Thursday, July 25, 2013

My Flipped Adventure---Part 2

In part one, I shared with you how students watched videos and what it was that I was expecting of them as part of watching the videos.  When I left off, I told you that students rated themselves on their learning.  They used the following scale:

  • Red= STOP!  I don't get it!
  • Yellow= I need more practice, please.
  • Green= Good to go!
This was one part of the data that I used to help drive instruction.  I wanted for my students to begin to learn the difference between what  they do and do not know.  In the beginning, I had all greens.  We talked and I modeled different examples about when I would vote myself as green, yellow or red.  I also reached out for parent support.  It took several months before they truly were able to give themselves an accurate answer and I still had a few that were not really able to grasp it.

I also used Senteos in my classroom after watching the videos.  The Senteos, or sometimes referred to clickers, were fun and something the students really enjoyed!  I have to admit, I didn't use these every time but I am planning on it this year.  The ones that I used were a short; ten questions at most.  It took at least 15-20 minutes to get through them.  This was really the data that I used to base the group that they were placed in.  I had three groups, 80% and higher, 60%-70% and 50% and below.  Now, I know that these are not really the most ideal numbers. I would like for it to be 85% and up, 70%-84% and below 70%, but with the limited number of questions I needed to do a little rearranging.

I typically flipped the math lesson on Monday nights and sometimes Wednesday nights too.  Then the next day at the beginning of math class is when the students would complete the Senteo.  

There were times when I either didn't flip, students had trouble handling the small groups and centers or had something that need to be addressed to the whole class that I had to teach whole group.  This again is not by ideal teaching.   When this had to happen, I would always include at least some kind of center, small group or partner work.  

Since I have shared with you how I use this data to form my groups, I would love to hear from you.  Those of you that flip, please share with me how you form your groups.  I love hearing about new ideas!

Also, those of you that know others that have flipped their classroom and may not be following my blog, pass me along!  Let them know!

Saturday, July 20, 2013

My Flipped Adventure---Part 1

Before I explain the about my Flipped Adventure, let me take a moment and define the word adventure for you.  

Webster's Dictionary defines Adventure as:
  1. an undertaking usually involving danger and unknown risks
  2. an exciting or remarkable experience
  3. an enterprise involving financial risks 
As for my experience, the word adventure... Couldn't be more perfect!!!!!!!  This was completely an undertaking.

It all began one after school one afternoon in 2012, we were talking about our upcoming graduate school project deadline and discussing our topics.  When we came to hers, I stopped in my tracks.  I had to find out more.  So, after playing at least 25 or 30 questions, I came home and got on the computer and began my research.  

I was SO amazed! 

It was the neatest thing!  

It was something new.  Something exciting.  Something remarkable!  
A new way of thinking. Totally different.  Out-of-the-Box.  

It allowed for differentiation, mastery learning and technology!  It would free up class time and allow for small groups.  It would allow me to accelerate those who needed it and re-teach for those who needed that too.  

I could integrate so much technology!!!!!

I could make videos that students would watch at home and parents could learn some new "lingo".  It allowed for an open classroom concept.  It allowed parents to be able to help their children at home.  

With all these could I not??!!!!!

Not to mention, I could work with an amazing teacher who has a passion for technology and teaching.  She was a mentor, a friend, and I couldn't have made through grad school without her.   So, we took the plunge together.  For she was the one who introduced me to this "flipped" idea.

Then the planning began....

Since the curriculum was changing to Common Core, we decided that Math would be our focus on our flipped style.  The videos in the beginning were made on a video camera that I was in.  I used a set of six dry erase boards as the slides.  There was an Introduction and Vocabulary Slide, two or three slides of teacher instruction, a student practice slide and an ending slide.  The students responded well with this type of videos.  Since the videos were being watched at home and the students needed to be held accountable, they were responsible for completing a "flipped log".  The log had several places that included were: a place for the topic and vocabulary, student practice, questions or comments, global connections and a student rating.

The students were responsible for completing ALL parts.  Yes, I required them to have either a question or comment each time.  You would be surprised what they would come up with!  Sometimes, I was floored!  Sometimes, they wanted to know more.  For example, when we were learning about place value, one of my students wanted to know how to round to the nearest hundred thousand instead of just the nearest hundred!  Pretty above and beyond, huh?  OR, I would be asked things like, when will I use this in the future?  Sometimes, they would even tell me!  I would always respond and give them an answer.  I wanted them to know how valuable it was.  This was directly tied to the global connections.  I made them tell me how they could see it outside of their classroom.

The student rated themselves on their learning by a red, yellow, green stoplight.

  • Red= STOP!  I don't get it!
  • Yellow= More practice please!
  • Green= Good to go!
In My Flipped Adventure-Part 2, I'll tell you what I did with this information. :)  Stay Tuned!!!


Tuesday, July 16, 2013


The Summer is flying by and my brain is already thinking of the upcoming school year.  Over the summer, I had a dream vision of diving deep into the Common Core State Standards and my vision was a bit to large.  I guess us teachers tend to over plan. :):)

So, I started my focus on ELA.  I have found a couple things.

1.  The Common Core Standards are a tad-bit overwhelming when you start looking at where to place certain things such as skills and strategies.
2.  We have a lot to teach!
3.  This could take a while.

My first stop along my new vision, which is to focus on reading this year, is RI.3.1 and RL.3.1- Asking and Answering Questions.  What I have found is there are so many things that fall into questioning!!!!  Whew.  Headache.

Thus far, I have found that in questioning I should teach:

  • Before, During and After Questions
  • 5 W's
  • Inferring
  • Predicting
  • Drawing Conclusions
  • KWL's
  • Proving answers to questions in text
And the list goes on.  Now, I know that my third graders are not ready for inferences or drawing conclusions at the beginning of the year.  These will have to come in the later part of the school year.  But when you take those two away, that still leaves several different questioning strategies to be taught.  

My question of the day is:  
Where does your school system start with questioning?  What do you teach first in questioning?  Do you have a certain guide?  Is there any particular resources that you use?