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Showing posts from September, 2015

Coming Out of the Funk While on a Slippery Slope

It was a better week.

At first, I wasn't sure it was going to be. After last week's "brain dump," Monday was once again rough. I thought, "There are going to have to be more 'brain dumps.'"

But things began to turn around on Tuesday. In my morning devotional I was given some scriptures to hold on to when the going is tough. I was encouraged as I went to school, and then I had a full day of training and planning with the math department. It was a great day. We talked, we learned. I was able to "get out of my head." I was able to map out the rest of the semester and see that my pacing is on the right track. I decided to silence a (virtual) voice that was pulling me down.

I approached Wednesday with some trepidation, wondering if Tuesday's good feelings would come crashing down. But they didn't. It was a good day.

Then Thursday was good. And Friday, too.

Maybe the fog is lifting. I will ride the wave as long as it lasts and (try to) r…

#flipclass Flash Blog: Grading

It's funny that tonight's #flipclass topic is grading when I almost considered skipping #flipclass to finish grading a set of tests that NEEDS to be finished.

The suggested topic is "your best grading hack or what you still need to figure out regarding grades/workflow."

I don't have any life-changing hacks. I did learn from a dear friend and colleague just in the last couple of years how to be a little more efficient with a set of papers. I grade everybody's "Side 1," then the next side, etc. I would love to know how much time I save not flipping pages 50-gazillion times.

I've also become better at using snippets of time here and there in class to grade things. Flipping my class helped tremendously with this. I *have* more snippets of time in class, because I'm not up front talking for 45 minutes.

Overall, I bring less home than I used to.

I'm doing more things digitally this year and trying to learn how to grade and give feedback digita…

Transforming as an Educator

Let me apologize ahead of time. I need a "brain dump." I might ramble a bit in this post (OK, OK, I probably ramble in more than a few posts). You won't see it, but I might shed a few tears while writing this post.

The past couple of weeks have been hard.

They've been challenging. A struggle. I've felt off my game. Out of my comfort zone. I've wondered if I've been effective. I've wondered if my students are learning anything. I've wondered if I'm making any progress. I've wondered if I'm moving too slowly.

I remembered this post. I've re-read it more than once in the last week or so. I've been reminded that these feelings come - and they do eventually go (and I'm once again thankful I decided to blog my journey).

It's been hard to put my finger on the exact cause (or causes) of the struggle. There always seem to be several things that contribute to it.

But I think the biggest factor for this particular struggle is cha…

First Student Reflections

I like to get students' thoughts about the flipped classroom after they've a had a few weeks with it. Last year, I wrote a question by hand at the bottom of their first test, asking them to share any thoughts they had about the process. This year, I used a Google Form and asked them to complete it after their first test.

The Google Form had four questions:

What do you consider the best part of our flipped classroom?What could be improved about our flipped classroom?What do you consider the best part of using Google Classroom?What could be improved about Google Classroom? I was a little concerned when at least two students asked me what a flipped classroom was. Maybe that's a good sign, and they just see it as what we do and not something different or special? Who knows....
Students see many positives about flipping instruction. A few aspects that were mentioned by multiple students: Being able to watch videos ahead of time (I try to give a week's worth on Friday or Monda…