I've realized that my recent posts have been a bit of a downer. For some reason I was under the impression that because so many students haven't been doing their homework, that the flipped classroom wasn't working. I decided to check the data, because whether I like it or not, the numbers are what count. I just posted my results thus far, and you can find them here. Here is the short & sweet version. Some of the tests, last year's class did better on, but most of them this year's class has performed better. On average the flipped classroom has averaged 5% higher than last year's class.
There are a few things I also need to take into consideration. First, as mentioned previously, I have a large number of students who aren't consistent with their video viewing. I truly believe that plays a major role in their success (or lack of). Second, this is my first year flipping. I need to remember that, and not be too hard on myself. I have a tendency to expect perfection from myself, and that is pretty unrealistic. To me, teaching is too important of a job to not take seriously, so when all doesn't go to plan it can be frustrating. Finally, my school has a large (70%) free/reduced lunch population. Many students don't have computers at home. I have just (this week) gotten all my recording/burning/duplicating technology working as it should be. I'm crossing my fingers that it will help.
I want to end this week's post with a few positives. First, I was asked to present at our MACUL (Michigan Association for Computer Users in Learning) conference this coming Friday. I plan on stealing and tweaking Crystal Kirch's prezi in my presentation. Anyone interested in flipping (at the high school level especially) should check out her blog. I'm presenting because I won an Action Research Award for utilizing technology in my flipped classroom. I have an entire post that has my proposal for the award located here.
My second positive has to do with a student...and it gives me goosebumps thinking of it. I've mentioned a student before in my blog who watches the videos every night with her mom. Her mom is using the videos as a way to practice her English (she is a native Spanish speaker). Anyhow, this week in the teacher's lounge one of the 4th grade teachers asked about this girl because she had actually considered retaining her last year. Apparently she was struggling across the board, all subject areas. I proudly let her former teacher know that on her last two tests she got a 94% and a 91%. I am SO proud of this girl! She is the reason I do this, she is the reason I needed to make a change.
So taking all that into consideration, I am taking a deep breath this week and enjoying the fact that this whole journey (while not perfect) is working.