Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Learning is so invigorating!

This summer I was completely bummed out because I couldn't attend FlipCon 2012 in Chicago.  I did attend virtually, but it's just not the same.  So you can imagine my delight when I found out that Jon Bergmann was going to be giving a 2 day flipped class P.D. in Muskegon (about 45 minutes from my house).  As if that's not awesome enough, it was only $60 AND I get a copy of Jon & Aaron's new book AND I got lunch both days (it's the small things, right?).

So now I am charged with thinking through everything I'm learning. So here we go!

Day 1
Day one was basically an intro to the different methods of flipping.  It also introduced us to some different software that can be used to create videos.  Some software I got to play with was: Snag-it, Camtasia and  I've used Screencast-o-matic to make my videos this year, so I was familiar with it.  I did find out-that you can add picture in picture on Screencast-o-matic (which I did not know before).  We also got to take a look at several different apps that can be used to make recordings.

I would love to get Camtasia for Mac, but alas, neither my district or I can dish out the cash right now.  I plan on attending EdCampGR next month, so maybe I'll luck out & score a free copy there.  Or maybe the people at Techsmith will take pity on me & just send me one (hint, hint).

Day one didn't leave me too overloaded, as a lot of the information wasn't new to me.  However, I caught Jon on the way out & asked if we could eat together the next day because I needed some guidance on how to get me head around the whole "mastery teaching" thing.

Day 2
We started day 2 watching some sample videos that showed me just how boring mine have been.  They're not terrible, but I know I can do better.  Here are some of the changes I'd like to make to my videos next year:

  • I'd like a partner to shoot videos with.  In the examples I saw, the most interesting style was the conversational style.  Basically there were two teachers having a conversation about the topic.
    • So here's the problem with that...I'm the only 5th grade math teacher in my building, so what now?  I figure I have a couple of options:
      1. Try to buddy up with a 5th grade teacher from another building.  This is a possibility, as one of the other 5th grade teachers is interested.  I'm hoping that I can talk her into it...come on Jodi, you know you want to :)
      2. Try to buddy up with a 5th grade teacher from another school/state (this is actually possible: @guster4lovers & @thomasson_engl are creating collaborative videos cross's crazy!)
      3. Try to buddy up with a 4th grade teacher...many of our standards are very similar.
  • Rather than making videos of every lesson in my math book, I started to find the most essential information.  I turned them into "I can" statements, now I want to make videos of those.  This should equal less video watching time, and more time to apply the knowledge.
We then progressed to talking about moodle.  I have used moodle before, but only to post links, newsletters, etc.  I was introduced to using moodle questions & quizzes...I am going to have a whole post on moodle later, but I'm really excited about what it has to offer.

After moodle, we had lunch.  I had the privelege of eating with Jon, and picking his brain the whole time.  The majority of what we talked about was how to make mastery teaching work in an elementary school.  I'll have another post about that shortly, because I have a lot of ideas running around in my head.

We basically had the rest of the day to spend working on something...anything, really, it just had to be applicable to our training.  Since I have experience making videos, I chose not to do that.  Instead I decided to map out what a unit might look like in mastery teaching.  Below I've embedded a Googledoc that is a rough start to my unit plan.  Please bare in mind it is in rough form, and will be tweaked.


  1. I'll try to hide how jealous I am of you getting to attend a flip workshop!

    I have spent the last two months researching and thinking about the flipped class and I plan on flipping this coming year. My workshop has been the internet, twitter and e-mails. I'm nervous and excited at the same time. Right now I plan on using other people's videos while I figure out how to make my own, and then slowly starting the change-over to mine during the year. I don't want to try to do too much all at once.

    I liked seeing your Googledoc Mastery draft. So this will be what you give your kids and then they work through it at their own pace? If a student finishes it early, will you be giving them the next Unit Overview sheet to begin? I assume the video in the reference column will be viewed at home or on their own time, but am confused about the required activities being called homework. Will those be done at home or is that what the students will be working through at their own pace during class time?

    1. Hi Mark,

      I just started flipping last year, and this is my first actual "training" on it. Most of my flip knowledge came from the internet & twitter too :) Do you follow #flipclass on twitter? If you don't, you should. There is a Monday night #flipclass chat on a variety of different topics. It has been some of the most powerful PD I've had in my teaching career.

      In regards to the mastery draft. I do plan on giving it to the kids (hopefully in a packet with all the other stuff they'll need - if I'm really organized). The reference section is which video you'll look to when you need to learn how to do a particular objective. The "required" elements are where in their "homework" paper they will practice the objective. When I say homework, I'm referring to what they used to do for homework. My math program calls them "homework/remembering", so that's how I refer to them. Those will be done in class.

      I hope this helps :) Good luck this year, and if you need any help, please let me know!