It’s summer!! Kind of 🙂 Welcome my year-end reflections from my flipped, blended, and gamified classroom!
The 2016-2017 school year was kind of transformative for me as a teacher. This was my ninth year teaching, and I felt like I really embraced who I want to be as a teacher – a quirky blend of Professor Dumbledore, Mr. Feeny, and Ms. Frizzle. I want to be a positive role model for my students while encouraging and inspiring them to become the awesome humans they are meant to be! I embraced the craziness of “Petty Wap,” my Government concept-rapping alter-ego. I tried more new strategies in my classroom to make it a more engaging learning environment. I let go of the reins a little bit (little by little, friends) and let me students take more control of their learning. All in all, it was a great year!
Now, to the reflection from specific aspects of my classroom:
My In-Class Flip
I decided to flip my classroom a few years ago, and tried the “traditional” flip at first. My goal was to free up face-to-face time for more activities that allowed my students to apply their knowledge of content in new ways. However, the lack of reliable Internet access in my area had the real potential to help create a classroom of “haves” and “have nots,” and that was DEFINITELY not the path I wanted to take. So, I adopted an in-class flip version of flipped learning. My students view instructional videos as an opening activity 2-3 times per week, and use that information in their class activities. We do TONS of formative assessment in my classroom for many reasons, namely because I don’t feel like assessment should ever be a surprise. Great tools like EDpuzzle, Kahoot, Quizizz, and Quizlet Live make formative assessment efficient and fun! This year, we tried a unit-long HyperDoc for our last section, and my students really liked it! They loved being able to work at their own pace … which freaked me out a tad, I won’t lie! However, it was a positive experience AND test scores were up from last year. I surveyed my students to see their response, and it was OVERWHELMINGLY positive!
Mission: American Government
My students LOVE the gamified component of my class! When I heard about Gamification a few years ago, I was struck with two main reactions – 1. this is too much work, and 2. I have no idea about gamification concepts. Fortunately, I put my doubt away and jumped on the bandwagon! I shared earlier this month that I completely dropped the ball when it came to awarding badges for tests … total teacher fail! However, my students seemed to be more concerned with how much XP they had earned and what level they were on. This tells me, the “gamification” of their coursework was a motivator! I LOVE it!
My Blended Dual Credit Classes
In addition to my flipped Government classes, I also teach a variety of dual credit classes. My goal with these classes is to create a blended environment in which course information is delivered in an engaging and inclusive learning environment. Discussion boards are HUGE in my dual credit classes … I love assigning and reading discussion boards, because I get to “hear” each voice in my classroom. It’s fantastic! Great tools like Nearpod, Google Earth, Schoology, Google Classroom, and other features of GSuite for Education make my blended learning environment awesome!
Next Year …
I tweeted a few days ago that I’m beginning to develop a vision for my classroom next year. I’m thinking of using a Google Site to house all of my unit HyperDocs as well as a jumping off point for our year-long passion project. Just typing these rough thoughts about next year is making me so excited to get started!!!
While this year may have been great, I never want to stop getting better. I hope I’m never “done” with making changes and improvements in my classroom. I just want to keep GOING!