Sunday, October 27, 2013

Reflecting on 2 Flipped Classes

I figured that it was time that I took a few moments to formally reflect on the practices that I am using this semester. As mentioned in my last post I am implementing a "flipped class" model in two of my classes (a hybrid "flipped-mastery" model in one to be more specific). Approximately 3 weeks into the semester I asked my students for a START, STOP, CONTINUE feedback form about how the class was being conducted. Partly I wanted to see how the views had changed (if at all) and partly I wanted to have something to show them to try to get them to become more communicative about their needs as students.

The feedback was varied and helpful on both accounts and showed me that some more of the students were enjoying the model and were finding it helpful to spend more time problem solving in class and be able to rewatch the lessons as needed. It also showed me the maturity of a few of the students who had modified the model to fit their own needs (which is, of course, the overall purpose). 

I have come to realize that my stuggles to be creative are more pronounced in my Physics class than in previous semesters with the flipped model - students are craving more demo time and realistic explanation and I have struggled to bring that to light (especially in the kinematics unit where demos are harder to come by). This is something I would work on more the second time that I teach this course in this manner and am working to do more with the other units (Forces was a lot easier to talk about examples in real life and to show them ideas).

I am still struggling to get my International students (ELLs) communicating and collaborating more with each other. I don't think they are used to the idea of working together to improve collectively and are not always using the time productively (that part depends on the individual student across the board, not just the ELL students of course). Overall the seniors students use the class time well.

My Grade 12 math students are getting better and better at knowing what will work for them individually and are consistently working together to solve problems. They are getting better at informing me when they are struggling and they constantly keep me on my toes. The procrastinators are starting to see that they are going to be at a disadvantage if they continue with their usual ways, so I am hoping that the quiz completion rate will increase (as some are not doing it or are not far enough into the chapter to complete it within the "window").

I have done some comparison of my students results to their Grade 12 results and so far things are about on par as a class average and most students are working toward improving themselves as students. There are of course a select few who do not seem to be self motivating despite needing he credit and likely needing the mark for their university applications. I will be comparing my Gr 11 marks to previous semesters teaching this course to see if there is a difference between their results to determine the effect (if any) of the changes to my teaching method. I am looking forward to coming up with ideas to continue to improve the work that I have started and continuing to try to help students become more self-aware, independent learners.

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