Challenged AcceptedP8HNi4g

So I was happy to have the chance to get a full #flipclass chat in this evening. Today is the first day of a new semester, I already wrote about my big plans for this year so this post is not about that. I don’t feel stuck in practice but I do have something to write about. You can see my courses live (we just started today) over here on my WordPress connected course hub. Special shout-out to Brian Bennett for pointing me to the cool stuff in the #CCourses community

Here is how it went down.

Not Flipped on First Day

So today was the “typical” first day of class for 3 sections of two classes I am teaching. I basically spend the whole class talking to say I won’t be talking/lecturing much for the rest of the semester. I need to figure out how to get past that on the first day. Any ideas out there? Input is more than welcome?

Click image for source.
Click image for source.

My Personal Kryptonite

Okay, here we get into what my biggest weak point or sticking point is for #flipclass. How do get to the shy students, the ones that say “everything is cool/fine/alright” when I check in with them in class?

I spent a good amount of time working on discussing why it is important to ask for help and how we can all help each other as a community. Perhaps this new adventure in getting my students to share openly #indieWeb style which is also known as Connected Courses (see the DS106 project) will get them talking more and bring them out into the open. I don’t know yet but I have to try something different.

Your Input is Welcome

Feel free to comment here or even better via Twitter with our amazingly awesome personal learning network (PLN) on the #flipclass chat Monday evenings 8pm Eastern Time or just anytime of day/night using that hashtag.

Post Activity Thoughts

I will link the blogs shared during the flash-blog activity (@guster4lovers will post soon). Here they are courtesy of Cheryl Morris on her blog.

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10 thoughts on “My sticking point in Flipclass

  1. I had the SAME thought the first day of school. It’s awful talking AT them. My idea for next year – DO something in class. Have them introduce each other to the class (short, factual). Then, flip the “lecture.” Or, have the flip ready, and they work in class the first day. So you’re on hand to model good flipping routines and teach them how it can be collaborative. Even it’s a video on what the flipped classroom is. Good luck!

  2. This is a huge issue, and one I’m dealing with more frequently this year than I’ve ever had to in the past. I think a portion of it is the newness of me – I’m the fourth teacher they’ve had this year. Why should they tell me when they’re stuck? They’re lacking consistency and stability. As soon as that’s established, I think they’ll start to come around.

    I also think heading toward the #CCourses stuff is going to help. There’s research (not to mention a ton of anecdotal evidence) that writing tends to help students open up. Another thing I do to encourage discussion is asking, “Pretend you did have a question,” or, “Pretend you do know.” It removes some of the “can’t be wrong” fear they all have and allows for a discussion to start.

    1. Thanks for the comment Brian. I was starting to write about gaining the students’ confidence but didn’t get that far. I know that I need to break through that layer first before they are ready to open up to me and others. Good points on role-playing the situation as well.

  3. This year I started the first day of school with a Kahoot (introduced to me by Crystal Kirch at FlipCon14). The kids didn’t know me and I didn’t know them. However, my Kahoot was about me, my family, my activities, and about the class, expectations, what flipping was, etc. By playing the kahoot, the kids learned about me (found out that I have a cochlear implant, that I have a black belt in karate, that I love to shoot my pistol, that I have one son, and a husband that is also a math teacher, etc) and also about policies, procedures, and what flipping is all about. They loved it. Just the idea of them being allowed to use their cell phones in my class was a bonus. I also gave the rules (flipped classes do have to have rules and structures too!) this way. I had prizes for the the top student, a $5 gift card to Sweet Frog. No more lecturing on that first day, and no more information disseminated in a boring way. 100 % participation.

  4. How about using a backchannel to have quiet students engage more? You could “require” them to submit a comment or question at regular intervals (every 15 mins?) to metacognitively reflect or to get clarity or ask for help.

    I also know that first days can be tough. I tend towards team-building activities on the first day. This year, we built towers out of spaghetti and marshmallows. I’ve also done more academic tasks that have them collaborate and get to know each other. Gives me a lot of information about class dynamics and their ability to lead/follow effectively.

    Then I send them home with a video and a written set of policies they need to review and sign. It includes stuff about “what is a flipped class?” as well as what to expect from me as a teacher.

    I like that WAY better than when I used to stand up and talk forever on the first day.

    1. Thanks so much Cheryl. I have students diagnosed Asperger (and most likely many more not diagnosed but are) and they are amazing-active online so that definitely helps. Making that an active challenge during class time is an excellent idea. I already required them to create Twitter (and GitHub and blog) accounts so just need to train them to use our class hashtag.

      Despite a long hour and 15 minutes of me talking about administrative stuff I also let them know about me, my style, my ideas behind the way I run class and so on. So hopefully not too dry.

      The good news is we are only 1 class in (2 classes per week for each of the 4 sections) and I have 49/90 students already registered with their Blog/Twitter/GitHub. Not too bad for early #engagement.

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