2010-2011 School Year (my first year teaching 5th grade)
Number of students: 22
Beginning of the year RIT: 202.3
End of the year RIT: 212.5
Average on in class assignments: 82.92%
2011-2012 School Year
Number of students: 28
Style: Flipped 101
Beginning of the year RIT: 208.1
End of the year RIT: 215.2
Average on in class assignments: 84.55%
2012-2013 School Year (thus far)
Style: Flipped Mastery (sort of...self paced within the unit)
Beginning of the year RIT: 203.8
Middle of the year RIT: 210.9
Growth so far: 7.1
Average on in class assignments: 86.67%
So what do I notice when I look at the numbers?
#1 My class keeps getting bigger!
#2 The average on in-class assessments continues to improve.
#3 My students did not show as much growth on the MAP test in my first year of flipping as they did the year I taught traditional...interesting...I need to come back to that one.
#4 This year is looking really positive, as they have already met the growth (mid-way through the year) that my class made last year as a whole.
I want to go back to #3 on the list above. I was quite surprised to see that the growth for those students was lower than my traditional group. Besides the flipped classroom, what was the difference? Well, there were far fewer students, for starters. In addition, my flipclass group started higher, which makes it more difficult to show as much growth. It's not an excuse, just one possible factor. Another factor might be behavior. The class in my first flipped group had a video a night...but it also had a large group that didn't do their homework. That led to some of the changes I made for this year. But looking back at the numbers, I feel like I might have let my high kids down a little by making them follow my pace. I look at this year's class and I see my high students being able to skip lessons they already know and given a chance to stretch their knowledge. I also have implemented math inquiry projects at the beginning/end of each unit. The students absolutely love these projects. This year's class also has to do a lot of writing within math.
So where do I go from here?
I definitely want to develop more inquiry projects, and more time to do real-world & hands on activities in the classroom. I think the issue I'm having is trying to figure out the most useful way to handle in-class time. Keep in mind, I flip math, so one of the things I want my students to be able to do is during class is practice solving math problems. The issue I'm running into is that I spend most of my in class time doing discussions in small groups on the board, which leaves me with very little time monitoring the students who are working.
I think next year I might begin having somewhat assigned groups, where each student has a "role", so-to-speak, that way they can get their discussion started, and I can come over when it's time to try some problems.
So what else? I'd love to have all my quizzes on the computer, but until our county updates to the newest version of Moodle, and I get some training in it, I won't be able to do that either.
Finally...and most important (in my opinion), are the inquiry projects. I'd like to integrate these throughout my different lessons, rather than just the end, just the beginning, or both. Honestly, I'm running into a bit of a wall trying to come up with them. This is where my #pln needs to help me out. As I mentioned in a previous post, John Fritszky & I created a google doc that has all the ccss for 5th grade math in it. We are trying to compile good inquiries to go with all the standards. This is a massive undertaking, but you know what they say, we're better together, so please, if you teach 5th grade, or know someone who teaches 5th grade, share this document. Ask (or beg if you must) for them to share what the math projects they have done. We need to stop working in isolation and sharing out what we know is good teaching.