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).

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