Monday, January 2, 2017

Change is the only constant

Happy New Year!
You may think the title is about the change of a new calendar year.  To be honest, that was the beginning of it.  But it is parts of many things.  The kicker to make me write this was: 30-days-blogging-challenge post by AJ Juliani.  I have been making the change to blog over that last 2 years, and it has been fun seeing people actually reading what I post.  The more I thought about other changes I came back to the quote that is the title of this post.  A retired colleague of mine told me that this fall and the more I reflect on it, the more truth I see in it.
The change in my teaching is what caused me to write about this blog.  As mentioned in earlier posts I started flipping my classes because I wanted to do more in my science classroom than lecture and labs.  I have noticed the change in my students because they appear less bored, ask more questions, and their test scores are higher.  My approach to flipped has changed over time as well as I learn about it and my students.  When I first started flipping I gave my students not sheets they needed to fill out and bring back.  This has changed into google forms with videos and questions that I call my "Video Assessment" which is simply a formative assessment to see where the students are at.  I have also changed the google forms to make them "quiz" forms so the students can see their scores right away.  This has had great results in that the students see their scores and want to improve their scores so they go back and do the video assessments again.  Continual learning!  With the classes that the students see their scores I gave them a score sheet where they need to write down their scores and things they learned from the videos.  This form needs to be completed and turned in before they take the exam at the end of the unit.  Once the students realized this was made to help them they did not fight the process.  This process worked so well that first trimester, which was the first trimester I implemented the score sheet form, the students had the best initial score average and final exam score average of any of my conceptual physics classes over the 4 years I have taught the class!
I also created three different classes with the flipped model, which is a big change.  My college class does not have the questions in the video assessment, but they do have summaries and they need to ask questions based on the video.  This has had positive responses as well.
Change has happened in our building as well.  We are still in the early stages of PLC's in our district and I believe it is going well.  Our district also has faculty facilitated professional development, which encourages staff to try new things in their classroom in order to stretch what they do.  This has been interesting because not only can we as teachers take professional development from our fellow teachers in our district, but we can also go outside the district and find our own professional development to help our personal goals.  Like any system their are positives and negatives to a system and it has changed a lot in my 15 years in the program (more change!).  I have learned and changed so much from these opportunities!
The final education change to think about is what you are reading this post on, technology.  This is the first education "technology" I remember using:
Image result for apple 2e computer
There was a lab that had a bunch of these and we played fun games like number munchers, Oregon Trail, and other games.
When I started teaching 15 years ago the technology in my classroom consisted of the original Ultrasonic Motion Sensors and the Universal Lab Interfaces:

This equipment had to be connected to older computers and was a pain to set up.

Now, I use Vernier probes in many of my labs, but now the students bring their own sensors to class in their smart phones as shown in this post:
http://www.compadre.org/books/?ID=49

These are just a few of the many changes in education.  If you have read this far, I thank you.  I would like you to look at one more change our family has had this year.  We became foreign exchange host parents and want to show our exchange student a different part of the country.  We can't afford to go where we want, so we are asking for help (with gifts) to fund the opportunity.  Here is the link for the gofundme site:  https://www.gofundme.com/help-exchange-student-see-the-us  Thank you for helping or for sharing our link with others.  We appreciate it.

Thank you for reading this post.  I appreciate it.  Happy change!






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