Sunday, October 2, 2011

Week 2 - Getting Ready for our First Test

This week I was approached by our school principal to do a presentation at our monthly school board meeting on my flipped classroom.  Of course, I agreed to, but I am a bit apprehensive about the whole presentation because I don't feel like I have been able to get everything running as smoothly as I'd like to.

Why not???  The real power of a flipped classroom comes from the students being able to get help on the homework . . . in class.  This week I haven't been able to do that because I am constantly trouble shooting technology issues.  The video didn't load, or the kids didn't have time to watch it.  If they are spending their class time watching the video, then how is that any different than the traditional way of teaching?  There in lies my frustration!  This week I have our school curriculum night & I am hoping to get more parents to understand the value of the flipped classroom, and encourage their child to get on the computer and do their homework.

Now that I got my frustration out of the way, I will say this, the dynamic between the two different classes has been quite interesting this week.  Both classes are on our math edmodo site (an aside - edmodo is the platform I am using the post videos and classroom discussions . . . it is awesome, and if you haven't used it with your classroom, you should check it out).  The other 5th grade class has noticed all the videos and are wondering why they can't watch them.  I let them know about what I was doing with my group, and they were a bit jealous.  This weekend the student's homework is to study for their first test (coming up on Monday).  I let both groups know that they could watch the videos as a review - in case they didn't understand something.  The other 5th grade class was pretty excited about that.  We'll have to wait and see whether they actually used them or not.

Next week I'll have the results from the "real" first test.


  1. How else do you use Edmodo besides the vidoe? I signed my kids up last year but all that was ever on there was "anybody on?" or "Hey, what's up?" When I did put something on there, it was swallowed up by the other comments and the kids couldn't find it. Thanks for posting your info on a flipped classroom. I had heard of it, but I like reading about your trial/error working through it! It gives me hope that maybe I can try it someday!

    1. I use Edmodo for a lot of things. The most obvious is posting the videos every night. I also use it to post an occasional quiz or even grades (these are relatively new features and might not have been there when you used it). I've also polled the students about how they feel they are understanding the concepts.

      Also, I've had several of my students will post questions they had while watching the video & other students will answer them.

      There was also an assignment where the students had to write story problems. They posted them on Edmodo for other students to answer. They did a really nice job on that :)

    2. I frequently have students wanting to post banal comments as well, so everytime I set up a class, I also create a sub group where they are allowed to post whatever they want (call it chat, off-topic, whatever). That way, the main section stays relatively noise free and those students who want to chat can do so in a safe environment.

  2. I tried a flipped lesson last year and only 1 student watched the video. It was a very sad day. We have quite the homework problem in our school and I was wondering how you encourage and keep the kids accountable for watching the videos. If our students aren't accountable for anything they will not do it, they are very apathetic students.