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Sunday, January 20, 2013

"That's a wrap"

The flipped classroom experience is coming to an end.  I am stuck in the future and the past.  There are 3 days left in the semester and I am thinking of "what went well" and "what can be improved next semester".  Looking ahead is exciting.  I hope to make improvements to the Gr 11 course and implement those changes to my Gr 12 course (I'm flipping the Gr 12 for the first time starting in Feb.)

Things that went well, from my perspective: 

  • Most of the time... the majority of the students watched the videos.  It was clear that they watched the video's and watched them again.  Toward the end of the semester, when the content became more challenging, the number of views increased.  Some videos had 90 views.  There are only 45 students between my two sections.  So on average, they each watched it twice (although, I know some watched it more than that).
  • Use of class time.  Again, the class time was used very well by most students.  The ability to go around and support students where they were, was very rewarding.  This year, I had fewer students seeing me outside of class time.  There still were a few students that did not use the time wisely, nor did those same students watch the videos.  It was frustrating, however, as my colleague says to me "You can't breathe for them".  Some students will just 'not care', no matter how much I care.
  • Shorter video's are well received compared to longer ones. Video's that were over 8 mins, I would say got "complained" about the next day.  The ones that were short and sweet (even if I made them watch 2 in one go) were appreciated.
  • Class averages.  My class averages are 75% (before final summative and exam) which, I have to say isn't that much higher than I've had in the past, however, one of my classes has a few students who are failing and then the rest of the class is very high.  I believe the failures are skewing this average down.
  • TaSQ sheets were very helpful to the students.  Those that always had them, seemed to exceed those that didn't.  
Things that need improvement from my perspective: 
  • Question time at the beginning of class.  Students did this for about a week, then I know they were just wasting time chatting.  I realized this early and started getting them to bring questions to the SMART Board and we went through them as a class, but that seemed too much like traditional teaching to me at times.  I still don't really know how to set up my class for next semester.  I have learned from a colleague in my board who is also flipping, through his blog  Beyond Angry Birds that he breaks his class into 3 groups: "KNOW, WONDER AND LEARN".  They are pretty self explanatory.  The "know" group, goes on and begins the work together, the "wonder" group, watched the video's but have questions and the "Learn" group did not watch and, therefore, needed to do so.  I think I might give this a try.  I will spend my time with the wonder group.  The other thing that I could do is give a "warm-up" question each day.
  • Students who didn't watch videos really didn't have consequences, except for my "disappointment conversation", "put a brick in your house conversation", and the odd call home.  What I will definitely do this semester I also learned from another colleague who is flipping.  He uses Remind101 (I've mentioned this before), and once a student didn't watch the video for the third time he contacted the parents and got them to sign up for Remind101 so that they would see the work for each day.  I plan on trying this, however, it will require me to send message each day - but I'm willing.
  • Remind101- Well it went well for those who signed up, but I didn't make it mandatory for all students.  I will make it mandatory this time for all three of my classes.  The only thing is that when they don't have their own phone, they have to use email.  I might, take this a step further, and pair the students up with others who do not have a phone.  Put the onus on them to be responsible for each other.
  • More use of Collaboration and Practice Assessment. The virtual classroom environment that I use "ANGEL" has tools that I can make better use of.  I could use the "Discussion Board" for those who want to help each other, or I could use it for them to post their Questions on.  I could also put practice quizzes that they could use to see how well they grasped the content in the videos.  Oh, to have more time.....
All of these items were from my perspective.  I am going to get each student to do an on-line assessment of "the flipping experience" as part of their exam.  I will share this feedback within the next two weeks.  Also, another teacher and I, will be videotaping interviews with some of these students to use in presentations that we will be doing at spring conferences .  I will be presenting at this year's OBEA in April.