We are almost 4 weeks into the school year and things are going very well.  This has probably been my best year of teaching so far!  Making the decision to flip has been completely rewarding for both myself and my students.  I had not intended to make all my classes flipped.  I was going to keep a traditional method with Algebra 2.  However, due to the immense amount of math level differences in my class, I felt it was in the best interest of the students to flip.  So far, so good.  But, I will need to come up with a good way to keep my students accountable for watching the videos.  I have WSQ charts in my Pre-Calculus and AP Stats classes and a google-form for summary questions after each video, but I have not implemented anything in Algebra 2 yet, just because of a lack of time to get it all together. (If you would like information on WSQ Charts let me know and I can forward you some info!)

I have decided, though, to begin my foray into blended learning.  I know that the flipped classroom is a type of blended learning, but I wanted more differentiated instruction, so I am now taking my Algebra 2 classes to the computer lab once per week to work on Khan Academy and integrating that into their grade depending on their mastery of topics.  While they are working independently, I work with a small group of students on certain topics for intervention.  This has seemed to work out well, especially for the students who are repeating Algebra 2 and can move on to more advanced topics. I am hoping for some Chromebooks soon.  Then, we will be able to stay in class and do this on a near daily basis with a "station-rotation" model.

As much as I am enjoying the new method, and do not feel like ever going back, I am having a really hard time keeping up with the workload.  Making my own videos has consumed about 2 hours per day.  I can't keep up with grading and creating assignments.  I would recommend others to do this way in advance to be ahead.  I know that once this year is done, I will have all of the materials and videos complete...but for's painful.

First Day is tomorrow!

posted Aug 12, 2014, 11:41 AM by Abel Maestas

Well, here I am in my room getting ready for the first day of school.  I have learned a lot from last year's flipped classroom.  I have decided to make a big change in my classroom seating structure.  I want to have the students get a feeling similar to that of a study group in college.  I remember being up at a white board in a small study group room in the library with two to four other classmates and working on problems together.  Each of us would take turns writing on the chalk/white board per problem and discuss how to solve it.  I had the thought of changing my class to get that feeling at the end of last year.  I discussed it with my principal and she agreed to purchase some white board easels for my classroom.  I originally wanted to put whiteboards on all my walls, but the permanency of that was not appealing to my principal.  I am excited to start this year with a new approach and a new layout.  I know the students might be shocked at first, but I am hoping that they get used to the amount of discussion that will take place in my classroom.  It is my vision and goal that students are actively doing, discussing, or interacting with mathematics every minute they are in my classroom.  Sometimes it will be listening attentively, but that will be limited.  "Learn by doing" was the motto of Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, my alma mater.  This is the motto that I want to have in my mathematics classes everyday this year.  Wish me luck!

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