Thursday, January 5, 2012

Flipped Class: Building connections, small groups and customized learning.

I love my job if I haven't made that clear in earlier posts. Don't get me wrong, there are still difficult moments but today has proven to be very encouraging. I'm a year into a fully-flipped classroom with my Geometry students and I had another moment today that encouraged me in my walk.
I've developed a student response system, WiFli Response,  that I've begun using for my attendance process in class (no seating charts since students are moving about constantly based on their learning activities).
The response system presents students a generic form that can be used to collect and display for me some graphic data instantly: 1) Who has not responded--both absent and off-task students; 2) Confidence level on the given objective; 3) Response to a specific question; and 4) Any additional comments they'd like to add.
This week I've presented these questions at the start of class and ask students to submit their answers prior to the start of class using web devices and our wifi network:

Submit your attendance on your iPod today.
1. For the question, answer “yes” if you watched all the 8.1 videos and “no” if you did not.
2. Rate how you feel today on a scale of 1 to 5 (5 being amazing, 1 being worst day ever)
3. In the free response section feel free to add anything (appropriate) here that you like :) It’d be helpful to know of any specific Geometry help you’ll need today too.
I've truly enjoyed some of the additional comments students are willing to give and it helps me in knowing who to connect with on a more individual basis within a class period. Comments from having no sleep last night, feeling overwhelmed, personal issues, or my personal favorite today:

My rabbit chewed up one of my books past night! GOod thing I got a kindle
After attendance, based on how students answered the questions I worked with a small group of students in the front of the room who were needing some extra assistance. Class started with them feeling completely lost and ended with them reporting much higher confidence in the material. Because of the flipped class nature, the remainder of the class did not have to wait to learn new material--they were able to move on to the next lesson.

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