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Showing posts from February, 2015

#flipclass Flash Blog: Deep Learning

"What does deep learning look like in your classroom? How has it changed your/students' roles?"

In my classroom, deep learning looks like several things:
 - Students asking questions. Not "What did you just say?" and "How do we do this?" questions, but "What happens if...?" and "What about...?" and "What would this look like for...?"types of questions. Questions that indicate they are making connections and thinking beyond what we are currently discussing.
 - Students teaching each other. When students are able to explain what they know to a peer, I am confident they REALLY know it.
 - Students making application. When students can take a skill and use it in a "real-world" situation, they are able to make even more connections, see the usefulness of what they're learning, and gain a new perspective of the world around them.
This is how my and my students' roles have changed:
 - I am more "alongside&…

A Shout-Out to my (non-flipped) Pre-Algebra Kids

This blog is titled "Mrs. Gibbs Flips Algebra 1." But I don't teach just 8th grade Algebra 1. I also teach collaborative Pre-Algebra, also an 8th grade class.

And I DON'T flip those classes.

The decision was originally made to help preserve my sanity. I was pretty sure I did not have time to record brand-new videos and learn how to effectively run a flipped classroom for two different preps.

Algebra 1 was where I needed more rearranging of my class time. It was a group of kids I thought would adapt nicely to flipped lessons. It was a good place for me to attempt a flipped classroom, and if I decided that was the way to go, I would eventually flip Pre-Algebra.

Well, I have no doubt flipping my Algebra 1 classes was the way to go, but I've decided to not flip my Pre-Algebra classes (for now, of course).

I have wanted, however, to give those kids and classes a shout-out (since early in the school year). So here it is.

I overhauled my Pre-Algebra classes last year. I…

#flipclass Flash Blog: Deciding What to Teach

There is so. much. to. cover.

Of course, I start with the state standards. In Alabama, Algebra 1 has all of the Algebra 1 standards and half of the 8th Grade standards (Advanced 7th Grade gets the other half of the 8th Grade standards).

That's a lot of standards.

And then there are the ACT standards for the End-of-Course test. They're similar to the state standards for Algebra 1, of course, but not exactly the same.

Standards need to be covered, and depth needs to happen.

How do I decide what to focus on?

I started my teaching career at the high school level, and we have great vertical relationships with the current high school math teachers, so I have a good idea about what standards I need to ensure my students are comfortable with and which standards are most needed to provide a proper foundation for my students when they reach their high school math courses. Those standards get more time.

The EOC standards are a little more focused than the state standards. Since the EOC s…