Saturday, April 7, 2012

So This is What Life Could Be Like: Week 5

Wow!  What an awesome week of instruction.  And I certainly don't mean my video lessons that are one or two-take amateur-hour clips riddled with mistakes (just ask my students who seem entertained by my blunders). This past Wednesday not only I was feeling a sense of awe from one or two of my classes, I was feeling an almost palpable awe from all three of my 6th grade classes.  They were ALL hitting the target. This is what you would have observed in my classroom that day...and almost every other day this week.
  1. Productive partner work.
  2. Focused independent work.
  3. Students engaged in the learning task at hand.
Sure I still have my 1 or 2 in each classes who do not do the work of watching the videos before class, but then again these would be the very same 1 or 2 in each class who did not do the homework when we assigned traditional homework. The students were so focused that they did not notice that I stepped out of the room to get their homeroom teacher and show her how incredibly "on" they were that afternoon.

I love the freedom of going from student to student and asking them questions about what they understood.  I may ask them to explain how they came to the solution that they did.  I may ask them a question regarding vocabulary learned in the video.  I may ask them what still confused them about the lesson. I may make an adjustment to their assignment based upon what I observe. I now have the luxury of knowing my students better as mathematicians, than I did before I flipped.

Another surprising perk of flipping is that kids are making choices to challenge themselves more in my flipped classroom than when I taught traditionally.  I think it may be the safety net afforded all kids in class to have their peers and me there to help them navigate the problems if they do run into an issue.  In the traditional setting the kids would have chosen less challenging problems because they would have had to work through the problems themselves or with limited support from a parent at home.

Based on what I experienced this past week, I can't go back to the traditional way of teaching.  Not when I can see how flipping allows higher engagement, inspires greater confidence, and builds better conceptual understanding.

1 comment:

  1. Woo hoo!!!! This is awesome! So great to hear how it's all coming along and how the kids are transitioning. Thanks for sharing!