Sunday, June 11, 2017

Embracing the Fidget Spinner Fight

This is a combined blog effort with English Middle School Mania

The 2016-2017 school year is officially over for us! We are so beyond ready for summer. For weeks we’ve been fighting the “fidget spinner battle” and that combined with trying to keep students engaged during the last week of school got our wheels turning. As teachers we tend to understand the last week of school is often something the students aren't going to put much time or effort into, they're "checked-out" and so are we. We were both undecided going into the last full week of school (That's the beauty of teaching for a combined total of 21 years, we could pull something together over the weekend!), then I said, "Wanna do a project about Spinners?" Of course Andi’s answer was “yes.”

Friday, June 9, 2017

Flipping over Math

For the past year and a half I have embarked on a journey to flip my 7th grade math class. Since I have officially end the 2016-2017 school year, I thought it was fitting to reflect on my process, achievements, and struggles. As I sit here, I think about:

  • What went well?
  • What can I improve? 
  • How to use the feedback I received?
I guess I'll begin with the basic question, "What is a flipped classroom or flipped learning?" Flipped learning is when content is delivered electronically prior to the class before the content will be applied. Students take notes or study the lesson on their own and come to class with knowledge of the topic. There are tons of layouts but I personally like to use: 1) videos to deliver the lesson, 2) a quick assessment to show prior knowledge or area of need, 3) quick mini review at the beginning of class then, 4) application or further instruction in small groups depending on student need during class.

Getting "Social" in the Classroom

Getting "Social" in the Classroom
Students are always eager to make connections with school and teachers outside of school, but there is a spotlight on keeping those connections appropriate. This year in my class I've incorporated social media into my classroom to allow students to make those connections outside of school. I have a class Instagram page and twitter hashtag that I've been using. Students can share with me or see what's new by following the hashtag. It took me almost the entire school year to relinquish some of my control a bit and allow students to post to the class social media outlets.