which is what my whole school uses but I have found out that not all students are clear on the structure of this after learning in 5th grade. I have created my own notes for students to compare on the second night. This is good for students who need support and models.
  • encourage group collaboration and discussion by asking good questions 
  • assign regular videos, notes, classwork, assistment input, data discussions and get the cycle into a regular routine.
  • train on data driven learning and discussion from online item reports on homework (classwork input to online feedback at night)
  • teach more problem solving thinking, noticing and wondering (extra period to do this starting this week), straighten out notebook organization
  • video some class discussions for reflection and planning

Week 5 goals:
  • make some more of my own videos for lessons. Students enjoy this effort on my part and I am modeling for end of unit video projects.
  • plan some differentiated lessons as we move deeper into the standards
  • video tape a good lesson discussion of an item report for NCTM Dallas presentation

Monday, September 3, 2012

Day 3 of school, taking it slow...

 I am trying to keep the flipped as simple as I can. I am still trying to decide where is the best place to host flipped lessons. Mentormob is nice and so is but I don't want to send the students to a million different sites. I want to develop a strong routine from the start so it is always clear. I have a google site that I am organizing with all my content by chapters and standards so students can refer to this for review, documents, links....but I still need a place to present each flipped lesson. I love Edmodo and was thinking I could organize chapters and lessons in the library and share folders but they still need a path. Then I was thinking I could just post the path each night. Video link here, write notes, answer two assessment questions here.....all in Edmodo post. I could make each flipped lesson an assignment in Edmodo and ask the students to write a brief summary, or questions, or maybe a different thing each time to assess they watched the video.

So this is my path:

Google site for all references, content, standards, documents, video links

Edmodo as the door into all flipped lessons

  1. Create library of folders by chapters and lessons for students. 
  2. Post each flipped lesson,
  3.  video, 
  4. lesson objectives, 
  5. notes templete or other documents (google?)
  6.  Edmodo turn in assignment for summary, questions...etc. ,
  7. Assistment link for formative assessment at adjustment points of lessons
My goal is to create a strong routine that is not too complicated for term 1. Get a strong start and maybe add some new technology in term 2.