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Showing posts from August, 2014

Encountering (minor) Challenges and Making Adjustments

I knew it would happen.  It was impossible for every day in the flipped classroom to be picture-perfect. Technology would have hiccups.  Students wouldn't watch a video.  The day wouldn't go as planned.

It was NOT a bad week.  But as the newness of the idea wears off and the honeymoon phase comes to an end, my students and I begin the process of figuring out how to make flipped lessons work day-in and day-out.

Students took their first test Tuesday.  Grades were good.  It was mostly review material, but I am satisfied my students are where they need to be as we move on through the curriculum.

On the test I asked students to reflect on our flipped classroom.  To tell me what was good, what could be better, and to give any ideas or suggestions they had.

Responses were overwhelmingly positive.  Many students "love" the flipped lessons or think they're "awesome."  They like that they can watch the videos at their convenience (my athletes and their parents a…

I'm Liking What I See

Wow...where to begin? How do I organize my thoughts and observations?

There are lots of good things happening in Room 12 at Arab Junior High School!

I'll start with the easy stuff. All the technicalities of watching videos at home are working. No one is having problems accessing the lessons.

I think there were three instances of students coming to class without their completed notes.  Each instance was addressed, and I don't see it becoming a big issue.  Several students watched all the videos for the week last weekend.

Things with the autistic student went beautifully this week.  As he would finish with the day's assignment or activity, I would give him the notes for the night's assigned video.  He is in my lunch period, which has 10-12 extra minutes, so he was able to watch (without listening, still) every video in class.  Once he begins something he feels compelled to finish it, and he dislikes having to take things home to finish, so this has worked out well for hi…

Jumping In With Both Feet

Wow!  The first 5 days of school felt like 5 weeks.  It was a great week, but we covered a lot of ground and seemed to get in a good routine very quickly.  It was an exhausting week, as the first week of school always is.  Thursday included Open House that evening, so that day felt like a double shift.

But I'm a "good" tired and am very pleased with our first 5 days.

I did begin to develop a sinus infection by late Friday afternoon, so this weekend I'm medicating myself and resting.  And will probably visit the clinic for a shot.

In my Algebra 1 classes, I began building up our flipped classroom from Day 1, until we finally watched a video together on Day 4.

While going over policies and procedures on Monday, I introduced the "big 3" of how our class is going to work - communication via Edmodo (not new to my students; our district has been using Edmodo for about a year and a half), a new retake and redo policy (after reading Rick Wormelli this summer), and …

It's here! And it's almost time!

Students have returned, and I'm getting my math-geek on.  Yesterday we went over policies and procedures and began to get to know each other, but today we got to do some math.  I got to see what my students remember and - one of my favorite things - hear them talk mathematically with me and each other.

It's been a great start!

I'm two days from beginning flipped lessons in my Algebra 1 classes.  It's getting close!

Yesterday I gave a brief description of what our flipped classroom was going to look like.  I told the students my reasons for wanting to flip our classroom.  I shared my excitement for what this experience holds in store for us.  I tried real hard to sell the students on the idea!

My first two algebra classes seemed very interested.  Seventh Period looked at me like I had two heads. But I'm going to say those students were tired at the end of their first day and are really looking as forward to the process as Fourth and Fifth Periods!

At the end of one …

Motivational Monday Linky Party

I'm joining The Compelled Educator (Jennifer Hogan) for a Motivational Linky Party!

Today is the first day back to school for teachers in my district.

I feel like I've been working all summer.  I taught summer school in June, I spent half of July prepping and recording videos to flip my Algebra 1 classes, and I spent 4 days near the end of July at Year 3 training for NMSI/LTF (National Math and Science Initiative/Laying the Foundation). The school section of my brain just hasn't wanted to shut down.

But it's all good!  I'm excited about the coming year and ready to give it all I've got!

How do I stay motivated?  Well, we all know motivation comes and goes as the school year moves along.

Where do I find motivation when it is lacking?  I found this cute card on my Pinterest board that describes one of my sources of motivation.

I find motivation in thank-yous from former students and parents.  Former students express their appreciation through hugs and exclamation…