Sunday, December 7, 2014

Week 12 - POEs in a #flipclass

Every Monday at 8pm there are two Twitter chats that I often like to participate in. #cdnedchat is where I get to discuss some general teaching related topics and connect with other Canadian educators, and #flipclass is where I get to discuss things people are trying in their flipped classrooms and connect with other like-minded educators. I use social media a lot for the sake of connecting with the like-minded. If you are one of the many, many teachers on twitter you probably understand the draw to do this - as there is nothing more daunting than trying to be a pioneer in education without a bunch of support around you.

This week in the #flipclass chat we were discussing ways to engage students in the all-important in-class portion of our blended classrooms and I mentioned that I make use of the idea of POEs to tryo to engage students and attempt to address misconceptions in physics. The concept itself is not new, but I am finding myself doing it more often now than i used to, and using virtual demonstrations to do it as much as I am. So for those of you who are wondering "what is a POE" I will attempt to explain.

POE stands for Predict, Observe, Explain. It was my physics instructor in the Queen's B.Ed. program that introduced me to this. You can do this formally where students record the process or do it informally as a whole class out loud. The formal process usually uses a page split into 4 boxes. In the top left they predict what is going to happen (drawing and/or explanation), top right they explain why they think that is going to happen, and then after we actually watch the demo they record what they observed (bottom left) and we work to explain why it happened (bottom right). The first few times doing this I often have the class help me form a list of possible predictions by posing a question such as "if a Grade 6 walked in right now what might they say is going to happen?" so that we can get a broad list and so that students feel safe offering any possible option.

In the process of doing this you can often help students identify their misconceptions in physics (this process helped me see my own, even in my BEd year!). The POE demo you choose should be relatively simple to explain and do and should focus on one idea or concept. This process also allows students to practice the hypothesis part of the scientific method as they are forced to try to think about the physics in order to make their prediction (since they must explain their choice).

Here are some examples:

Refraction: put an object in a tank of water and aim a meter stick at a specific spot. As students to predict what will happen when you put the meter stick in at that angle.

Relative Motion: try something like Frank Noschese has here (my students loved it)

Conservation of Energy: use a YouTube video that shows two balls released down two tracks that start and end at the same heights but do not have the same path in between

I would love to hear other ideas from people - so if you have suggestions or ones you have tried please post them in the comments section. Specifically I am always looking for ideas for 1D and 2D motion, 1D and 2D forces, work and energy, waves, and introductory electromagnetics.

Happy demos!

Week 11 - "Welcome to Teaching"

I cannot count the number of times I have said "welcome to teaching" to my student teacher this week. She continues to integrate fairly well into my flipped physics class (she is getting to know students, coming up with things to do in class in addition to textbook work, making attempts to engage students in the learning process, etc) and has now taken on my Grade 9 academic science class (which is essentially not flipped).

Watching her dive into teaching two classes reminds me of my first couple of years of teaching. Time spent overwhelmed, unsure, but full of potential and excitement. I am always in awe of my colleagues who have young families at home and still manage to do so much for our school, but I cannot imagine starting this career with a young family already going. This is the situation my student teacher is in. She has a family at home and has decided to go to school to become a teacher. I admire her, but I can also see how difficult this balance is going to be for her, especially as she is learning a new school system (she was educated elsewhere).

This week was especially hectic in our building. We knew that her physics instructor from OISE was going to come on Nov 11th, which also involved a modified schedule because of the Remembrance Day assembly, and we were interrupted throughout the day for the meningitis clinic. This was probably our biggest "welcome to teaching" moment. We constantly have to be flexible in a school environment. I get called out of classes to attend to first aid situations unexpected. Changes in the schedule pop up with less notice than we would like. It reminds us that we have to be flexible in our classes as well. Not every class is going to get through the same material, the same way, in the same amount of time. We have to know out students and the class well so that we can implement assessment practices into our daily classes effectively and with purpose.

This week she also got to experience a chance to guide students through a research project. It was the grade 11 course so they generally do not need as much support, but it reminded me that it was a chance to spend a bit of time supporting the international student and remembering that those students did not have the same experiences when they were younger that the rest of my students have had. These students still need to be introduced to database resources and be taught the importance of citations, plagiarism, and appropriate sources

One of the most interesting moments of the week for me was when the student teacher sparked an interesting debate in our grade 9 class. They had watched Bill Nye's Food Webs video and she was reviewing some of the content afterward when the question arose "is a farm an example of an ecosystem?". This got them thinking about what a food web has to have and actually looking at whether those things existed on a farm. It was a simple question, with complex ideas that has a lot of potential in a classroom. Hopefully I remember this one for later!

Monday, December 1, 2014

Week 10 - Students Appreciate Learning About Credit Cards and Banking

At this point in the semester my Math for Every Day Learning class (MEL 3E) was finishing up learning about interest (finishing with compound interest) and starting to do some investigation into the large variety of credit cards that are available, comparing their use to using cash, and learning to read credit card statements. Despite this not being the most fascinating unit I can imagine being a student in they seem to really appreciate how useful the lessons and investigations are. They are seeing how it is relevant to their lives (even though most are only 16 so cannot get credit cards for awhile still) and seem to understand why it is important to learn.

When you ask them what they have learned after some of these lessons they can easily tell you about the benefits and consequences of credit card use. I keep reminding them that the important part of this semester is that they leave with some ideas of what to think about in their financial lives and hopefully will know how to find resources to help the make decisions in the future. It seems like many of the students in this class this year are hoping to leave with those things (some have since even said "this binder is going to be my bible after this course is finished").

If I get another change to teach this course I would also like to put some more focus on basic math skills. I am not sure how this would look, but I know that it would have to be something that would be motivating for them...and that would, in the end, improve their numerical confidence.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

What 21st Century Learning Means to Me

Over the past year or so there has been a lot of talk about 21st Century Learning. Recently it was suggested that "what does 21st century learning mean to you?" should be used as the next #peel21st blog hop so I decided to jump on. You can find the links to the other bloggers participating tonight below. Here goes!

When we talk about 21st century learners we’re often referring to student learning, but it is just as important to look at our own – it makes it possible for our students to do the same. 21st century learning means taking learning into our own hands. Formal PD is no longer the primary source for learning.

I participate in organized twitterchats such as #flipclass, #cdnedchat and #peel21st. I have been able to connect with like-minded people for ideas, growth, and support. Furthermore, I have attended board EdCamp network meetings and city-wide, full-day EdCamps so that I can discuss these topics in person.

I feel better prepared to interact with the learners in my classroom when I embrace myself as a learner in this technological age.

Check out what my colleagues have to say on the topic :)

Susan Campo @susancampo
Jim Cash @cashjim
Shivonne Lewis-­‐Young @SLewisYoung
Greg Pearson @vptechnodork
Phil Young @_PhilYoung
James Nunes @jameseliasnunes
Donald Campbell @libramlad
Ken Dewar Bestbefore2030
Graham Whisen @grahamwhisen
Lynn Filliter @assessmentgeek
Debbie Axiak @DebbieAxiak
Alicia Quennell @AliciaQuennell
Jonathan So @MrSoClassroom
Jim Blackwood @jimmyblackwood
Jason Richea @jrichea
Tina Zita @Tina_zita
Sean Broda
Donald Campbell
Josh Crozier
Engy Boutros @mrsboutrosSean Coroza @SRCoroza

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Week 9 - A Student Teacher in Flipped Physics

Now that I am in my sixth year of teaching I am able to host a student teacher in my classroom. I was lucky enough to get one this semester that is an aspiring physics teachers but this also meant that I had to think about how I would approach having a student teacher in my flipped classroom.

When I thought about my experiences as a student teacher (both good and bad), I realized that I could provide her with a safe environment to try some new things and still be able to give her that basic feedback that someone needs their first time teaching a class.

I didn't want to interrupt the routines of my classroom so I have asked her to maintain the flipped classroom. In the meantime I did not want to overwhelm her (because I knew how hard it was for me to flip the first time, nevermind being a brand new classroom teacher) so I asked her to use the videos I have decided on in advance but that I would have her create the embedded questions for each video using educanon. This way she still has to prepare the core of the lesson and can then focus on coming up with something she wants to do in class with the students. This way it still becomes HER class, but I can be confident that the integrity of what I have created is not compromised.

She has been with me for a week at this point and has already told me that she has learned a lot and has enjoyed being exposed to various strategies. The first thing I tried to impart to her was this - we are human! and students need to be reminded that we are human and it is okay if we screw up, because it can always be fixed! (This of course lends well to the discussion going on in the school about growth mind set, but I will leave that for another post).

The part that I was looking forward to about having a student teacher was that I knew it would bring forth some new ideas and give me an opportunity to add to my resources and to think about how I approach certain things. It is never a bad thing to add some "new" to your classroom :)

We will see what the next three weeks will bring!

Happy November!

Week 8 - Rethinking Ionic Compounds & Taking a Field Trip

I have been teaching SNC 1D for a number of years now. It is a course that we have developed fairly well and then it took a back burner for me for awhile while I was focusing on my teaching style and some new courses I was teaching. We have taken a skills-based approach to this course (lab, lab writing, research & organization, mind mapping) and sometimes that has meant that I do not rethink how I am teaching concepts.

This time around it dawned on me that I was doing students a disservice with the way I was teaching ionic compounds. I was already putting a focus on the octet rule and using Bohr-Rutherford diagrams to see patterns in the electrons on the periodic table, but I was making the mistake of using the "criss-cross rule" which I realized was not teaching them anything...they were memorizing not understanding.

This time around I tried to make use of the compound modelling they did to make connections to everything else. I put one of the wooden spheres under the doc cam and compared it to an element that it might represent by drawing its BR diagram and discussing the idea of each "hole" in the sphere and needed/extra electron as shown in the BR diagram and the ion values they could figure out from the BR diagrams an the patterns in the periodic table (group numbers).

I then showed them that when we make compounds the charges have to balance in order for all of those bonds to be satisfied, thus giving us a stable molecule, by using ion notation and adding ions until a balance was achieved. It took some of my students a couple of times of seeing this before is started to sink in, but I believe that more of them actually understood the concept in the end as opposed to having memorized some rule. Hopefully it will benefit them more as they move into Grade 10 science and Grade 11 chemistry.

My colleague and I also got to take our Grade 9s on a field trip this week to introduce the Biology (Ecosystems) unit. The Credit Valley Conservation crew showed our students how to plant trees and exposed them to invasive species in their own neighbourhood. This will make a great connection for us when we introduce their research project that requires them to figure out how an ecosystem will be effected by a specific invasive/endangered species and how that connects to human interactions with that ecosystem. One of the conservation workers had come into our classes the week before to introduce what they do and how we impact our local ecosystems. Some of my students had done a similar trip with their Geography class earlier in the semester, and they still enjoyed it. I would highly recommend it :)

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Week 7 - Stations Lab for Newton's Laws & A Science Tech Symposium

A week late, but still worth sharing.

Through the connections I have made on Twitter I have come across some very interesting ideas, concepts, people, and many fun moments. In a recent #flipclass twitter chat (Mondays 8pm ET) someone questioned how a flipped physics class can address misconceptions and it lead to Katie Lanier mentioning activities/labs that they do for this specific purpose. She was nice enough to share the one that she uses for forces and I used it after introducing Newton's 3 Laws. The students enjoyed doing it and said the next day that it was helpful for clarifying the ideas. I took some videos of them and have linked them with brief descriptions below. Some of the video is better than others (i.e. sometimes I asked students questions, and sometimes it is a just a shot of them doing it). [Please let me know if the links are not working]

Station 1: Flick a piece of cardboard off of a beaker that has a penny sitting on it.

Station 2: Determine which of two boxes is heavier without picking them up.

Station 3: Balance a metre stick (weighted on one end) on your palm.

Station 4: Pull the "table cloth" out from under the "dishes".

Station 5: Try to pull only one square of toilet paper off using one hand.

Station 6/7: Use a "tapping device" to move a ball (one is starting it moving, another based on changing its direction and controlling how far it goes).

I would definitely do this again and would love to find more of these types of activities for other units (even if they are simulation based) to help with other misconceptions. These are exactly what you hope to find time to do by flipping a class :)

One thing I might do differently would be to make at least some of them a bit more PEOE style (predict (explain) observe explain) so that they have to put thought into it BEFORE trying instead of just after seeing it.

Thank you Ms. Lanier!

Last Saturday my board posted a Science & Technology Symposium. There were some interesting topics discussed and it seemed like everyone walked away with something new in their minds (which is all we can ask really). I went to a session that was about getting students to use concepts and ideas to come up with research projects that relate to the curriculum that will also involve primary research and then actually coming up with community action to create awareness about their topic. The second keynote speaker was a professor that he had worked with that was doing research on students using this process so it was a nice tie in and made me wish that I was teaching Gr 10 Science so that I could try it myself. Maybe I can convince my colleagues to try it themselves ;)

Monday, October 13, 2014

Week 6 - We Will All Be Numeracy Teachers

This past Friday was a PD Day - and since the new push in the board (and the province) is numeracy, we got to kick the day off with some numbers fun. I was part of the cross-curricular numeracy committee that was charged with planning the morning sessions of our day. We are lucky to have some very passionate teachers and administrators and came up with a plan that we were hopeful would achieve our goals.

We set out to do two things:
1) Try to get everyone to relate to numeracy and realize that it connects to their subject area
2) Accentuate the connection between a growth mindset (which was a focus of ours last year) and success in mathematics - ideally getting staff to recognize how our culture is fine with saying "Oh, it's OK, you're just not good at math" but would never dream of telling someone it was OK to not be good at reading at a young age.

Here is what we came up with:
- Fishbowl: Numeracy team discusses their attitudes toward math and how they got there
- 4 corners: image of 4 different weather that staff chose to match their math attitude - discuss these attitudes within these groups
- Create a graphic organizer to compare "Mathematics" and "numeracy" in cross-curricular groups (ah-ha moments were shared with the whole group afterward)
- Sort skills as "Literacy" or "numeracy" (these came from board/ministry documents that we cut up and gave to groups in an envelope, ah-ha moments were shared with the group)
- Break
- Shared reading of our board's Balanced Mathematics Instruction K-12” poster
- Online mindset inventory to get staff thinking about their own mindsets
- Brief video clip of two different student mindsets when asked a question in class & share some quotes about mindset
- Brainstorm ideas of how to improve mindset within our classroom, school, and parent community (gallery walk to share)
- Brief Michael Jordan video & his story

It seemed to go pretty well. There was a lot of discussion throughout the morning among the different groups of staff for many of the items listed above. It seemed to evoke a lot of thought around the ideas we were hoping for and allowed a lot of them to relate personally to the overall ideas. We have asked everyone for feedback via Google Forms and the responses I have seen so far have been more positive than negative. We are hoping to be able to come up with our next steps from this feedback so that we can keep things as relevant for our staff as possible.

If you have any ideas or suggestions to share with us please leave me a comment below :)

Friday, October 3, 2014

Week 4 & 5 - The Passion for Teaching

As a proud Queen's University alumnus I eventually read through all of the issues of the Queen's Alumni Review that make it to my mailbox. I have been inspired by a couple of articles over the years about a couple of stellar professors there that are using more modern teaching styles that are more student-centred than the typical lecture. In the 2014 Issue 3 edition there is a letter from the Principal, Daniel Woolf who talks about his experiences as a teacher. He talks about teaching coming natural to some but always felt he had to work at it. One of my favourite lines in the letter:

"Having now been on the instructor's side of the desk for three decades...and having taught dozens of courses I have noticed huge changes in technology and pedagogical methods - the overhead projectors I used for years are largely a thing of the past in the era of Moodle and YouTube. One thing, however, hasn't changed. Effective teaching depends less on delivery methods, or technology, or even outright mastery of the material, than it does on a passionate enthusiasm for the subject and ability to arouse the same interest in students."

I have to say, he has hit the nail on the head - and people still recognize this. Two weeks ago I hosted an info night about the flipped classroom, a few different families were in attendance from one of my classes and a class of my colleagues, and by the end two of the mother's summed it up nicely "It is obvious that you are passionate about this method of teaching, and that probably makes you a better teacher when you use this method, and that is all we can ask for." It was the highlight of my night, and made all of the questioning worth it.

I have seen this a lot in the other teacher who is using the flipped model (on a smaller scale at this time) in one of her classes. She could have retired a few years ago and is so excited to be trying something new. She is so excited that even her fears of trying it before I was teaching the same course as her could not stop her - she is diving in and her students are loving it. Today we were talking about a PLC and she said to me - "My friends keep asking me why I am doing this, and I tell them that I was tired of doing the same thing for 26 years. I needed a change, and I feel passionate about it again."

The only surprising part of what she said was the indication that she had started to lose her passion - as she has always been a very dedicated teacher. I love getting to work with her and it seems as though we are beginning to influence more teachers in our department to look at using parts of the flipped model in their classes. I love that I can find in teachers, at various point in their career, what I hope to find in myself at all points of my career. I keep saying that the day I am not trying to get better, the day that I don't want to try something new, is the day I will retire (but hopefully, it will be the day before that happens). :)

Here are some in-class highlights from the last two weeks:
- tried PowToon to have students communicate a choice between two job options
- observing student discussions about physics (i.e. correcting quizzes without seeing an answer key collaboratively)
- Grade 9/12 activity day (a quite successful one I must say)
- using Gizmos to develop an understanding of adding vectors
- using examples to dispell misconceptions about relative velocity
- trying Prodigy Game for the first time
- super ball investigation (using a bouncy ball to measure the height of a tall room)

Happy October everyone!

Monday, September 22, 2014

Week 3 - Students Recognize Need for Timely Feedback

In my Grade 11 Physics class I have had the chance to see how well they are capable of working together. I am seeing students helping each other with concepts, asking one another questions, and working through problems together. They are often asking their questions in pairs or groups - which is great. There are still kinks to work out and some of them are not completing tasks for homework consistently, but that seems to be changing slowly.

The neatest thing that I am seeing so far is students desire for as much formative feedback as they can get. We are using educanon so they are getting a chance to try to process while they are watching the lessons and many if them are taking advantage if the chance to type in an explanation when they get an incorrect answer. I allows me to read their explanation and give them credit for the question if the explanation is correct (which is an awesome feature if the website).

I have barely heard a single complaint when I announce a quiz coming up (my version of a quiz means that students get a chance to be in a test like situation and have me mark it, but there is no mark put on the paper). I have been using Edmodo to do some multiple choice, fill on the blank, and matching that is marked right away for them and then they do some more involved parts in class on paper. The students really responded to getting feedback without the mark and were given time to try to make corrections to their quiz before I posted the answers (and by then most of them did not need to check). I love that the flip class model gives me time to do something like this (or to have me come up one at a time for personal discussion about their results).

We have been through this process once now and they have a second quiz coming up. They seem to be less stressed about it than I have experienced in previous years and I am really seeing students try to focus on concepts and going back to passed lessons as needed. We have also done two labs that involved analysis with graphing and when I gave students the option to hand it in and have me write descriptive feedback or have them swap papers and us do it as a group so that we could do it right away, they chose the latter. 

I was pleasantly surprised by their choice and am hopeful that we can use this process to get them to analyze their own lab work more critically in the future. My intention is to have them work in pairs (not their lab partner) and end up with two labs from different groups that they will look through together.

Wish me luck!

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Week 2 - Students Settling Into Their Needs

I have had the chance to see many of my students start to settle in and figure out some of their learning needs. I tried to accentuate my reasons for using a flipped class model, one of those reasons being that I want them to make the learning environment into their own - that they should explore and figure out what works best for them.

The first week or two is often hard for the new Grade 9 students. They are given more freedom then they are used to, but there is also more demand put on them in their classes. Not to mention they are in a new, bigger building and some are in classes where they do not know anyone. I have started to see them realize the importance of attendance and homework already and they are adjusting well to the use of Edmodo (although I would like to see them use it more as a classroom community outside of school hours).

Grade 11 students are also making an adjustment as they are now considered senior students and their academic demands are often higher than they were in Grade 10. There is an expectation of them being more mature and making better academic decisions. By introducing the flipped class to my students they are getting a chance to focus on things that they need to work on. For some of them this is the realization that their past work ethic is not going to be good enough to get them through a physics course. For others, they have a bit more freedom to focus on an earlier lesson for a bit longer so that they can feel more confident in the material. And for others they are realizing the need to work on skills as basic as note-taking and organization.

On Wednesday we worked on the concepts of displacement, position, and distance. In class I gave them the task of coming up with an example where all three were equal, and one where all three were not equal (thank you Noschese 180 for the idea!). They worked in groups to try to come up with ideas and used iPads to record the idea and take a screen shot to post onto Edmodo. It was great to see them struggle to start with and then find starting points that lead them to understand what aspects they might be missing. It seemed to be a good start and the next class where they had to match "stories" to d-t graphs they did quite well and, as it turns out, was not enough work for them to do!

Next week I am meeting with some of the Grade 9 parents to give them more information on the flipped class (and the following week with some of the Grade 11 parents).

Sunday, September 7, 2014

We're Baaaack!

A new school year always comes with new ideas, new excitement, new students, and new personal goals. One of my goals this year is to blog more often! I have probably said this before, and I don't know if I will be able to keep up with what I would like to do, but I am going to give it a go.

This semester I am teaching Grade 9 Academic Science, Grade 11 University Physics, and Grade 11 Workplace Math (Math for Everyday Life). I am continuing to work on my flipped class this year with the two former classes mentioned and am hoping to build on things that I tried last year. My Grade 9s are working with some videos that have questions embedded via EduCanon (this is new for me) and I hope to developed a lot more in-class tasks for my Physics kids this time around. I have all three of my classes on Edmodo this year as well. I really liked the idea of the kids having App access to our class website. So far so good.

This week I introduced the concept of the video lesson and put a focus on note-taking and the importance of taking the time to process the learning by summarizing and questioning. My Grade 9s had the opportunity to watch a couple of videos and note take in class as well as doing one at home (they won't likely have this concentration of "lessons" throughout the semester) and my 11s got to work at their own pace this week through a scientific numeracy introductory unit.

I am trying to gamify my workplace math class somewhat this semester to engage the group of students more effectively than I did last semester. I made use of Kahoot on the first day of class and hope to use this more in the future. I am also trying to turn the class into a "Game of Life" of sorts - each week I am hoping to come up with 6 scenarios related to what we have learned that week and they will roll a die to see what happens to them. They created avatars this week to introduce themselves to the class including their goals for after graduation. They were very honest about what they wanted and posted the resulting link to our Edmodo site. Here is one of them.

One last big change I have made in my approach to the flipped class this year is that I am hosting a parent info night early on in the semester so that parents can come in to get more information and voice their concerns before we get too deep into the semester.

If you have any suggestions, comments or questions your input would be greatly appreciated!

Cheers to a great new year!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Why I Don't Use Remind 101

Since the invention of the smart phone my memory (for my life schedule) has become a lot worse. Sometimes I miss the days of the hanging calendar in my parents house colour-coded for my sister and my schedule for the many sports and activities we were involved in. Somehow it seems like I was able to keep better track of my life. But I slug on and continue to use the calendar in my phone, setting reminders for myself so that I hopefully don't miss a beat. What I don't seem to do is check the calendar for upcoming events, I rely on these reminders (if I somehow miss it or have forgotten to set the reminder, then I might forget altogether). My new phone often puts that day's event onto my home screen, which is nice and does make me open my calendar more often.

Maybe the above was pointless, or maybe it has lead you to the point I want to make about Remind 101 (with respect to high school classes). It is my strong belief that we have to graduate students who can fend for themselves in the world - and if I have come to struggle with the above, imagine those who never learn to find their own way to remind themselves?

I think there are some great reasons for Remind 101 to exist and it definitely has its place. It is just my opinion that using something like this gives my students an excuse to miss something if I forget to remind them - but it is there job in the first place to remember homework, tests dates, etc so I want my students to come up with a system that works for them. I encourage them to use their device's built in calendar, find an app they like, or purchase a paper agenda if they prefer. I also post important dates on my LMS if they need to access a calendar or are away from school.

I am sure there are many amazing teacher that use the Remind 101 service successfully and for great reason, and this post is by no means an attempt to spark a debate. Just some thoughts that have come up a few times that I felt the need to write down. In the end, the purpose of a teacher in the classroom is to have an educational philosophy and to use that to decide on purposeful things to try to teach students to make them successful, contributing members of society.

And so, we try.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Next Time My Class Would...

Here is a much needed update and reflection on semester 1. I honestly felt like I was a second year teacher all over again. Granted I did have a new prep (and this semester I have 2 new preps), but it was definitely more to do with the new methodology than it was anything else. You can see which classes I decided to "flip" and the reasons, etc at the post here.

Some of the highlights included:
- the bulk of students performing at the level I had anticipated based on the past performances
- a small group of students showed improved results and actively showed their engagement in the way the class was run
- I knew my students better this semester than I ever have before - I was able to write detailed report card comments with less referral to written/technological records
- the freedom to help students that needed it in class
- having conversations with students about math, school, post-secondary, etc that were valuable

Some of the low-lights included:
- students that did not connect with me and ask questions (a smaller group of students with weaker math skills that ultimate resisted the changes I had imposed on them), despite other students being fine with asking questions (though this is not necessarily much different than any class)
- ELL students that still did not work with others as often as I would have liked
- students not using the check-in questions I created for them to check their understanding
- repetitive nature of class (particularly in physics) became boring

Some of the things I might do differently when I get a chance to do a senior class this way again:
- use Office 365 or Twitter to try to create a more interactive nature outside of class instead of using Angel (means I can no longer use the quiz aspect of Angel but could make use of something like Google forms that the video could be embedded in and contain questions for students to answer and submit)
- for Physics make sure to have a demo/simulation/additional "fun video" to go with every lesson so there is always something to do in class beyond "the work"
- create critical thinking tasks to be done in class (for same reason as demo/simulation need)

- provide students with a "shy" way to say "i need help" (though I did try creating online discussion boards with the ability to most anonymously and that did not seem to help)

I am doing some "flipping" (which I would much prefer to call shifting) in my Grade 9 Science class this semester. It has allowed me to talk explicitly about note taking this semester and I hope to keep that up. The idea being to create a bit of additional time so that I can give them a bit more time to work on assignments in class and so I can check on their progress in class more often.

Good luck Semester 2 everyone!