Friday, September 28, 2012

Week Four - Sept 24-28, 2012

Another amazing week of Flipped goes the run down!

I called this day our "House Cleaning" day.  The kids answered a poll on Edmodo about what they thought about me including my face in the Flipped Class videos.  It was pretty evenly split which I found interesting.  The kids who liked it said they liked it because they could SEE me talking, while the other students said it was distracting to see me in the corner.  Not sure what I'm going to do about that....yet!

The kids also filled out their 3rd week Surveys.  Here are the results .

The kids then made their vocabulary words for this week.

Then we played a dice game for me to quickly asses who did and did not have the concept of multiplication down.  Each student was given a dice, and they had 5 blanks to fill.  They were doing 3 digit by 2 digit multiplication (hence the 5 blanks).  They had to roll the dice five times and fill in the blanks with the numbers they rolled and then do the multiplication.  They had four minutes.  After four minutes they had to exchange with a partner and check each others work.  If they found a mistake in their partners work, they won points! They acted like the game was really fun, and the kids with top three scores at the end of the game (three rounds) go popsicles at lunch that day.  It was a very easy way for me to quickly see who was still struggling with multiplication.

This was seriously one of my most true "Flipped Class" lessons.  I had soooo much fun today!  This was also the day that our Campus Technologist, District Curriculum Director, Assistant Superintendent, District Technology Director, and a Student Teacher all decided to drop in at some point!  Talk about pressure!  I'm just glad I had a killer lesson!

First I gave the kids a three question quick multiplication "quiz".  Those who missed two or mor were put into a group to work with me so that I could help them in a small group with their multiplication skills.

The other students were put into groups of three and had to start planning to create an "instructional" division video.  Their rules were:
1.  Every person in the group has to complete a division problem on video (don't have to show face).
2.  At least one of the three problems has to be a three digit dividend and two digit divisor.
3.  The division has to be correct.
4.  Must also explain the five steps to division (D,M,S,C,B)
5.  Must have their multiplication check work.

I planned this video a little differently in telling them that there would be no story-line like past videos.  All they were to do was teach the math, and every person in the group had to do at least one problem.

It was awesome, because as I was working with a small group, the other kids were in their groups working (many had their devices out to find ways to use them in their videos), and if the kids got confused about division, they went over to a computer (or used their device) to pull up our "Division" video on and re-watched the part they were struggling on.  SO, they never had to interrupt my small group and they got to get the help ON THEIR OWN, by re-watching the instructional video.

As the kids in MY group got the concept of multiplication, I split them into groups to begin their work on their division video.

It was so awesome to see how hard all the kids were working and the fun they were having.  They had devices out watching the videos, I had kids at the computer's re-learning parts to division, and they were really working to make sure everyone in their group understood the concept.  It was amazing how fluid everything went, and how in charge of their own learning they were.  I truly got to be a "helping hand" and work with the strugglers.

I also got the idea today to host "Parent Flipped Class" days once a month where parents could come in and participate in our Flipped Class and watch their kids in action....not sure yet!


Today we spent time finalizing plans for the videos and the kids actually recording the videos.  Because they had three members in each group, and each member had to do one division problem, it took them a WHILE to finish the videos.

We don't use any video editing software, so they kids had to get it in one take.  So if person number three messed up, they had to start the video ALL over again!  But it was excellent practice for them!


Today we spent time working on vocabulary and taking a multiplication and division quiz so I could assess how well my kids are just grasping the CONCEPT of multiplication and division and next week we're gonna focus on the actual word problems and how to work through those!

They also took their fourth Vocabulary Quiz through Edmodo.  I love using VERY little paper in my classroom!!

Friday, September 21, 2012

Week Three - Sept 17-21, 2012

Another amazing week of Flipped Class.  I really am having the time of my life.

Monday was our "Housekeeping" day.  The students filled out their weekly "Flipped Class Survey" ( and also answered a Poll on Edmodo about whether or not they liked taking their CBA online (only 1 student out of 75 did not).  The students also worked on creating their new Vocabulary flash cards.

I also partnered them up and between their partner and themselves they chose 3 questions from the CBA they missed and corrected them with their partner.

Today we finished the partner work over CBA corrections and then I had each group get in front of the class and teach one of the problems they chose to re-do.  It was pretty interesting to watch them try to teach their classmates.

This was the most fun part of the week.  I put the students into groups of four and gave them an iPod Nano and had them create a video that taught me about 3 digit by 2 digit multiplication.  My students get SO excited about making the videos.  And I even had an AHA moment!  Because we're not doing any video editing, the students have to have their video in one fluid shot.  Since they laugh, and other things during their video they have to keep re-recording it.  WHICH MEANS, they had to keep doing those multiplication problems again and again and again!  They didn't even realize how MUCH math they were doing because they were having so much fun making their actual videos.

The videos were MUCH better this time, than our first attempt during Place Value.  You can check out the kids videos at

Today we focused on different word problems and the kids did two individually and then partnered up to check and re-explain to their partners how they solved them.  They did an excellent job today!

I am still in awe at the amount of fun and amount of learning that is taking place in my classroom this year.  I can't wait to see how the year will continue to progress.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Week Two - Sept 10-14, 2012

I can't express enough how much I am enjoying this "new" model of teaching.  I am getting to do things with my students that I have only dreamed of doing before, but never had the time!

The Videos

  I finally got some survey results back from my kiddos and you can see them here
The kids had lots of positive things to say, and the survey really showed me that my kids are choosing to access the videos in a mirad of different ways.  Which tells me that it may seem like I have too many options of ways to watch the videos, but that is actually BETTER because the students choose the avenue with which they are most comfortable, or enjoy the most.  
     This week I only had 4 kids not watch their videos.  They saw that when they don't watch their videos they don't get to participate in that day's project, so man they were not going to miss our projects!

The Projects

     This is my FAVORITE part of what's new with my class.  We've been learning about place value so Monday and Tuesday my students were able to work on a two day project practicing using those skills with REAL-LIFE applications.  I gave them circulars from HEB, Walgreens, and CVS, and told them they in their groups they had to plan a party for 10 or less people.  They had to make sure they bought decorations, food, drinks, silverware, cups, and plates.  If they had left over money they could also buy games.  Then I gave them a budget of $50.  They had to stay within that budget when planning their party.  After they went through the circulars and cut out the things they wanted (and added them up to make sure they were staying in their budgets), they then had to create a giant invitation/poster for their party, posting the things they decided to buy.  Beside that poster (which got hanged in the hall) they had a sheet of white paper where they had to NEATLY do their work, proving they stayed within their budget and how much change they were going to receive back.
     I did very little explanation on what to do.  I just gave them their boundaries they had to stay within, and what their goals were to accomplish, and they did AWESOME.  And best of all they had FUN and learned a skill they will all use the rest of their lives.
     The other "project" we did, was we had to prepare ourselves for our first Test.  So I put them into groups of four and they were given STAAR formatted questions that they worked through with their group.  I modeled how the conversation was supposed to look and how they were supposed to work together, and then I worked around with different groups helping out and explaining things they couldn't get within their groups.  It was amazing to me to see how seriously they took this time, and really worked within their groups to gain deeper understanding of how to do those test formatted questions.

The Test

     We took our first test on Friday.  This is the same test my students from last year took as well.  There was only one glaring difference between the test from last year, and this year's test.  On this year's test we added second and third steps to every problem to make them more challenging so that we could really grasp wether our students understood the deeper thinking skills or not.  I was shocked to see that this year's group of kids did BETTER on a HARDER test than last years kids I taught!!!  That was proof enough to me that the flipped classroom model IS working!!  I was shocked to see how much deeper their understanding and thought processes were because we had done those real-life applications  in class that had allowed them to really understand what was going on and the impact math has on their lives.  There of course is still work to be done, but I am very encouraged by our first test scores.  And last year I had no one make a 100, but this year I did have one student!  Again, on a HARDER test!  That was exciting!

Overall Thoughts

     Week 2 of my flipped classroom went great.  I'm still tweaking things here and there, but the excitement of my students, and the difference I can see in their thought processes is beyond exciting to me.  My kids love coming to class, and that excites me so much as a teacher.  There were two awesome quotes that I heard this week....a 5th grade girl told me "I've never loved math, and I love this class!", and a 5th grade boy sent me a message on Edmodo (keeping in mind this boy is not a lover of learning) "Can you please hurry up and post some new videos?  I'm ready to learn something new!".  I was beaming with pride after hearing those....and yes I made some new videos the next day!  I can't wait to see the difference a whole year of flipping is going to make in these student's education!

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Week One - Sept 3-7, 2012

Well we finished out our first week of flipping in my 5th grade classroom.  This is my first year ever attempting flipping, so I'm definitely learning things as I go along.

The week started out with about 15% of my students not watching their videos at home.  As the week went that number decreased so that was VERY encouraging!  I think the kids were getting to see the fun things we were doing in class and the benefit of watching the videos.

The videos are quick and easy to make.  I'm trying to stay a few lessons ahead with my videos because I actually have quite a few kids that are watching videos before they're supposed to!  I'm all for working ahead!  My longest video thus far has been 9 minutes.  Most have lasted about 6 min.

I am trying to provide as many ways as possibile for the kids to access the videos.
I have all the links on our class webpage (
     - I upload videos to because they will host my videos and it's not blocked at school, so the students can access the videos at school at any time.  Sophia also allows me to embed a Google Form version of my WSQ for students to complete online.
     - I also upload videos to our class YouTube channel (  From that account I also link to other great instructional videos as well as that is where I upload the videos that will be creating this year.
     - I created an iTunes U account so students who have an Apple device could download the iTunes U app and access all videos
     -  Students can bring in a flash drive for me to put the videos on.
     - I burn the videos to re-writable DVDs
     - I have 18 iPod Nanos that I check out to students with the videos pre-loaded on them.
     -  I also allow students to come in before school or stay after to access videos.

This has been the best part about flipping my classroom.  Now I have so much time to do really cool and fun activities with the kids that allow me to explore the concepts in ways I haven't be able to before.
They went around the school and took pictures of numbers with their devices and then took those numbers and wrote the out in word form.
They also spent time in groups of 4 using their iPod Nanos to record videos of them teaching the concept of "Comparing & Ordering Decimals".  It was awesome to see their excitement when I explained what they were going to get to do.  You could tell they'd never been "let loose" like that before.  I let them excericse all their creativity and create whatever kind of video they wanted.  Since they are 5th graders, and since this was their first time creating videos, some weren't amazing, haha.  BUT they learned, and they had a blast, and they are already begging me to allow them to make another video.  I took those videos that were completed and uploaded them to our class youtube page.

Overall, I don't know how I taught before Flipping.  I am so excited about the endless possibilites that this year presents.  There have been a little "push-back" from a few parents.  But that's to be expected because this is so different then what they are used to. And many parents aren't comfortable themseleves with the technology their kids know how to use.  But I'm getting those parents on my side slowly but surely.  Our first unit test is this Friday, so then we'll really get to see how well this is going.