Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Flipping Algebra 1 and Physics! Where is the time and why only those courses?

So I am reflecting on why I talk so much during my typical math course!  Probably cause I know so much math! Ha!  Really it is based on a combination of teaching how I was taught and believing I have something really important to say!  Too often I tried to talk a student to understanding. Over the years I have lectured less and less.  Now my flipped videos are about 5-7 minutes, I had lectured about 15-20 minutes last year. But the real question, what was I doing the other 12 minutes?

I really cannot answer that question yet.  Flipping makes me think about the concept harder and simplify.  And hopefully flipping will make the learning process deeper.

Because if flipping works like I hope it does, students in my classroom will have better notes taken outside of class in less of their time and the class hour will be filled with problem solving and critical thinking things.   I have to take it slow, I am only moving my Algebra 1 course and Physics course - and those were picked for specific reasons.

My Algebra group is always new students to me.  As the only HS math teacher all other classes (Geometry, Alg 2 and so on) have had me before and are use to my style.  I did not want to have the battle about "who moved my cheese."  (Good book about change)   Starting with a class that has never been taught by me will make it easier, they won't expect the standard lecture routine I did.  (Though I was not really typical, we never graded homework or review questions from homework -- homework was recursive practice, all 'new' things happened in the hour.  Still running the rest of my classes that way.)

My Physics class is upper level - Juniors and Seniors, based on large projects, labs and daily "mini-projects."  Since it is a high level class I am trying to flip them too, because they are good team to discuss how the videos work and get feedback. Typically the group is self-motivated and driven, and this is science which is different than math, so again the students do not have a preconceived notation on what the class "should look like."  

The biggest challenge will be setting up new hour once the videos replace homework.  But the key will be too talk less and have the students do more.  It is time to become a math coach.