Monday, October 19, 2015

#flipclass Flash Blog: So Far This Year

Well...last year I did a reflection at the end of the first grading period. Tonight's #flipclass Flash Blog topic is to reflect on how it's going so far this year, and...guess what? It's the end of the first grading period! Perfect timing!

Overall, I would say the year is going pretty well.

In some ways it's been harder than last year. This year's students aren't as excited as last year's students about the flipped classroom. They like it; they don't want "normal" class. But they're not as "in love" with it as last year's group. I fed off that "flip-crush" last year. This year I have to find other motivation.

I'm remaking many more videos than I expected to. Since I changed pacing guides this year, some of the videos - and what I discussed in them - don't "fit" anymore. Many of the videos I re-watch and think, "I can do better."

I've blogged about some other difficulties; how I know that as I change and grow as a teacher, I will experience growing pains.

I've figured some of those things out. I'm more comfortable with where I am as a teacher and where my class is on all sorts of fronts: whole class discussion vs. individual conversations, self-paced vs. teacher-paced, discovery/creativity vs. skills practice. I believe my class is very balanced. Can I continue to grow and stretch? Of course. But I don't have to believe I'm doing everything wrong or that I have to throw every aspect of my teaching out the window and start over.

There are good things going on, too. I've started an in-class flip with my Pre-Algebra classes (blog post to come). They get a 5-10 minute video to take notes from, then they do some work with a partner. They like it.

I've also become very adept at making short example videos for students to watch instead of waiting for me to work an example with the whole class.

My students are making progress. They're learning how to watch videos, albeit a bit slower than I anticipated or would like. They're learning how to be responsible for their learning. They're learning how to find answers to their questions. They're learning how to study and learn. They're learning how to be mathematicians.

What more can I ask for?

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