Monthly Archives: January 2013

Rational Expressions – Off the Grid

OffTheGrid

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Results of a Semester Survey

I’m a follower of Crystal Kirch, so when she posted on her blog that she was going to give her students a questionnaire on how they liked the Flipped Classroom, I thought it was a brilliant idea and decided to do the same with my students.

The response was better than I expected. In fact, I think I will split the results into three separate posts, one per question.

The first question was: What is the best part of the Flipped Classroom? I’ve grouped and sorted the comments by popularity.

“I Can Learn At My Own Pace” – 14 comments

  1. Doing the learning at home makes it so I can use my time efficiently– learn at my own pace, and not be stuck on problems and worry that I’d be penalized for not knowing how to solve a certain problem.
  2. I really enjoy and support the Flipped Classroom. I am able to learn in my own pace at night. If we had normal lectures during class, then some people can feel it is going too fast or too slow and would not be motivated much to learn. Other factors, such as sicknesses or sleepiness can be detrimental to doing well in class if one were to be not paying attention during a lesson.
  3. We can do it at our own pace and we are not set on a regimented schedule.
  4. You don’t force feed us a lesson. The kids in HL math are already math whizzes, so they can learn the lesson however they want. It is a lot less stressful as the student can learn the material at home with his own pace. The best part is that it is more lax, and that we can do lessons/homework at our own pace. As long as we learn the material by the test date we are good to go, whether we do it all in one weekend or day-by-day is up to us.
  5. Choice to do whatever you want in class if you know the topic.
  6. I’m glad that we don’t waste time in class learning what we can learn at home.
  7. We get to work at our own pace. This is a benefit and a drawback because we are forced to stay responsible and keep up with our work. It gives me more incentive to do math worksheets that I would not otherwise do. I feel like now that I am actually working through the worksheets I have found them valuable and they are helpful and I would rather do them than spend the entire period doing nothing.
  8. Not wasting time going over things that we already know from previous classes.
  9. It’s flexibility, in that I can choose when to watch the videos.
  10. If you didn’t understand a specific topic you could just re-watch the videos and basically re-learn the topic
  11. The best part is probably the ability freely work on other items that would not be allowed traditionally in a normal classroom setting. I really enjoy being able to do some work using class time so that I can get math homework done at home on my own terms without being forced in a stringent atmosphere. The flipped classroom creates a relaxed atmosphere that I can really enjoy.
  12. We get to work on whatever we want during class and manage our time according to what is most important to us.
  13. Free time, little pressure, able to prioritize my work however I want to
  14. I loved the somewhat college like atmosphere of the class. Also it taught us responsibility for our learning.

“I Get More Individual Time with the Teacher” – 8 comments

  1. In theory, being able to do homework with the help of my wonderful teacher.
  2. Mr. VSchee can give personal help in class to those who are struggling and the ones who get it don’t have to waste time waiting.
  3. Math class becomes more laid back and it gives me a chance to essentially do my math homework with you.
  4. I like not having to stay up during the wee hours of the morning working on that single problem I don’t understand. Instead I can do the problems in class and ask for immediate help when I find I can’t figure out how to do a problem.
  5. The best part about the flipped classroom is the fact that it allows the students to work more during the class time. Before flipped classroom, I had to wait until next day if I had any questions on the assignment. I can now ask directly to Mr. VanderSchee. I just think it is much more convenient and efficient.
  6. We got to learn at home and come to school and do problems on it and we could ask the teacher for help instead of the teacher having to stand up and teach then the students would go home and forget all about the lesson which causes them to do poorly on assignments.
  7. Having you help us with our worksheets IN-CLASS also helps more than anything.
  8. Also if he has any questions it is not embarrassing or tense when asking a question because it isn’t in front of the whole class but through emails or the next day when other people are doing their own work.

“There is Less/No Homework” – 6 comments

  1. I get less homework.
  2. Of course, the fact that we literally have zero homework. The only times we have homework is when it’s a long-term project or something like that, and that’s only homework if you NEED to work on it. I think the best part is the lightened homework load that results from having so much time to work on our assignments in class, since we aren’t being taught in class.
  3. not having math homework besides watching the videos
  4. The videos were shorter than doing the worksheets at home.
  5. It limits my homework to like 15 min so it is not a burden to my schedule.
  6. I basically have no homework at night except studying for tests if we have them

“The Videos Can Be Watched Over and Over” – 5 comments

  1. The best part of the flipped classroom was that if I didn’t understand something, or didn’t catch it while watching the video, I could just go back and watch it again. And personally I like watching video and they were very convenient because I could watch it any time and take as long as I want to understand the concept. Like if I took longer to understand a step, I just had to pause and there is no pressure from other like I am making everyone else wait.
  2. The best part of the flipped classroom is probably that we can re-watch videos if we need to. We can’t really “re-listen” to lectures, but since videos are always there we can see them over and over.
  3. I can go back and review something if I don’t understand or catch it the first time. I can also learn the lesson on my own time.
  4. I could watch the videos whenever I needed to, like to study for a quiz or a test.
  5. It’s really helpful to be able to look back at the lessons before the (re)test. They’re more helpful than notes.

“I Get Peer Help during Class” – 4 comments

  1. Getting work done in class, instead of trying to ask other people who rarely know how to do it.
  2. I really enjoy getting the entire period to work on our “homework” for the day–I think being around other students working on the same problems helps me get a feel for things I might not have quite understood in the video or any particular problems I can’t figure out.
  3. It provided us more time in class to work on assignments.
  4. SO we can work in class and just watch videos at home! Less Load, More Time Efficient!

“I Don’t Need to Catch Up After Being Absent” – 1 comment

  1. The best part about the Flipped Classroom is that if I were absent on a day, I don’t have to worry much because I can always catch up by watching the videos at home. I love Flipped Classroom and hopefully that is how all of my classes could function in the future.

Negatives

  • I honestly can’t really think of anything. I like in class lectures so much better. Especially for math. I’m really worried about the SAT because I feel like I might be lagging a bit behind in Algebra II.

After reading this, I decided to begin each class by doing a recap of last night’s lesson and going over the first few questions of the assignment with them.  This way, I can clear up any misunderstandings, and answer those “what-if” questions that don’t get answered in the videos. This has improved the “on-task” atmosphere of the classroom.

  • No one really watches the videos. Videos don’t teach anything. The textbook is great, the way it explains concepts and models problems. Don’t worry about the videos, but make sure to keep us on schedule.

I’m not sure how to respond to this, especially since people are watching the videos. Perhaps I could make the video checks a little more challenging, rather than just asking superficial questions that could be answered by just paying half attention to the video.

  • It’s good preparation for college but I also find myself putting other classes ahead of math because of priorities for deadlines. That flexibility is helpful but ultimately I don’t think my math skills have progressed to their full potential this year (if that makes sense). I know this is my fault but the flipped classroom environment sort of fosters this mindset.

Again, I’m not sure how to respond. Ultimately, the student is responsible for his/her learning. All I can do is provide an opportunity for them to learn at their own pace, with my help if they want it, and then let them choose how to take advantage of it.

Readers, please let me know what you think. It is my first year flipping, and I can use all the feedback I can get. 🙂

Stay tuned for the results of question #2 !!

Rational Expressions – Degrees of Perfection

Kyler got the flu this weekend, so we had to keep him separated from Rylan.

Hopefully that’s a good enough excuse for having only two panels this week.

DegreesOfPerfection

Rational Expressions – Trying Times

TryingTimes

Blue Shirt Khaki Pants Day

It was my birthday on Wednesday, so my students decided to surprise me by wearing blue shirts and khaki pants to class. I was honored and humbled by the gesture. It was the perfect gift, and it made for one of the most memorable birthdays ever.

01

1st period

02

2nd period

03

Janet, Caroline, and me

04

Caroline and me

05

Keaton and me

07

Nicholas and me

08

7th period

Even my sister, who lives in Canada, decided to dress up!!

09

Rational Expressions – The Big 4-2

TheBig42

I didn’t post this on Monday, because today is my actual birthday.  I am actually 42, which is a nice number, and it seems like an important one.  After all, it is “the Almighty Answer to the Meaning of Life, the Universe, and Everything.”  And yet, I still have so many questions….

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