Monday, February 6, 2012

When you're not there

In one of my first posts, I mentioned that it was a great idea to have videos made even if you aren't flipping, particularly for students that are out.  I definitely have a lot of those, especially in my first and last block classes (funny how that happens).

Friday I was reminded that it is sometimes good for you to have the videos for the days that you are out as well. There was a pukeocalypse at my house last Thursday night, so I unexpectedly had to be out Friday.  I don't like to give assessments when I'm not there...just too much temptation for the kids.  But since I'd been out the previous week with another pukey son, my normal reading assignments were burned up. One unit done, the next not started.

The vodcasts definitely helped here.  There were a lot of technical issues because of my crappy school computer, but my last block class got into the computer lab, watched the videos and about half of them completed the first practice set for moles.  I thought that was awesome because we'd only had a very cursory glance at moles before, of the variety of "moles are one of our bases"  and that was it.  Also showed me that the idea of watching the videos to get some baseline information is really catching on with the students.  I think next year/semester I will move to more inquiry before the videos, but so far, it has been going well.  Still have a lot to do for many of the students, but as a lot of us long time teachers know, the fact that my students really did productive, standards related new work without me there was a big step.  Not having a wasted day, especially in a block schedule is a big load off of my shoulders.

One time last semester when I was out my dean said she walked past my room and heard my voice and was creeped out because she knew I was out.  Two of my favorite things, creeping people out and learning, all in one class period without my actual presence.

While I'm giving compliments to my classes, my AP class, who are not flipped, but who are guinea pigs for other new things not only worked out their equilibrium problems without me there, but had them up on all of the boards in beautiful color with comments.  That's what a teacher needs to see after a puke festival.  Then today they dove into their Explain Everything videos with fervor, really getting into it, individually this time since the last time was in groups.  I'll have to do a post just on EE, but suffice it to say I think that it could be transformative in a number of ways, white boarding squared (or cubed even).

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