Thursday, September 27, 2012

Other Mistakes

If you haven't read Brian Bennett's excellent post on "How NOT to Start a Flipped Class", then go there now and read it first.  It hit me pretty hard as I was a big failure in point number one of his post, and if you want to get more of that, jump to the last paragraph.  I wanted to hit another couple of mistakes that I've made doing Flipclass this and last year so that others might not make the same error.

Mistake #4 (I'll keep Brian's numbering, it was great!) Don't think you have to flip everything, every day, for every class.  I believe strongly in the pedagogy behind flipclass, I've presented on it a few times  since class started and think I'm pretty passionate about it.  But as a high school teacher with 4 different preps, two of them brand new to me, my unyielding adherence to the model is hurting me, and likely then my students.  It's hard enough to keep up with coming up with new activities for one class that you've taught for 12 years.  To do it for 2 brand new preps that I haven't taught in almost a decade is leaving me at a loss (mostly for sleep).  Those November blues that are common for a lot of teachers are already hitting me.  I didn't even mention the videos, but trying to make 2-3 videos a week for 2 separate classes is just about impossible.

You'd think I would have learned my lesson from doing it for Chemistry last year, but I'm pretty hard headed apparently.

Mistake #5 This one is pretty obvious and I'm a little embarrassed to even put it here. You have to ask questions and do formative assessments after every single video. I have found myself in a cycle this year of hopping right into an activity that had to do with the lesson, a lab, some practice, etc, all without answering the questions that I make them write in their WSQs.  This is me slipping into old ways of assuming if it was covered, it was learned.  That isn't good teaching, flipped or not.

Mistake #6 Not reflecting on a daily basis. In his post, Brian chastised himself for not doing long term reflecting, but doing an awesome job of daily reflection with his journal.  I, as usual, am in awe of him and others like Crystal Kirch who blog consistently about what is working and not working.  I love to write and really to blog, but I just can't seem to squeeze out the time to do this daily.  I really need to though, because that daily reflection is what makes my practice in teaching so much better.  I don't want to wait for the end of the year or the semester to change things for the better, I need to do it now.

I would add one caveat to all of this.  Don't beat yourself up for the mistakes, just recognize them and fix it....that is good teaching flipping or not.

Back to my mistake in SBG.I have been a wishy-washy supporter of SBG since mid way through last year.  I ran my 2nd semester classes that way and while I had some reservations, I continued it this year.  Some of my reservations come with my particular way of implementing it, but it some ways I just felt like I was locked into it and couldn't give the flexibility I needed.  For instance, this year, I've been doing WSQs for all of my classes, but a lot of students weren't watching the videos and doing what needed there.  I can enforce the in class work in class, but the outside videos weren't getting watched.  The SBG part of me says, oh well, that will be reflected in their grade on that standard.  But the fact of the matter is that I'm new to this school, its students, and their need for a little underpinning.  So I changed it up and am doing a biweekly progress grade (biweekly as we are on alternate day block).  To be honest, first results there aren't good either so far, and I may adjust that as well.

1 comment:

  1. Agree with pretty much everything - nicely said. 'Flipping' my Grade 12 Chem this year and so-far-so good. Student feedback is, by and large, positive. Or perhaps they are just not saying... I do think about the time involved (on my part) and worry about those students who might think life is easy - videos for HW! Alright. And then they (being a few) don't even watch the videos. So the journey has just begun but the path is set and I can be pretty stubborn when I set my mind to it. I am very curious about accountability and expectations/evidence that video (or videos) is watched. Still trying to sort out what I need to look for at the start of a class, before we break for assigned questions. But I am definitely doing the formative at the beginning or a brief summary chat about the main points.

    Again, nice post. I look forward to learning more.