Thursday, May 5, 2011

First post-flip tests

Just corrected Tech Sci Math's first test since the flip - 81% average - pretty nice, by any standard! I still had two failures, and they were from students who usually do extremely well with the old model. Mind you, both were absent a lot during this unit, and so missed the class activities, and didn't manage to get caught up.

The most significant result is J, who got 80%, compared to discouraging results in every other test this year! Needless to say, this makes me really want to keep flipping! Just before giving them their marks, I asked them for their reactions to flipping. J said he found it a hassle, because it felt like there was more work to do this way. Then I told him his mark, and I bet he doesn't find it a hassle anymore! The rest of their responses varied, some preferred this way, some preferred the old way, and one said she is happy either way. One of the kids who failed, and who usually does much better, was not in favour of flipping, because she found it hard to remember to listen to the lessons at home. Which is weird, because when homework was just homework, she always remembered to do that.

My other group that was flipped, the grade 11 Science math, also had their first post-flip test. Class average was 73%, which is pretty standard for this group. My J for this group hasn't written it yet, though, and that's the one result I am most interested in.

Science math is getting flipped for their next unit as well, which is vectors.

As it turns out, Tech Sci Math is doing the unit that I just finished with Sci Math, and vice-versa. Which means that I already have a lot of material at the ready for each of these classes, which means I'll do an even better job of flipping this time around for both classes.

New this time around - geogebra worksheets, the googledocs task checklist, and the combo of flipping plus blogging.

Here are a few snapshots of their gorgeous geogebra worksheets, in which I gave them a set of instructions right in the geogebra file and they had to create various vectors using various criteria:

I love how colourful they are, and how geogebra automatically matches the colours of the vectors in the pic to their algebraic representations on the left.

And here is how the checklist is getting populated:

I've blocked out the names, but you can still see the info that is compiled for you - timestamp, name, etc. Really helpful in ways I hadn't even anticipated, like:
  • now I have a reminder to go look for kids' stuff once I see they've checked "done and uploaded".
  • I also have very concrete things to talk to individuals about during class, like "Where is that worksheet, why haven't you done it, c'mon cough it up!"

It's still about feelings

It seems that the main difference so far isn't the marks, it's more about how the whole process feels. It all feels so different to me. I am able to have those one-on-one conversations that I never had time to do before. I have time to go deeper into the content. I had hoped that that would give better test results, but so far that doesn't seem to be the case. So either things are at least as good as they were, or the test is not the best tool to measure whatever has changed as a result of flipping. Something has changed, no doubt about it.

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