Sunday, October 28, 2012

Hmmm, something's not totally working right now...

For the past few weeks I've been thinking about my Flipped Class and how it's going.  I haven't been totally satisfied, and I couldn't quite put my finger on why.  I think it was a sense of feeling like my math classes were fairly chaotic and that I was spending that whole time making sure kids were on task, rather than checking how their math was going.  I also didn't like that even though I was have discussions about math every day, I didn't feel like I could tell whether they could actually solve a math problem!  Knowing the why is great, but kids have to know how to actually solve the problems too!

All our discussions revolved around the how, but they kids never really solved problems until they went off to practice.  The problem was, that I was so busy having discussions that I couldn't watch them solve their practice problems.

Last year, all I did was watch them solve their practice problems (minus the discussion).  I think that now, after having reflected upon the process, I realize that I need both.  So here's a little comparison of the before and after renovation of my math class.

Students would complete a WSQ:

  • Watch the video, and take notes...often being prompted to "stop and solve"
  • Summarize the video (intro sentence, vocab sentence, answer guiding questions & give an example)
  • Question (what questions did you have, or could you pose to your classmates)
Then they would meet with me & we'd discuss all that
Practice problems come next (done and checked independently)
Once the kids practice the required problems & understand them, they quiz to show mastery

What didn't work
  • I never got around to checking the "stop & solve" problems from the videos
  • The summaries were not great...the intro & vocab were good, but not really as important
  • The guiding questions were a great discussion point, but often students forgot to do them.
  • The questions were terrible.  The kids were just making something up because they "didn't have a question" and coming up with a question for their peers was "too difficult".
Students complete a WSQ:
  • Watch the video, and take notes...often being prompted to "stop and solve"
  • Summarize the video - students are now asked to answer the guiding questions only (but they better make them good)
  • Question (give me an example problem that is similar to the problems from the video)
What I like so far
  • I am checking their "stop & solve questions during our discussion time
  • I am making them solve a practice problem with me before I let them go to their desk to work independently
  • Students are getting more comfortable making student made videos, and it is starting to motivate the others.
Hopefully with these changes, the students and I will finally start to get into a rhythm during class!


  1. Hey!
    I just had a couple of questions: What are your students using to create their videos and where are you uploading the videos for other students to view?

  2. Hi Sheila,
    My students use Educreations on an iPad to create their videos. I then link them on our Edmodo site.

  3. Your blog is awesome, I'm 4th grade and been reading a few of your posts. Could you please answer a question for me? So, you make a video and then students make a video on the same lesson after you all meet? Thanks so much for sharing your experiences!!