How Much do We Flip?

My fifth grade team flipped our vocabulary lessons about six weeks ago and they went great. The students did their lessons each night or early before class. More homework was completed and the students loved watching the videos. Discussion about the vocabulary words were better because we were able to hear if the students knew the words and could use them properly in the sentences they were producing instead of just looking at whether they found the definitions. It is fantastic. It has changed our whole thought process of homework. Instead of having students practice or review problems, we will have them watch the lessons and do all the practice at school. Investigate the work. Learn.

So we are on to spelling. We will hand out words on Monday and have our students take the words home and watch the lesson at home. They will also sort the words as they watch the lesson. W tried one lessons with a small ground students last week and they cam to school knowing more about the words than normal. I do a short lessons bout the pattern that week and how words use patterns to help us understand what they mean and how to spell them. Every week I teach these lessons and they catch on to a couple words, but after watching the video, they knew so much more and remembered more about the words. Their tests seemed to be about the same, but their knowledge bout the words was greater. Since we differentiate spelling, we have about six groups, so the lessons will take a little longer to film. We will start with a few groups and move into filming all of them as we get better.

After spelling we will be working on Math. This is the subject that will have the biggest change. We are thinking that our key lessons will be the video. With that students I'll take notes, work out problems and write down questions. When hey get back to class we will have a couple problems for them to work out as a partnership and then we will discuss the problems and answer questions in our class discussions. We will work on what would normally be homework. In the middle of the class we will switch gears and do a review of past concepts and work through a few of those problems. That is the concept we have. This will totally change what we a doing now. We have students first review past concepts and then go into the key lesson we are working on. Once done with the key lesson we work on some problems and hand out homework.

Once we started the vocabulary we started to think about how much are we going to flip each night. In elementary school we teach a minimum of five subjects a day with a few subjects alternating very few weeks. This can become a big issue with flipping. What do we flip and which nights are we going to assign for lessons? How are we going to make that many videos each week and what can we do to make them more meaningful for the kids when we do them? Can the same lessons be used next year? Wow. This can get big. The one thing I worry about is the work at home. How much are we going to require each night for each student and are they going to have the time on the computer or DVD player to be able to get all the lessons done. I would hope they would have enough, but at my house, each child wants the computer to do work on and it can become a scheduling nightmare. I have more than one computer in my house and it still becomes a problem, but most people only have one. We might have to look at sending devices home. What would that look like and how would it be managed?

My team is going to the Flipped Conference 2012 this summer and we hope to have some of these answers worked about before the end of the conference. Being with people that have been doing this for a while will help. Gathering information and ideas will also help us in our own situation.one thing I know for sure, flipping has been great for me and my students. It will be fun to see what else we can do and what they can do because of it.

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When I'm Healthy, I'm Happy

My school district have started to host health classes each month the help keep our health costs down. I have gone to a couple and I like them. I am glad we are given the opportunity to learn more about keeping ourselves fit mentally and physically. I learned about something I have always known, but I seem to need to be reminded about. Exercise. Get up and move. Stop sitting so much and move around the classroom.
I decided years ago to get rid on my desk. I am now seeing the benefits of that decision. I stopped stacking so much on my little table, but I also stopped sitting so much. After that exercise reminder, I decided to get rid of my chair. I raised my dear and now I lean a little, but I try not to sit. I also bought a wood stool so it is uncomfortable to sit on for extended periods of time.
I also learned about stress-management. Thinking about anything will creat more of that thing. If I don't want to get sick, I should think about being healthy, not how to not get sick. I think the flipped classroom will help the relaxing as we do more activities and less lecturing. I am finding that most of the lessons are being learned from our videos. The one vocabulary word or th understanding of a single concept on that lesson is being found and I am concentrating on what counts instead of the whole lesson. That is less stressful for me. and more fun for the students.
Being a healthier and happier teacher makes for healthier and happier and more intelligent students.