Saturday, March 24, 2012

Educating College Kids

This past semester I have a student teacher.  Sadly, her time with me will be over in a few more weeks, she will truly be missed.  She has agreed to write a guest post on her views of the flipped classroom from the perspective of a student teacher/non-math person...I look forward to that soon :)

This week I was asked to present the flipped classroom to her seminar class.  I presented on Wednesday and I have to say, I really enjoyed it!  They asked a lot of great questions and seemed inspired...which made me all warm and fuzzy inside :) 

I used a prezi to present how the flipped classroom works in my room.  It also includes data that I've collected so far this year.  You can find the prezi here if you're interested.

Some of my favorite comments occurred after I left, but were told to me by my student teacher:

"She really knows what she's talking about."  Ha!  I'm glad they think so. I, however, know that there is a long way to go :)  Everyone can grow as an educator.

"They all loved it and want your contact info so they can get more info."  Awesome!  I'm so glad that I inspired them...I wish it was that easy to inspire 5th graders.

And my favorite comment is.....

"She's so young!  You're lucky she's your CT."  Come on now, how can you not love that :)

Thank You!

I have a few thank you's that I need to get out of the's long overdue!

First, thank you to all my followers!  I reached 50 followers this week, which is AMAZING!  On top of that, I have crossed the 14,000 mark in views!

Second, thank you to my Professional Learning Network.  I have been hearing about having a PLN for quite sometime, but wasn't really sure how to get started on it.  Since I started flipping my classroom, I have now developed a PLN across several avenues: Edmodo, Twitter (@deliabush and #flipclass) and the Flipped Class Network.  It's strange how I feel like I know so many people that I've never met face-to-face.  They have given me support and ideas on many occasions.

I'd also like to thank my principal, Jason Snyder, for putting the idea of a flipped classroom into my head in the first all started from that one little idea.  My administration, as a whole, has been incredibly supportive of me starting this process, and for that I thank them.

Finally, I'd like to thank the Kenowa Hills Education Foundation.  They awarded me a grant which allowed me to purchase a DVD burner/duplicator, and 3 i-pod touches.  Both of which have made my flipped classroom run much more smoothly.

I can't forget about my family...I've spent a lot more time at school this year creating all my videos, and I appreciate their patience and support.

Thank you to everyone who continues to follow me on my flipped classroom journey.  This whole experience has given me a renewed passion for my job (not that it was really lacking, but I find myself excited to come to work in the morning).

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

A week of proud moments!

Last was packed full of good times and TONS of learning!  It started off on a good note.  I finally got the DVD burner/duplicator that I purchased with grant money to work! YEAH! The duplicator burns 7 duplicates, and the need for them was so great I had to go through more than one round of burning.  I was quite pleasantly surprised at how many students who hadn't been doing their homework before were doing their homework now.  I realize that right now I am in the honeymoon stage with the DVD's, but I am going to bask in it for as long as it lasts. 

On Thursday I had the privilege of bringing four of my students to the MACUL conference to show off their student portfolios that they've been making on Weebly.  While this has nothing to do with my flipped classroom, I am going to share it anyways because it was so stinking exciting!  The kids started off not wanting to venture more than two feet from their tri-fold presentation board.  By the end they were out in the walkway mingling with teachers.  I got many, many, many comments about how well they did, and how knowledgable they were.  It was a very proud teacher moment :)

To top all that off, I got to present my Action Research Project on my flipped classroom to a group of educators.  The group was small, but the presentation went well.  They had a lot of great follow up questions and most were just really intrigued to learn more.  I've attached the presentation below, for anyone who might be interested.  So all in all it's been a very eventful and fun week! 

Action Research Prezi

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Taking a deep breath

I've realized that my recent posts have been a bit of a downer.  For some reason I was under the impression that because so many students haven't been doing their homework, that the flipped classroom wasn't working.  I decided to check the data, because whether I like it or not, the numbers are what count.  I just posted my results thus far, and you can find them here.  Here is the short & sweet version.  Some of the tests, last year's class did better on, but most of them this year's class has performed better.  On average the flipped classroom has averaged 5% higher than last year's class. 

There are a few things I also need to take into consideration.  First, as mentioned previously, I have a large number of students who aren't consistent with their video viewing.  I truly believe that plays a major role in their success (or lack of).  Second, this is my first year flipping.  I need to remember that, and not be too hard on myself.  I have a tendency to expect perfection from myself, and that is pretty unrealistic.  To me, teaching is too important of a job to not take seriously, so when all doesn't go to plan it can be frustrating.  Finally, my school has a large (70%) free/reduced lunch population.  Many students don't have computers at home.  I have just (this week) gotten all my recording/burning/duplicating technology working as it should be.  I'm crossing my fingers that it will help.

I want to end this week's post with a few positives.  First, I was asked to present at our MACUL (Michigan Association for Computer Users in Learning) conference this coming Friday.  I plan on stealing and tweaking Crystal Kirch's prezi in my presentation.  Anyone interested in flipping (at the high school level especially) should check out her blog.  I'm presenting because I won an Action Research Award for utilizing technology in my flipped classroom.  I have an entire post that has my proposal for the award located here

My second positive has to do with a student...and it gives me goosebumps thinking of it.  I've mentioned a student before in my blog who watches the videos every night with her mom.  Her mom is using the videos as a way to practice her English (she is a native Spanish speaker).  Anyhow, this week in the teacher's lounge one of the 4th grade teachers asked about this girl because she had actually considered retaining her last year.  Apparently she was struggling across the board, all subject areas.  I proudly let her former teacher know that on her last two tests she got a 94% and a 91%.  I am SO proud of this girl!  She is the reason I do this, she is the reason I needed to make a change. 

So taking all that into consideration, I am taking a deep breath this week and enjoying the fact that this whole journey (while not perfect) is working.

For all you dataheads :-)

A breakdown of this year's test far

Unit 1 - Addition & Subtraction
Traditional Classroom Unit 1 Average: 82%
Flipped Classroom Unit 1 Average: 90%
Difference: + 8%
However, I also gauged the amount of growth in each class and found the from pre-test to post-test, the flipped classroom averaged 12% more growth than the traditional group.

Unit 2 - Area & Perimeter
This Year’s Flipped Classroom Unit 2 Average: 92%
Last Year’s Traditional Classroom Unit 2 Average: 79%
Difference: + 13%

Unit 3 - Decimals
This Year’s Flipped Classroom Unit 3 Average: 87.5%
Last Year’s Traditional Classroom Unit 3 Average: 95%
Difference: - 7.5%

Unit 4 - Geometry
This Year’s Flipped Classroom Unit 4 Average: 90%
Last Year’s Traditional Classroom Unit 4 Average: 91%
Difference: - 1%

Unit 5 - Fractions
This Year’s Flipped Classroom Unit 5 Average: 80%
Last Year’s Traditional Classroom Unit 5 Average: 69%
Difference: + 11%

Not perfect, but it's certainly a lot of progress :-)