Sunday, December 18, 2016

Flipping into the holidays with many things on my mind and on the horizon

Well, today's the coldest day today we have had in Minnesota in the last few years.  Because of the cold weather I have had a lot of time to think about what is going on in my classroom and looking at the future in my classroom and out.

Here's what has happening in my classroom:
I am teaching 2 physics classes in the flipped classroom model and they are doing well.  My college physics class is learning about the flipped classroom and is coming ready every class period with questions, which lead to great discussion.  Unlike my other classes that do a formative assessment along with the video, the college google document is the video, a portion where the students write a summary, a portion where they ask any questions they have, and a portion where they choose learning targets (called test prep questions) that lead to discussions in class.  Here is an example of the form they complete:  They are learning how to study in the way I do things and are doing well.  I have had fun getting to know these students and am confident they will do well in my class.

My regular physics class, which is a traditional level class, has a wide variety of motivation in flipped classroom completion, but their test averages are still over 80%, and they are doing many labs that are challenging them and causing them to learn.  Here is an example of the physics google form, for comparison with my college class:

I know in the future I will be changing and modifying my videos this summer to enhance my flipped learning experience.  I have been touting the successes of the flipped system in the improved test scores of my students.

My physical science class is not being taught in the traditional flipped classroom style, but the energy they have has led me to modify how I do things with them with more hands on than some of my peers, and that has worked well.  They are doing well and grasping information, as evidence by the good first test score and the very high scores they got on their weekly formative assessment Friday (for those of you are are wondering, the score for the formative assessment is just for analysis of what they know and will not be in my grade book at any time).   They will get to take their next test Wednesday, and based on the formative assessments, will do well.

Here's what's happening with my professional development I get to facilitate:
I also had the opportunity to introduce the professional development group I facilitate the idea of flipped classroom.  I introduced them to the ideas through google assessments that are similar to what my students do.  Here is an example;
I think they enjoyed the information and hopefully will use it in their classroom.  They asked the almighty question about how much time it takes to go to this method and I left them with these thoughts:  1.  Don't do this all at once (something I should have listened to).  2.  If you know what want to make a change in your classroom to do things better, you will take all the time you think you need to make the change for the benefits of the students.
The professional development happened during a very stressful time for me.  My mother was in the hospital with what was diagnosed with severe viral pneumonia.  She was in the hospital for 9 days and thankfully is now home and recovering.  I left her hospital room and went to conduct my professional development session on the same day, and the facilitating of information was just what I needed.

As I mentioned in my last post my wife Amy (the strongest and most positive person I have ever met) and I are hosting a foreign exchange student from Kazakhstan and we are trying to show him a different part of the country, but funds are tight.  I know this is a busy time, but if you would be willing to visit our gofundme page at: and support our effort, it would be greatly appreciated.  If you make a donation you will be receiving a token of our appreciation.  Thank you in advance for the help, and thank you if you would be willing to share this with someone else.

As we are entering the winter break time I wish all of you time to spend with your families, time to relax and laugh, and to do things that truly make you happy.  Happy holidays and I hope you have a good end to 2016!  Thank you for reading my posts.  Please comment if you like, or share with friends if you like what you read.