18 January 2011

Flipping My Classroom (Initial Thoughts)

Tomorrow's the big day!  Sort of.

As with when I jumped into trying to implement standards-based grading with little more than a day's preparation last January, tomorrow I begin my week-long pilot of flipping, reverse, backwards classroom.  I really like the idea of it, and watching videos here and here, and following @drezac was pretty motivating and they seem to make it work, but I know that I am going to run into some difficulties.  If I could, BRIEFLY, go through the ADDIE model to digest what lay before me, I will.

What initially turned me on to the idea of "flipping" my classroom is that I felt like I was spending a lot of time covering examples and giving notes that my kids needed, but was severely lacking in helping my kids and coaching them along.  I built a "co-teacher" standard into my evaluations this semester to encourage the spirit some kids will inevitably foster of helping their peers and doubling my efforts, but I want to do more.  "The Rage" as we like to call it at North most often comes out toward me when the kids are just frustrated.  I hope to increase my one-on-one time with students and small groups of students.

On Friday I gave all of my classes the heads up on my intentions for this week and informally polled the class on who did not have internet or a smartphone to potentially watch videos and only ran into a few that (admitted) to having a problem with those capabilities.  I actually expected for more of those situations from my experience last year, so I'd been racking my brain, colleagues, and PLN trying to come up with alternatives to online videos.  I KNOW that most everyone has a DVD player at home, so ideally for those students without internet I would burn DVDs for, and secondarily would put the files on a CD/DVD-ROM for kids to open the files on an offline computer.

Last week we had a snow day and I emailed all my parents and students about a video I had posted and I got at least 1/4 participation, so I'm optimistic about levels of participation at home and support from parents.

I started making my own videos for my two courses today.  The advantage to making my own is that I can make for certain that everything on there is concise and tailored to where I'm going, and also makes the content easily transferable to DVD.  The disadvantage, obviously, is that it takes a LOT more time than using someone else's video.  Another limitation for me at home is that in order to get clean audio, I need to either be away from my 1 yr old or she needs to be sleeping.  That was not an option for me today, so uploading my own to YouTube was awash.

The new challenge, for me then, is how will I get notes and instruction to my offline kids without having my own content to push to them?  For those that are online, I ended up making two playlists on YouTube for their respective subjects for the week and embedded the playlists on Edline, our district website server.

I'm a little disappointed about not exactly coming out on top of things on the preparation side, but that's more acceptable when adopting innovations for one class versus an entire organization.  There are fewer consequences to adoption on smaller scales.  I was pleased with coaching my students last week, and am pleased with my lesson plan for tomorrow to get things rolling.

I wonder what the other math teachers will think...  I DID get an endorsement from @aunthattie on my DVD burning idea.

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Thanks for sharing!