Just another Flipped classromm

Month: January, 2012


As mentioned before, I am a member of a group on Edmodo called Flipshare. It’s a bunch of teachers who are or are thinking about Flipping their classrooms. It’s a true community of collaborators. Always sharing and helping each other solve problems with Flipping. Sometimes it’s just a place to go for encouragement.

Well, the other day one of the members posted a link to her new blog post: Absence makes the heart grow fonder  .  The title intrigued me so I read. The gist of the post was that she had to temporarily revert back to traditional teaching while the computer labs were being utilized for NWEA testing. She uses the computer lab for her Flipped classroom.  Below is an excerpt from her post.

Reverting back to traditional was quite an eye opener for myself and my students.  I, personally, found it much more difficult to determine whether my kids were truly understanding the material.  I thought they got it, then they went home to do their homework & they clearly didn’t get it.  I also found the lessons took much longer than I was now used to… I actually overheard a few grumbling about how they wish they could do videos again. 

WOW!  What a powerful reflection. As a teacher, I am encouraged by her post and as a  fellow “Flipper” I am excited!


Redefining self-pacing

OK. Here is what I learned about fifth graders and self-pacing. You can’t let them self-pace too far beyond a week without specific criteria and even then it gets a little tricky. It’s like a kid in a candy shop who goes from display to display sampling all the “goodies” and mom is fussing at him from across the store, while digging in her purse trying to find the credit card and at the same time holding onto the 2 year old who is throwing a fit because he wants to sample too. See the image? Well, let’s just say I saw the writing on the wall and I decided to make some changes. I’m going limit their self pacing to a bag instead of the store.

The Changes:

  • I’m going to use my pre-assessments to build weekly parameters. Those parameters will take the form of “I can” statements that will be divided into weekly goals.
  • The content of the screencasts will be centered around those “I Can” statements.
  • In class, all activities and assignments will be designed around the “I Can” statements.
  • At the beginning of the week the students will be given the “I Can” statements to be mastered by the end of the week.
  • There will be specific assignments and activities for each day that correlate to the “I Can” statements.
  • On Friday, they will take the quiz.

Now, the pace at which they finished the screencasts for the week and the assignments will be up to each student, but it will have to be completed by Friday.

What hasn’t Changed:

  • The “lecture” will still take place at home and practice at school, but the pace will be weekly instead of by unit.
  • I will still walk around the room clarifying and coaching,working with small groups, and 1:1, but with only a weeks content to manage.
  • The students will still work independently, collaboratively and cooperatively, but not beyond the weeks content.
  • Enrichment will still be provided for those students who master the content before weeks end.
  • Quizzes and tests retakes will still be the norm.

So, I implemented some of the changes this week. How did they do? Great! It was a smooth transition. I have to remember that they are only ten years old and well, some hand holding is going to be needed. Below is the class data on the assessment. It looks like I’m going to have to do some small group instructions on number 3 (adjacent and vertical angles) and create a screencast and practice activity that specifically addresses number 4 (reflexive angles).

Three is a Magic Number

Below are the lyrics to the Schoolhouse Rock Song, Three is a Magic Number.  Somewhere in there I would like to add Macbook Pro, Bamboo Capture, and iTunes gift card.   Flipping my math class has been fun, but requires a certain amount of technology.  In reading my previous posts, you can see that making successful screencasts have been the challenge.  Well, now I think those challenges are in the past.  To make sure I wasn’t being to over confident, I tried out my new laptop and Bamboo Capture in making screencasts.  The sound issues are non-existent!!!! My handwriting  looks like handwriting and not scribbles in the screencasts. Yes! Now to move onto the next issue…grading in a Flipped classroom. But before I sign off, join me in singing Three is a Magic Number

Three is a magic number.
Yes it is, it's a magic number.
Somewhere in the ancient, mystic trinity
You get three as a magic number.
The past and the present and the future,Faith and hope and charity,
The heart and the brain and the body
Give you three.
That's a magic number.
(Schoolhouse Rock)
Three is a Magic Number

Blogs of other Flipped Classrooms

Before I get into the “meat” of this post, I want to share a touching story from my classroom today. My students took the Unit 4 math test…fractions. They took it electronically using Edmodo. Once they finished, I explained that if they missed 4 or more problems they had the opportunity to re-take the test next week (same content, different questions). Because we had a little extra time before the end of class, I gave them the opportunity to look over the test and start working on the problems they missed. Then I see it. Students moving into groups with no direction from me. They began helping each other and within minutes leaders were selected and learning was taking place. Then, I heard comments like, “Explain how you solved that problem?” Did you use the LCM or GCF?” ” Remember, you have to turn that 1 you borrowed into a fraction and add it to the that fraction here.” “Now I know why I missed that problem.”

I floated around the room offering assistance were it was needed and enjoyed the scene. When I got home this evening I checked Edmodo. There was a post from one of the students. It said, ” Here is a great website if you are still having trouble comparing fractions.” This brought tears to my eyes. They are becoming learners and collaborators. I guess, as far as meat goes, that’s a prime rib.

As you can see from the title of the post, the focus was going to be other teachers blogs. So, here we go. Jon Bergman just sent a link to a Google spreadsheet listing 35 examples of Flipped Classrooms. It’s a great resource. I just love being able to read reflections of other teachers and their experiences flipping their classrooms. It’s very encouraging and informative. The link is below.

35 examples of Flipped Classroom