Friday, March 21, 2014

Teach Like a Flippin' Pirate Update

I just got my confirmation that I will be presenting at MCTM (MN math teachers' conference in Duluth).  That is pretty exciting and nerve racking.  I will be presenting on how I am implementing a flipped/self-paced classroom.  So with that, I thought a little update and reflection would be good.

I have just switched my 7th grade sections over to a flipped/self-paced style of classroom.  I made a couple changes and tweeks to the system as I re-launched with this group.  I made a new video to introduce the ideas to parents.  Here if you would like to watch.

The system still puts emphasis on differentiation according to difficulty and student choice.  The students work their way through different learning targets

The class generally is split up into 3 segments.
1. Whole Class Introduction
2. Learning Target Work Time
3. Reflection

Learning Target Work Time
Step 1
Each learning target starts off with a short 5 question pre-quiz using the Schoology LMS.  The students are then directed to either Level 2, Level 3 or Level 4 according to their PRE-quiz results. 

Level 2 is the basic knowledge of the learning target.  
Level 3 is the meeting the standard of the learning target. 
Level 4 is exceeding standard of the learning target.  

Step 2
Students watch a video.  There are 3 videos made for each learning target, one for each level.  The students watch the proper video, take notes, and then fill out a google form summarizing their notes.  I created a page using Google Sites that contain links to all the videos and the google form to fill out.  Everything is centralized to try to make things easier for the students.  

Step 3
Students complete 2 practice activities out of 4 choices.  The choices are usually either web based practice (IXL, buzzmath, etc...), a worksheet, an activity, and/or creating some evidence of their learning.  Students have made movies, posters, websites, etc...

Step 4
When the students have completed their practice they take another 5 question post quiz, also on Schoology.  They must get 4 or 5 right to pass the quiz.  If they pass, the level is completed.  If they fail to pass, then they must complete another practice activity and correct their quiz mistakes.  This is done with a lot of remediation from me.  When this is done, their level is completed.  

These steps encompass the "Learning Target Work Time" of the class.  This takes up about 30 minutes of each day. 

I have found this really puts the learning in the hands of the students and I am really the guide on the side.  

Classes are exhausting as I bounce around the room meeting with small groups and individuals helping them further their understanding.  I do try to connect with every student every day.  I don't always succeed, but I am getting better at this.  

This is just the basic set up.  I have also made changes to:
   a. How class begins as a whole group
   b. Grading 
   c. Tracking progress

However, this has gotten to long already.  As I get my google presentation together, maybe I will post that as well.  



  1. Congratulations on presenting at the conference Chris! Is this in May? What date?

    1. May 3rd. The conference is a Friday & Saturday. I present on a Saturday morning. I am getting a little nervous about it. I am finalizing my first draft of my presentation and thinking about how to get more of an interactive session instead of just me talking the whole time. At this point my title is still the best part.