As I approach the last week of school, I recognize that flipping this year has most indelibly transformed my instruction over any other of my 16 years of teaching. The transformation this year has been much larger than even the sudden positive impact that my ActivBoard had upon student engagement in my classroom a few years ago . Although the journey in flipping my classroom was not necessarily easy, instructionally it was the right on target!
Just as it was a huge adjustment for me, it was undoubtedly a greater adjustment for my students who were not used to so much collaboration in math class. A few of my students who are excellent mathematicians wanted me to go back to the way things used to be -- even as late as last week -- where there was a lesson in class, and problems to take home and complete.
But these students are certainly in the minority. I gave my classes a poll just two weeks ago. Would they desire a flipped class as they moved into junior high next year or would they prefer the traditional classroom model? Their answers are shown below:
As the results began to trickle in the night I posted the poll, I was dismayed as the first 4 or 5 responses were for the traditional model. I began to question my perception of how well the students received this innovation to the classroom. I began to question my own effectiveness at carrying out this model. But as the night wore on and students finished the poll the next day in class, my dismay turned to delight! These results have already spawned some conversation with the 7th grade teachers at the junior high. Interestingly enough the handful of students who wanted traditional back are students who are some of my hardest workers and among the best in the class.
I also polled my class on what they thought was most beneficial about the flipped class model. Again two of my girls with great aptitude for math asked, "Mr. V. do we have to answer even if we don't like the flipped class?" With empathy, I told them that although they may prefer the traditional model, they still needed to take the poll and tell me what about the flipped class was most beneficial to them. The results are below:
As you can see the flip had its intended result. The strength of the flip does not lie in the content of the video (especially my rough-shod one-take lessons). The strength of the flip lies in what happens in the classroom. The students feel access to the teacher in class and access to their peers has been most beneficial to them in the flipped math classroom. Yes!
More student reflections to come...