Sunday, February 26, 2012

What to do? What to do?

 As I've mentioned in the past, getting the students to come to class prepared is a huge part of the flipped model.  Lately it seems like I am having more and more students not coming prepared.  This is exceedingly frustrating because they are automatically behind if they aren't ready for the day's lesson.  I've tried posting homework for all to see, I've tried contacting parents, I've tried with-holding fun activities, and still I am getting many students unprepared.  So what do I do?  Do I go back to traditional?  I don't think that's the answer because I am seeing many students who weren't successful last year becoming more and more confident.  I've considered doing both models.  This means more planning for me, but I need to do whatever I think is right for the kids.  Therefore, I decided to list some pro's and con's in regards to teaching one traditional and one flipped class. 

  • Students who come prepared will be able to progress as quickly as they can, which will allow time for some extension projects.
  • Students who don't watch the videos at night will be getting the direct instruction (regardless of whether they do the homework or not).
  • My flipped class would go much more smoothly, and as intended
  • Students who don't watch the video for homework aren't likely to do the traditional homework either.
  • For the most part, the students who don't do their homework are also the students who are the lowest in the first place...would switching back to traditional further separate the achievement gap?
  • My traditional class would definitely not go as smoothly, as the students who are the biggest behavior issues are also the ones who don't do their homework
I am yet to come to a decision on this problem & I'd love to hear your opinions.  We are wrapping up another unit this week, and will begin our seventh unit towards the end of the week.  Let me know...what do you think would benefit all the students the most?


  1. I'm not sure the logistics of your class since you teach 5th grade and I'm in high school, but how would the kids be separated into groups based on flip/not flip? Would the students/parents choose which group they wanted to be in or would it be made on a daily basis if they came prepared or not?

    I feel your frustrations, and I'm not sure what the best decision is. Personally, I am just keeping the "full flip" all semester and will evaluate and judge it at the end of the year so I don't keep throwing my students for a loop. I want to see if some of those kids eventually "come into the fold" by the end of the year if the expectations stay consistent.

    If I come up with any more thoughts, I will let you know :)

  2. Hi,my name is Mikie McVey, I am the other 5th grade teacher that teaches with Delia. When her kids are not in math they are with me for social studies and science, then we switch, so dividing students would be quite easy actually. However, although that might make a point to the parents and students I don't know if it will change behaviors, those same kids who do not do math homework, don't do homework for me either. Delia, maybe the only way to make these kids successful is to not expect homework. If they are not doing it, and there is no support at home, maybe we look at ways to structure math, and other classes, with no homework - I know that sounds like we are letting them off the hook, but those are usually the kids that need the structure and support of a classroom and a, how do we do that! :) Do we switch the kids and then make them have 1.5 hours of math per day? what do others think?

  3. I think that Mike has a point. Flip in the room. Let the receive direct instruction via video - those who watch outside - can still do extensions - FUN extensions! While those who watch within do the work within - instruction via video. You then are free to redirect and offer clarity. Don't give up! We will always have those who are under acheivers in our classrooms.

  4. What about a point-based incentive for the students? While I am completely in agreement with you regarding not bribing the students to do work, if you make it more of a game to watch videos (and comment or create their own simple videos in response).

    Keep up the good work!

  5. I wonder if it would be beneficial to always have the video available in class when you're doing maths (and/or at lunchtimes). Then, those students who haven't done the homework or those who have but need additional reinforcement have the opportunity to quietly view or re-view the video. It could be a useful 'class assistant' to you and avoid confrontations. I guess that using class time to do what ought to have been homework means that students are missing out, but at least they're getting the lectures.

  6. I also want to thank you for your frank and honest postings! I will be flipping my classes next school year and it's great to read about your successes and challenges.