Saturday, March 3, 2012

D-Day Debrief Operation Flipped

Although the day did not begin nor end with fireworks shooting above my classroom, the first day of flipping was okay.  Just that --  okay.  Not bad for the first day, not great for the first day.

Let's look at what did go well:
  1. Most all the kids, if able, watched the video lesson from home.  In fact, two that I thought would have trouble (because for their responses on my survey) did not have a problem. There were only two students that missed watching the video.
  2. I had time.  Time that I normally would spend to teach the lesson was used in other ways in the classroom.  I reviewed with them what they learned the night before without reteaching the whole lesson. Nice!  
  3. They grasped the lesson from the video. The lesson was on a basic geometric understanding of points, lines, rays, line segments, and planes. Because they grasped the lesson and I did not have to teach it, I had the opportunity to present/practice self-created hand movements to support their understanding of these concepts. We made it into a game of sorts which they seemed to genuinely enjoy. By the time we worked together through some problems and I set them to some productive partner work, I felt they knew the information.
  4. Community involvement. Great questions surfaced after watching the video.  Students, using Edmodo, posted their confusion to their peers across the three 6th grade classes .  The students came through for each other.  I, in fact, gathered and made screen shots of these very conversations resulting from authentic questions. I placed them in my ActivInspire flipchart and we talked through each of them the next day.  Powerful!
What did NOT go well?
  1. My pacing was bad. I felt at some points more like a student teacher rather than a 16-year vet trying to manage my time and  gradually release responsibility (Fisher/Frey) to the kids.  Flipping is a great structure for the gradual release model.  But in my 1st period class I was unable to get them to the point where they would work independently.  I spent too long in the guided instruction stage of the model -- being a 'sage on the stage' again (maybe I'm too comfortable there).
  2. I need to think about how to differentiate more effectively. My differentiation for this lesson was essentially two different leveled worksheets and an additional problem solving worksheet for those that wanted to go further. Not bad, but not great. Worksheets should not be the end-all.  I'll have to think about that.
  3. I need to capture time to spend with each student.  I was able to float around from partnership to partnership, but I didn't think I made much of an impact or learned much. I need to find that one thing that I look for in my contact with each student that would help inform my teaching of the lesson and improve their understanding.
So there it is. Not great. Not terrible.  I do see the awesome potential of flipping my classes, and that is what still get's me excited about this journey.

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