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Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Can you start each class with a space race?

It is midway through 2nd Semester and I have some informal student feedback and self-reflection that I would like to record. 

Up until now, I generally start off my flipped classes in 1 of 3 ways:
  1.  TaSQ quiz (click on links to learn more), using Socrative.com or a similar application where students can connect via their own device,
  2. A "Run The Gamut" activity, where 1 volunteer answers 10 questions in a row in front of the class. The questions are always focused on topics we have covered already in class.  I like this activity and I always tell the students who are observing that "they should be able to answer all questions asked, and if they can't, that is their indication that they have some work to do".  Students are provided with the ability to call a "life-line", where they can call a friend" etc., 
  3. I have students post their questions from the previous night's video on todaysmeet.com, using their own device (or a borrowed one) and as a class we discuss the answers.  I love this too, as the students always come up with great questions that I would not have thought of.
This past week, I felt as if we were losing momentum in my Grade 12 class.  So yesterday, I put it out there. "What's going on guys?  Why the long faces? What are you not enjoying? etc etc.  We had an open conversation.  And I was surprised by their input. 

It was unanimous.  No one was interested in running the gamut ("they are all shy" they say - that's a totally different topic) and they all hated posting questions on todaysmeet.com and told me that it was BORING.  

Wow!  Who knew?  Just when you think something is going really well, you find out it is not.  I truly thought they loved it -  Every other day for the past 2.5 months they have been coming in, and automatically loading their questions into the platform.

Student compliance does not equal student engagement.

However, they did tell me that they loved socrative.com and in particular, the space race game.  Grade 12's!! Space Race???? Again... WHO KNEW??

So as any reflective educator would do, I immediately stopped questions in todaysmeet.com and have not done "gamut" since.  Now I'm at a loss!  How should I start my class everyday by making it engaging, fun and time well spent?  I can't do the space race everyday...... or can I??

Other exciting things:
  • A few PDSB Teachers and I attended the BEST Conference EVER two weekend's ago.  The Google Apps For Education Summit in Kitchener, ON #gafesummit.  My colleague and I took copious notes and will share them with anyone who wants to take a peek: Google Summit Notes.  I will share some ideas of how I have been incorporating Google Apps into my classroom every day since. That is coming! But for now...  Scripts are my favorite.  Students are getting more personalized feedback, more often from me!  Very exciting! (There is way more to it than that...stay tuned).
  • Catch me at the upcoming Ontario Business Educators Association Conference May 1 and 2, where I will share my flipping experience both days.  I will share how I got started, what I do, and some new things I have learned recently.  Perhaps someone there can tell me exciting ways to kick start my class each day.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Flipped Classroom Semester 3 - Student Feedback

Flipped Classroom Semester 3 - Student Feedback

Semester 1 2013-2014 is over.  At the end of each semester, I have gotten into the habit of asking for student feedback, especially on the flipped class.  I like to do this for several reasons:
  • To see how the students like/dislike the learning process,
  • To see how I can improve the experience for students,
  • And, simply to see if I am on track or NUTS.  (Sometimes, I feel I am totally the later)
Surprisingly, I thought this semester's results wouldn't have been too positive - simply, because I wasn't "feeling it" this time around.  I felt a bit disconnected to the content (strangely, given I was helping the students each day in the class).  There is something about "not traditionally teaching" that makes you "think" they have not heard the information before.  I sometimes can't help myself for wanting to "teach" the lesson again.  I have to STOP doing this, as some students tend to rely on it.  This is a bit interesting though, when you see the comments that the students have made, some of them said that they prefer me to teach (which implies I didn't - but I did - perhaps too much).

As you can see below… The results are very positive.  Which implies, I should keep going (Do you agree?).

From these graphs, there were 48 students who responded from 2 different Accounting classes.  Grade 11 and Grade 12.

Below, you will find the "open ended" responses from the survey.  Some of the comments are interesting.  They are also unaltered.  I have included all responses.  Some of my favourites are:
"No Homework"… really?? what do they think the videos are??
"75 Mins of in-class work with teachers assistance"…. YES!! this is what it is about!!  Getting help when you need it!!
"I got to work at my own pace"… Again.. this is what is it all about.

The Best part about the Flipped class was......
I was always able to go back and look at the videos in case I missed class.
Not homework
you can pause and make notes based on your pace.
The freedom to work at my own pase
watching the lesson at home
that you could always go back and watch the video whenever you wanted if you did not understand it.
that all the notes were online and asseciabe at all times..i like the fact that i had access to tests before the exam
thatv we got to do the homework in class so if we were stuck on a question the teacher woukd be right there to help us
one can review the lesson as many times as he want
you can easily review each lesson
was taking my time with the lessons at home
Being able to learn at the comfort of my house.
get to spend time with the teacher
getting to do work in class and get help from the teacher.
rewatching videos
you could watch the lesson whenever you want to without missing anything
Work in class
Learning on your own time
that it allowed me to take as long as i wanted to write my notes
you can sit with your friends in a group
the best part is i could do the lesson when i was foucsed because sometimes in class i cant focus but at home it is a lot easier to concentrate.
we can review our test on angle before exams
being able to rewatch videos
Being able to catch up whenever where ever.
you had the teachers help whenever you needed so your homework would be to watch a 10-15 minute video and take notes. Then come to class the next day and do 75 minutes of in-class work with teachers assistance. Also the best part about the Flipped class was obviously Mrs.Fitzee!
the videos were available 24/7
I was able to pause the video and take notes whenever I wanted to
Being able to get help the next day is something was not understood
opportunity to get ahead by watching videos
Being able to watch the videos until the concept would be understandable
Rewatching it anytime to study.
i was able to watch videos over again to help me studie rather than searching for lost notes
being able to catch up from home
receiving help on homework in class instead of struggling at home
you could go back and look back at the videos whenever
getting extra help with work that would have been done at home.
I got to work in my own pace
The best part was that I didn't get alot of homework throughout the semester. To be honest I only opened my textbook about 6-7 times during the whole semester . I guess I didn't need to open it because the flipped class explained everything in detail in not alot of time. I would suggest that other classes should also follow this trend of teaching using the flipped class. Also we had one of the best teachers in the whole school to teach us accouting that helped alot. Mrs.Fitzpatrick's method of teaching is very easy to understand and she trys to help every student she can.
being able to re-watch videos at home
it fun
The fact that the lessons were learned at home.
Getting to do the work with the teachers presence
That you can go back to the videos and watch them again.
videos on youtube
taking my time to write the note
Able to access videos to re-watch
The Flipped class would be better if.......
The videos were a little bit shorter other than that they were really good.
Shorter videos
Some lessons were taught in class.
there was more examples
we could take up the notes and having task quiz once or twice a week so we will understand what we learned.
videos were more enjoyable to watch
we had shorter videos but more of them
miss fitzpatrick taught all the classes
it was perfect the way it was
they were almost perfect but some were long
Everyone in class would partake in it so when we come to class we could also ask eachother how to do something we may not know.
I were comitted to watching the videos everyday.
I think it cant get any better
They weren't so long
the videos cound maybe be sometimes shorter. and also they shoudl have it for other subjects except math cause math is easier to learn by hand
Its Great!
notes are provided for long videos to follow along with
if the videos were a bit shorter some were too long.
there's more examples
more examples
The videos were easier to access on certain devices.
If students like myself actually watched the videos.
the baf sheets were checked every day.. cause i always did them..
Sometimes the videos were too long and there were too many for one night
videos would get students more involveed during videos student
I believe that flipped classrooms will improve overall as the years go by but overall I have no complaint against it.
nothing everything was fine
more videos on the same thing
everyone was committed to watching the videos so that there was more participation in class
They are fine just voice quality
I really can't think of a way it could be better. Watching lessons on youtube and doing homework and work in class that's how students should be taught in this time of age.
We completed all in class work during the period.
it is also included in other subjects tooo
If some of the videos were brocken up into smaller parts.
There were still lessons in class
The teacher explained the video in class.
do more lessons
we spent more time reviewing what we learned
no comment
The worst part about the flipped class was.....
The length of the videos being over 10 minutes.
Easy to get behind
vidioes are sometimes too long
The flipped classroom technique was great and i did not dislike anything about it
forgetting to watch a video
i had less time looking at the videos i could not keep up with some of the videos that were assigned to me.
bringing yourself to watch the video
that fitzee teached it!! :)
there wasnt a bad part in my opininon
nothing to be honest
A few videos were very long
You actually have to give up free time to do some work.
Watching very long videos
balancing the videos with other homework
sometimes the videos would be a little long. but overall enjoyed it
when videos are too long
Some videos were to lengthy
when there were many long videos to watch consecutively
there was no worst part :)
sometimes the videos are too long
sometimes they would be super long
when the videos are multi parters
Not being able to ask questions right away
The technical difficulties.
Sometimes I couldnt get wifi to watch the videos at home
some videos were long which made it boring therefore hard to pay attention. and having multiple videos per night
everything was online a inclass lesson would be better for me
Some videos had too much information
I didn't get alot of homework. Actually that was one of the best parts of this course. I wish to take grade 12 accounting next year.
Nothing really.
no worst part :D
When the videos wouldn't work.
Having to watch the videos.. if you didnt watch oneyou fall so far behind in the class
I don't have a worst part.
wont be able to do lessons in class
sometimes i have other homework to do and miss the video and get behind
no comment

Next Steps:
So what will I do next?
  1. Refine the "in-class" portion more… I need to "get on them more".  Make sure they complete work before they leave.
  2. I need to take some of this feedback and make more videos.  i.e. more examples of problems.
  3. I also want to figure out a way to alter the seating.  I'm thinking "U" shaped area where I can sit with some students who need some more assistance.  
  4. I'm also going to get on the students who are late or miss class too much.  I will devote some attention in this area.
Any suggestions for me??

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Post CPA Teacher Colleague Conference and the Great #ECOO13 Conference... thoughts

The past two weeks have been busy:

Friday, Oct 18th at the lovely Royal York Hotel 

I had the pleasure of presenting the Flipped Accounting Classroom to approximately 50 of my Accounting Teacher Colleagues from around the province.  It was a lot of fun.  What I learned from that experience is that Accounting Teachers Rock and make for a great audience.  They were very interested and had many questions.  I will put a link to my dropbox presentation here for those who want to take a look at it.  Presentation Slides

Also, Jennifer Diebolt, Senior Liaison Officer with CPA, asked me to return for the second conference scheduled for Nov 1st.  Unfortunately, I am not available and have agreed to make a video for that.  I have done it and will post it here in this blog soon.  I want them all to have a chance to see it there first!!  After all, I made it for them!!

October 24th-25th, #ECOO13 Conference in Niagara

Again, I had the great pleasure of presenting on the Flipped Classroom at this amazing conference.  This is the second year I have attended and presented.  I had the honour of presenting with my amazing colleagues @MathManAnusic, @Courtin44, @SimonaM1000 and @MathRocks47.  (I'm @LadyFitzee for those who do not know).  We presented the PDSB's journey to the flipped classroom and although we only had 45 mins, we were able to give a good diverse high level overview of different approached to flipping, advice to get started, as well as, the wonderful support the PDSB provides to teachers like us willing to try new things.  Here is a link to that presentation (you will notice some overlap to the above one I posted) #ECOO13 Presentation

Although presenting was amazing, I took away a bunch of great things away from the conference that I tweeted out.  My favourite thoughts were as follows:

  • "There are people who do things... and there are people who attack people who do things"  (We need to get more students to be the ones "doing" not "attacking.
  • "Every kid needs to be talked to EACH day about what they can do with their technology"  (At CPSS, we have started Digital Citizenship Days - stay tuned for that... I will blog about it and share lessons)
  • "When you hit "like" you are signing the petition for LIFE! - Don't give it away easily"  (Kids need to be taught and cautioned that they could really get into trouble with the "like" button.  Don't "like" other peoples bad decisions)
  • "Teach students to "let it hang" until it hangs them! Don't say a thing..... "  (If students are attacked on line.... teach them to ignore and not attack back.. this is KEY)
  • "Are you bringing people up or tearing people down? LIFT PEOPLE UP!! - Dont' Drive by - Get beat up too!"  (Support those who need it.... even if it means you too, will get hurt protecting or standing up for another sole who really needs the PUBLIC support.  Private support is not helpful... stand up PUBLICLY.)
  • "Kids get in trouble when they THINK they have a secret life"  (Kids need to understand that NOTHING is SECRET in the Digital World.... They need to build themselves a positive brand)
  • Have students "google alert" themselves to manage their digital footprint. (They might be surprised what they see about themselves)
  • Tell Kids "Don't create the armament that will bring you down in the future - Bank the good stuff" (Again, students need to start building a positive brand)
  • "Research from Stanford says NO ONE is a MULTI-TASKER.. we are FAST SWITCHERS"  (We think we are, but our attention is not great... something is NOT ATTENDED TOO)
  • Kids go fast! 110 social decisions per minute. It's not virtual if it can effect your real life. It's one life.  (They really need to think before hitting "send', "share", "like", "post", etc.)
  • Our mistakes aren't googleable but the ones of our kids are. They are building a digital legacy.  (We were so lucky as teens.  We made mistakes that only few people saw.. now when kids make mistakes the whole world can see and it CAN affect them for LIFE)
  • "Kids should be creators not consumers of on-line content"  (Teach them to build, share, teach, be creative... again, build positive digital footprint)
  • In ten years my cutting edge devices will be a joke to the next generation... Needs to be about the teaching not the device.   (One of my favourites.  This high tech MacBook Pro that I'm typing this on will be a complete joke to our kids when they are our age..... so true... what will it be like, in even 5 or 10 years?)
  • Both and reinforced the power of kids teaching kids via technology.  (I have already started with my own kids at home.... create, share and post the good helpful stuff to society.)
  • Remember when the tech at school was way better than the tech at home?! Not the case anymore. A def motivation for BYOD  (We really need to embrace technology and what power it gives students at their fingertips- Use it in your class)
  • No one showed up today thinking. " oh thank god there is electricity here". "Wifi will soon follow"  (Funny, but true.... wifi will be EVERYWHERE soon.. and we will EXPECT it... some of us already do...)
  • "Education can change a family's destiny in just one generation" Jaime Casap. Too true  
  • The Technasium and Flipnasium at Rick Hansen SS provide for a great way to allow teachers to learn in a SAFE Environment.  See my awesome colleagues @jrichea's BLOG and @jimmyblackwood 's blog.  
Finally, Last Minute Thoughts to improve my classroom still....(PLC related)
  • I'm starting a Gr 12 peer tutoring program for my 11 Accounting.  12's on spare, will come in and help me support my students in 11 who are struggling.  I look forward to this.  I've already contacted several parents about this and they are on-board and excited that we are going to try to provide even more support to their kids.
  • I learned from my buddy @MathManAnusic a trick that I can't believe I didn't think of..... I'm going to take up my test via video.  I always hate taking up tests, because so many who did well - it is a waste of their time (they think), the ones who struggled.. need more one-on-one.. so I will do that going forward.
  • I will also make mini-videos on little topics.  Example: in Grade 11 accounting so many kids struggle with the "solving for variables in equations" math issue. (Not really accounting, but it comes up several times).  I am going to make really short video's about this for them too!!
  • I will also try to make more videos with me in it and using different technology i.e. my document camera.
Cheers, until next time!