Sunday, November 20, 2011

Wow...that's not surprising at all!

Our third math unit has come and gone, and with it I have noticed a few things:

First, some of the excitement that first accompanied the flipped experience has fizzled out a bit.  I'm sad to say that only half my students are watching the videos at home, and coming to class prepared.  While some of that is due to the fact that the students don't have a computer at home, there are also many who don't have that as an excuse.

Second, the relationship between student and teacher is very very powerful.  I teach two sections of math: my class, and the other 5th grade teacher's class.  We each have 25 students.  Of my 25 students, about 16 of them consistently watch the videos at home.  Of my co-teacher's class, about 9 of her 25 students return to class prepared.  What's interesting is that she sees the opposite when it comes to turning in homework to her (my class turns in far less than hers).  The only real difference here is that my students have a strong relationship with me, whereas hers have a relationship with her.

Third, when the students don't watch the homework videos at home, and therefore have to watch them in class, they don't perform as well on the unit assessment.  I know...duh, right?  What proof do I have, you ask?  That brings me to our unit 3 scores.  Instead of comparing class to class, I decided to compare the students who watched the videos on time (90% of the time) to those that watched the videos less than 90% of the time (usually using class time to view them).  Prepare to be amazed (heavy, heavy sarcasm):
Students who came to class prepared: 93.5% average
Students who came to class having not viewed the videos:  77.5%

Wow, that's not surprising at all.  I haven't totally decided what to do about it.  I have scheduled a time to be "cognitively coached" by my principal on options.  Next week, I hope to post about my plan.


  1. Do you have a consequence for students not watching the video at home?

    We allow those students who haven't watched the video to watch in class, but we keep them afterschool for 30-60 minutes to make up the classwork.

    And it's worked to some extent. We've tried that for about a week. In one class we still have about 40% students not turning in work, but that's an improvement from the 65% or so.

    Our other class has been hovering at around 90% turning in work.

  2. Those are interesting results. It is still somewhat surprising that many families don't have internet access from home at this point, but understandably, there are varying economic issues we are all facing these days. Heck, I haven't had cable TV in 2 years!

    I am going to do two short workshops for my staff on flipping the classroom, and in doing some research, I came across these key points about flipping you class. My view, at this point, is that flipping your class can't be a requirement for your students, due to some extenuating circumstances for some students. I view it as a alternative....for students that may, at this point, not have a consequence attached to it. Anyway, off my soapbox. : )

    Here are the suggestions I came across:


    The Flipped Classroom is NOT:

    -A synonym for online videos. When most people hear about the flipped class all they think about are the videos. It is the the interaction and the meaningful learning activities that occur during the face-to-face time that is most important.
    -About replacing teachers with videos.
    -An online course.
    -Students working without structure.
    -Students spending the entire class staring at a computer screen.
    -Students working in isolation.

    The Flipped Classroom IS:

    -A means to INCREASE interaction and personalized contact time between students and teachers.
    An environment where students take responsibility for their own learning.
    -A classroom where the teacher is not the "sage on the stage", but the "guide on the side".
    -A blending of direct instruction with constructivist learning.
    -A classroom where students who are absent due to illness or extra-curricular activities such as athletics or field-trips, don't get left behind.
    -A class where content is permanently archived for review or remediation.
    -A class where all students are engaged in their learning. A place where all students can get a personalized education.