Monday, September 17, 2012

Week 1 & 2: In the Saddle Again

I am at the start of my second year of flipping 6th Grade Math.  Thank goodness for Screencast-o-Matic.  First it's free. Second, I think if I were to choose a screencasting software that was more robust with ample editing options I would probably be someone that would spend too much time in perfecting a single video lesson.  As it is now, my videos are 1 or 2-take affairs that leave little doubt that I am indeed an amateur videographer and probably will never have a video lesson without mistakes.  Ah well, as long as my kids are learning and digging the flip, they can have a chuckle at my expense during amateur hour (actually around 10 minutes) every night on SchoolTube.

Today I began to familiarize my 6th graders with Edmodo.  Oh the joys of Edmodo! Thank goodness for Edmodo.  Students are placed in a social network where a mindset of social interaction is created to benefit mutual understanding.  It was wonderful to see them interact--as my classes did last year--with the specific purpose of furthering concept mastery. Granted my video lesson was just on taking notes, not a high-interest -- but necessary -- procedural lesson.  I missed EdmodoCon this past August because my wife, two children, and I were on the road in Yellowstone National Park making our way to Livingston, Montana.  Family came first.  Well the family, the bison, the pronghorn sheep, the geysers, elk, etc ALL came before EdmodoCon. 

Like last year, the kids are digging Edmodo  and relishing the opportunity to post a comment or reply. With a little bit of guidance, the students are beginning to see the power of Edmodo to collaborate outside of school -- like a study group.  The student posts are fast becoming conduits by which students can not only give and receive help from  others, but also gauge their own understanding of the content by simply watching what bubbles to the top in what their peers share.

Students who are a part of a flipped classroom should learn at home through sites like Screencast-o-Matic and Edmodo. These tools make flipping possible.

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