Wednesday, May 21, 2014

A Reflection: Flipping the Classroom

Hello all,

Well, as our school year draws to an end, my life becomes filled with grading upon grading upon grading. Because yes, retests are my reality and my children retest like it's their job.... well it is... they are students after all and they want to prove that they understand the content.

One of the last things that I've done with one of my classes was my Flipped Classroom Unit. Unit Test was today so I truly am able to see and think about the results.

Class 1 Average - 75%
Class 2 Average - 57%

Hmmm.... Quite the difference but yet again, my two class periods are totally different. It happens and I should have seen this coming. This again goes back to, know your students. I knew that my students in class 2 require a bit more assistance but hey, it's a challenge and I know that most of them stepped up to the plate.

Well let's look at their averages on the Flipped Classroom Project. As you recall, I made this a project grade worth 50 points where kids got points just for taking notes and posting on the discussion board basically.

Class 1 Project Average - 80%
Class 2 Project Average - 70%

They make the averages make more sense. The Project averages reflect the fact that not every student did their Flipped Classroom and thus, struggled with the material. Something that these averages don't reflect is the accuracy of their practice as well as their participation in the Classroom Practice Activity.

I was in school for two of the three days of practice and the kids were, for the most part, on task and doing what they were supposed to do in order to grasp the materials. Now, despite how much I urged, they didn't always check their solutions of the Flipped Classroom Packet. Then, the one day I was gone, I was ill, I came to school and to my surprise, only 11 children had completed the in class practice "HW" on real world problems.... This majorly showed up on the test.....

Anyways, this is just me talking about the results. Now, I want to discuss what I would do differently in the future.....

-I really liked the class discussion board concept. Students posted questions or insightful remarks and links of assistance. I feel like I should do this for every unit regardless if it's Flipped or not!
-I didn't like that I had to scroll through every gosh darn thread to find if the student had posted or not.
-I think I need to lighten the load of work in the packet for the future. It can be daunting to children and then it creates the snowball effect of not doing their work.
-I loved the results of the "create your own real world problem"! The questions were so oriented to the personality of the children
-I'm still not quite sure what to do with the children who didn't do the work at home. For now, the kids struggled through the practice or just sat there. I liked the kids who just sat there, put their headphones on, watched the videos, and actually tried to learn. I was more okay with this then the waving of the white flag.
-I also feel like I needed to post some more resources in terms of solutions. When doing the practice days, I just had to go from student to student providing feedback and there's definitely more of them than me, very difficult.
**Still not sure how I could do this with a difficult topic though... that scares me....

Regardless, I really like the intent behind this idea of a Flipped Classroom. It places the responsibility and accountability back onto the shoulders of the students. I want to do this more and I think, the way I will start the school year (next year) will be with a Flipped Classroom under the notion that, there will be times in this class where I won't make sense. During those times, you need to take responsibility and go out and learn on your own or find other resources.

Thoughts?

Monday, May 5, 2014

Happy Teacher Appreciation Week!

I have to brag for a moment.... Coming into the school with signs for each teacher, homemade twinkies, balloon twirly tunnels, and presents was a pretty awesome way to start the week.... Sadly, I won't be there for most of this week so it'll be short lived. Fear not, my students assured me I'd receive all the presents for the week despite being absent.

Everything that you do is for the kids so everything you do can and is amazing. Thank you for all the teachers out there that helped shape me to being the one that I am today!

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Conic Guided Notes

For conic sections, in particular, I have found that interactive notes have truly helped with explaining the basics for each section. The kids have been enjoying them and it has really helped explain the step by step process to graphing.

For parabolas, I gave a grid to give a visual guide to the new vocab words. For the other ones, I drew visuals on the white board that some kids did include on their notes.

Once again, I am placing the series of these notes on TPT. Stay tuned for a possible collection of these notes to appear this summer.... I like the way that these are turning out ;)

Any feedback appreciated :)