Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Sample Videos

One of my goals when I decided to write this blog was to give myself time to reflect, and to help others who are thinking of flipping.  That being said, I have recently had a lot of people who want to see some example videos.  Therefore, I am embedding several examples of different videos I've made this year.  They range from early on (when we didn't have all our current technology), to my most recent where I am using slideshows.

This first video is one of the first that I made.  When I first started flipping I was using i-movie, then trying to attach it to my Edmodo site.  I also did not have our doc/camera hooked to the computer with the right software, so I was dragging my computer into the middle of the room & using my built in camera to video tape our projector screen.  I was finding that the pictures were very small, and they skipped a lot.  The quality...not great.

Lesson 1-1 Solving Comparison Problems

The second video is once I discovered Schooltube, which in turn compressed the videos for me & also made the screen larger with less wait time for the kids...bonus!

Lesson 3-1 Fraction/Decimal Comparison

Eventually I got all the correct software loaded onto my computer & I was able to record straight off my computer (Yeah!  No more dragging my computer into the middle of the room).

Lesson 4-3 Review & Recognize Congruent Shapes

The final video I am going to post is the kind of video I made when I have enough time to create a slideshow (usually this coincides with vacations b/c otherwise I just can't fit it in!)  I use screencast-o-matic to record my screen, then I upload that recording to Schooltube (for all the same reasons I said before).

Lesson 5-13 Finding missing numerators & denominators

For my next post I'll talk about the process of making the videos, and the pro's and con's to different programs I've used.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Absence makes the heart grow fonder

For the past two weeks our school has been administering the NWEA MAP test, which requires the use of all our computer labs.  That being said, I was unable to run our flipped math, and had to revert to the traditional method.  Reverting back to traditional was quite an eye opener for myself and my students.  I, personally, found it much more difficult to determine whether my kids were truly understanding the material.  I thought they got it, then they went home to do their homework & they clearly didn't get it.  I also found the lessons took much longer than I was now used to.

My students have also had a bit of a rude awakening.  While I have averaged around 5 students per class who weren't watching the videos during our flipped class.  The average of students not completing their homework more than doubled.  The number of students who were turning in work that showed misunderstandings was even higher than that.

I actually overheard a few grumbling about how they wish they could do videos again.  I figured it wouldn't have been very professional to say "I told you so", so I just smiled & said I was glad they enjoyed flipped math (kudos to me because I really wanted to scream it from the roof tops).  Next week we will be moving back to the flipped method, and I am seriously excited to get back into the swing of things!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Positive P.R.

In a previous post I mentioned being interviewed by our local paper.  This week our the article came out and low-and-behold, we made the front page!  My students were kind of in awe.  They are also in awe of the fact that so many people are reading this blog.  I mention to them periodically how many "hits" I have and they always drop their jaws :)

I've attached a link to the article here, so please bask in it's glory like I am!

In addition to the newspaper article, I was also recognized at our High School basketball game for receiving a grant.  Just today I started spending - and I'm not going to lie, I thoroughly enjoyed it!  With my grant money I am going to be able to purchase a DVD burner/duplicator, 3 i-pod touches and all the cases & protective gear to go with them.  Thank you again Kenowa Hill Education Foundation!

Sunday, January 8, 2012


This was my first week back to school after the break, and we went right back into flipping on Tuesday.  I took my two weeks off as a time for some reflection on how things are going in my flipped classroom experience because I don't feel like I ever have the time to just sit and reflect.  I warn you in advance - I always promise to be honest in my posts, and unfortunately, this post is brutaly honest.

One the causes for my reflection is looking back at my past 2 test scores.  When comparing them to last year's class, they were (for the first time all year) lower.  I asked myself, "what happened?"  First, I found out that one of the units (decimals) had been skipped the previous year, so the students were farther behind than the previous year's class (excuse #1).  Then what happened with the test after that?  I thought the kids understood what was being taught.  Well, they hadn't done very well getting their homework done on that unit (excuse #2).  It was also right before Christmas (excuse #3).  Upon looking all this over, I realized how disappointed I was in myself for making excuses.  While those were certainly factors contributing to the students difficulty, I should have caught that long before the test.

One thing I love about reflection, is that I always feel like I have a plan on how to improve when I am done.  In my classroom, I have been noticing a trend of students doing their "homework" with their friends (which I am okay with when they are actually working collaboratively), but then not truly understanding the material.  Therefore, we have now begun a little game in class called "prove it".  Prove it is simple, I have questions on the board that come from the most important part of the lesson, and they must prove that they understand the material before they can move on to extensions...if they don't get it right independently, I help them, then they have to try a new problem until they can solve it correctly.  This allows me to double check that they really do understand the work before I let them move on.  Last week was our first week of trying this, and I feel like it is going well...time will tell :)