Monday, April 2, 2012

Normalizing: Week 4

This past week marked the 4th week of flipping  It seems to be rather "normal" now.  I have tried things over the past four weeks in leveraging technology that I never would have dreamed I would be doing as a part of my own instruction.  These things include:

  1. Posting video lessons to SchoolTube. 
  2. Posting videos to the iTunes Store.
  3. Using Edmodo as a place for kids to interact about math after the school day; as a place to find the next day's assignments; and a place to learn more math.
  4. Using as a place where students can practice math skills through games and activities which are highly engaging and allow me to see their excitement and understanding.
  5. Using to record my math videos lessons.
  6. Using a tablet and stylus to "mouse" around my computer screen and to "show my work" when demonstrating a math concept in a math video lesson.
Other changes have transpired in my room other than the technology used. The following are those changes which, I think, are of greater importance than just the embedding of technology into the instruction:
  1. Increased engagement in class.  Students are learning from each other. They are collaborative.  They are doing productive partner work which reinforces and pushes their understanding of concepts under study.
  2. Increased contact time.  I am able to really spend time with each student.  While they work with their partners or individually, I will move around the class and probe their understanding of the problem they are attempting or just did.
  3. Better differentiation.  Students self-select the in-class independent assignment, one of two levels. Once they select the assignment, they will sit with those who are doing the same work.  This allows me to move around the room, park myself with groups doing similar work, and help guide their meaning-making along.
Certainly there are things that will continue to need tweaking.  
  1. Although differentiation is better, it is not optimal.  I need to provide more choices and opportunities to be meet my kids where they are at and move them along. Moving to mastery learning seems the goal - but also daunting.
  2. Although I do have more time to spend with students I could use this time more deliberately -- find ways to maximize that "face" time.
Of all the things I have learned so far, one things for sure...flipping the class is high leverage instruction.

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