Sunday, July 20, 2014

Chapter 1 is Ready + Basic Organization

I've attempted to insert my first picture. :)
I finished recording videos for Chapter 1 of my textbook (Larson Algebra 1) this week.  Chapter 1 will really be divided into 2 units: a review unit of expressions and equations and an introduction to functions.

I've decided I don't really want to record anything else until these lessons are being used by students and I begin to get feedback.  My daughter (who will be in my class; I am currently the only Algebra 1 teacher in the school) watched one of the videos - she asked to - and she didn't have any horrible criticisms.  But she's already had a good idea or two, and I know other students will, as well.

The eight videos I've made will last at least the first 3 weeks of school; I feel good about that.

My fear is that the start of school will be so busy (as it always is) and I will find it hard to make the next set of videos.  I have this nightmare of being ready to go home from school one day and realizing the kids need a yet-to-be-made video uploaded for THAT NIGHT.

I've decided on one change in hardware:  a fine-point stylus.  I've made videos with my finger and my mesh-tip stylus.  I prefer the stylus, but it is noisy on my non-glare screen protector.  Maybe to the point of being distractingly irritating.  So I've ordered a different stylus from Amazon and will see if it's better.

So, what's my plan with this flipped classroom?

I have a legal pad where I'm mapping out lessons, planning classroom activities, and jotting down ideas and questions about flipping as they occur to me.

I have printed ready-to-fill-out notes for my students since I've had my SMART Board.  They will continue to get these notes, but I think I'm going to give them the blank notes for the week all at one time.  I haven't decided if I will do that on Friday or Monday.  I will check each day to see if students have filled out their notes.

Our school has emphasized strategic teaching the last couple of years, with each lesson having a Before, During, and After strategy.  Some days this has been hard to do.  Now I see the "Before" strategy being related to the video.  Students might work a warm-up with practice problems from the lesson (Kahoot! or Socrative will be utilized), and then there will be some sort of "Flip Chat" with a partner or a group.  Students will discuss the questions they had from the lesson, hopefully answering each other's questions.  I will give small-group or whole class instruction as needed.

Then students will do an activity - scavenger hunts, task cards, problem-solving - to practice and apply the concepts of the lesson.

Class will end with an exit slip or lesson quiz.

I can really see moving direct instruction to an at-home video completely transforming my class time!  I've always wished for 15-30 more minutes in class, and I think I'm going to get it!

I do teach another prep:  inclusion Pre-Algebra.  At this time, I do not plan to flip those two classes.  I began using interactive notebooks with those kids last year, and they were very successful.  To attempt to keep things manageable, I am going to continue with the INBs for those students and only flip my Algebra 1 classes.  But if I see that it will be a huge benefit to my Pre-Algebra kids, I will definitely consider flipping them at a later time.


  1. Wow Mickie! You have accomplished quite a bit. I'm thinking of having a flipped Friday class. With all the changes we have this year I can't imagine doing any more than that. It's going to be fun following you this year:)

    1. Thanks so much for reading! One change at a time is definitely the way to go, for many reasons. I'm so glad we've connected; I'm getting lots of ideas from your Pinterest pins. :)