As I scramble today to gear up I thought I better do a serious reflection before I re-enter the “teacher time zone”. This semester I reflected more than usual; I tweeted, I collaborated and I brainstormed on a regular basis about the flipped class transition. My reflection was not as regular and as public as I had hoped , but it never is enough is it? However I am going to grab this opportunity before it’s too late……..
1. Archived videos - in lieu of synchronous class instruction. OK, my videos are not perfect. I am not Paul Anderson (I wish I was as well spoken) but the videos are a better way for students to access my organization of the content. I hope to improve the videos as I move ahead. Truthfully though, it felt epic getting them all created, loaded and figuring out how to use them to their best potential.
2. Journals - From their journals I read what topics, ideas, routines the students were struggling with and why. The journals allowed me to be compassionate when reading about life challenges some students are facing. Some students are much more communicative in the written word. Many took pride in their journals and took the process to heart. I did not expect all of this and so was pleasantly surprised here.
3. Whiteboarding – Next best thing to candy as far as I can tell. Students seem to rise to occasion whenever we whiteboard, they all participate, the energy level in the room goes up.
4. Inquiry Labs - I am hope to move majority inquiry labs and make cookbook labs a thing of the past next semester. These do eat time though so I will continue to find ways to stream line this process.
5. Good bye Multiple Choice – See my other post on goodbye multiple choice.
6. Multiple Assessment Opportunities – Students could apply for an out of class assessment 2 days in advance. They had to produce evidence that they had done significant prep and were ready to challenge the outcomes again. This was one of the best new things I tried!
1. Re-assessment without evidence – I got rushed by the end of the semester and was not being as strident in this regard. I will go back to insisting on seeing quality evidence produced prior to the writing of a re-assessment.
2. Watching videos in class with no earphones – Self-evident!
3. Hot Seat – I found this process of doing a one to one interview with students prior to an assessment became redundant. I was talking to each of them well in advance and the students became more in control of seeking me out when they needed to.
What to Add?
1. Classroom routines with a time management focus – I struggled throughout the semester to balance allowing students to make choices but not so that they would get left behind.
2. Open my door to other teachers – This semester my focus was inward and on my own practice. I would like to look out again and invite other teachers to come into to view the flipped class if there is interest.
3. Offer alternate projects – to demonstrate mastery of standards.
4. SBG – no points! I did a blended approach this semester and students slipped back into “how many points”, ”is this for points”, ”how much will this change my mark”.
5. Improved use of student phones or PEDs – create a class policy around appropriate use of cell phones with the students the first week of semester.
Phew made it!!