It has been a rough week for me. Going to the ITEC conference helped me gain awesome ideas and an excitement for trying new things in the classroom. It has also given me great dissatisfaction with how some of my classes are running. I am so tired of students looking at a problem for maybe 20 seconds,- saying "I don't get it", and then looking at me. I blame myself for this immediate give up because I have always been one to jump to explaining right away. I need to work on my guided questions.
It is somewhat ironic to me that at one point in time, I considered one of my strengths of teaching as being my ability to explain things. Studies now are showing that mere coverage is not enough. My strength of explaining is not necessarily a strength at all when it comes to students learning to be independent, explorers of knowledge. I need to work on developing that confidence in trial and error. I need to build the problem-solvers I know they can be.
During my day, I have one class that is absolutely a joy to see. My Calculus class is phenomenal! They work so hard for their answers and they take joy and satisfaction in fighting through. I love it.
With the maturity and the trust relationship I have with my Calculus class, I am going to be creating a flipped classroom. In hearing about some of the other flipped classroom experiences from teachers, I truly believe this will benefit the students. I envision it will allow for a faster pace class, deeper understanding due to more one-on-one time, and more efficiency and relevance in the practice problems.
At the moment, I run the pattern of lesson day, workday, lesson day, workday. This will knock out the lesson day, and allow us to tackle more and more quickly. They can take the notes at home, and then come to class with the ability to discuss, piece together, and absorb fully the deeper concepts.
When students watch the lesson on video at home, they can rewind me if I went too fast for their note taking/understanding. Then, as they come to class to work on problems, they KNOW they are doing the problems correctly. I have felt awful to be checking over about 15 long-winded problems where all 15 problems/3 pages/many hours of work are wrong and wasted. Students will feel more secure and confident in their work.
It will also create a more differentiated classroom. The students that get it can move on, and I can work more often one-on-one to answer questions of struggling and not struggling students alike.
I talked with my very supportive administration and technology coordinator, and I quickly found myself with equally enthusiastic support and resources. In fact, all of the equipment I was thinking would be somewhat tricky to get my hands on are sitting at this very moment on my desk. I will be trying to work with Camtasia. I am downloading the free 30-day trial. I have an Interwrite Learning pad, and will be getting a microphone soon. This weekend I hope to have produced my first couple flipped movies.
Just like that, I am a movie maker. Watch for "EXTREME Minimums and Maximums" Monday, October 24 in Youtube near you!