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.

What went well?

Given that I began transitioning to a flipped class after 1st Quarter in 2015, I feel that I was better prepared this year and the students received the idea of flipped learning better than my previous students. Students knew exactly what was expected since the 1st 2 weeks was dedicated to practicing what flipped learning would look like and the parents were clearly communicated with about the process. Last year I used a Google Site to house my content while this year I used Schoology to hold all the videos and quick checks in a single assignment. I found that this change simplified the process for my students.
This is from last year. I used a Google Site, Videos (Youtube, Learnzillion
I posted the assignment in Schoology, my school's LMS, then added a link to
to my site. Even though the link never changed, I would drop the ball and
forget to post the link in the assignment sometimes. Students would use 
that as an excuse. That would drive me bananas but I could be angry since 
I forgot the link.
This screenshot is from this school year. I gave the students what to write in their 
table of contents of their notebook, the essential question(s), and instructions. I 
posted the video, notes, and questions in a Schoology quiz. This automatically 
graded the questions and students are also able to submit their notes directly in 
the Flipped Lesson. I stressed to the students that notes are most important and 
answer the questions to the best of their ability came second. It was more important 
to me that they had solid notes than correct answers. I used a rubric to check notes.
Students received a participation grade for notes.

Here is my generic "Rate Yourself" question that was included in every 
quick check. When grouping for the lesson, I would look at student 
performance on the questions first and at the self reflection questions second.
I would build tiered groups:
  • Level 1- Small group with the teacher
  • Level 2- Additional practice with a group or partner
  • Level 3- Extended practice or application
I am also excited to report that about 80% of my students would complete the flipped learning nightly. That is a great improvement considering the 30% of students completing it the year prior. My goal for next year is to have at least a 95% completion rate. I am not sure how to go about achieving my goal at this time but I'm working towards targeting parental support.

What can I improve?

There are several things I would like to improve. To begin with, I'd like to use videos made by myself almost exclusively. There are some YouTube channels that I love so I will probably use some 3rd party videos but using mostly my own is the plan. I plan to record a majority, if not all, of the videos this summer. Some of my favorite channels include: Don't Memorise, Khan Academy, PBS Math Club, and MashUp Math. I am hoping to build my own channel up so that my channel can make another teacher's list one day. I'd also like to improve the parental support. Our math textbook is not the best resource for parents when it comes to helping their student at home so I'd like them to become an ally. The videos are for my students but parents will find them help when they are trying to help their students navigate math standards. I'd also like to improve the in class activities to apply concepts. I'll like to set up centers and have student assigned to two centers each day.

How to use the feedback I received?

I received feedback from parents, students, and colleagues. I was told that the doodle notes and notes outline was very useful for the students. A parent should concerns that here students never knew what to write down in their notes. I plan to have outlines and doodle notes ready to go at the beginning of the school year. A student told me that the notes without the quick check question was less stressful for them. I was told that the questions created pressure for them. I don't think that I will eliminate the questions since I use the results for planning and instruction. I been told by parents and students that they like the flipped learning model as well as be others who much they dislike the model. Parent say that I am expecting the students to teach themselves by utilizing this model.

I plan to take this summer break to relax and unwind. I also plan to use this time to improve my classroom practices.

Until Next Time,