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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!
I’m always looking for fun ways to review course content with my students! Today, we reviewed vocabulary from last semester using Quizlet Live which is always super fun. Read more about how we use Quizlet Live here. Today, I was thinking about a different review game to try and I thought, why not smash together two of my favorite EdTech tools …QR Codes and Google Forms!
Creating the QR Codes
I love QR Codes. They’re easy to make, easy to use, and provide a fantastic way to share information with students. I also love Google Sheets … especially the add-ons and formatting options! And, wouldn’t you know there’s a QR Code add-on in Sheets! It’s fabulous and so easy to use! Simply open a new Google Sheet, click the “Add-Ons” menu, choose “Get Add-ons,” and browse away! To create QR Codes from Sheets, simply search “QR” in the search bar on the “Get Add-ons” menu.
Next, add definitions (or anything really) to a column in your sheet. I would suggest including a number in your description (ex) 1. this amendment abolished slavery) to prevent confusion in your QR Code.
Then, select “QR Code Generator” from your Add-ons menu and click “start.” You’ll see a box on the right side of your screen with many options.
To create the QR Codes for each cell, simply highlight the cells and select “generate.” You’ll notice a progress bar as the add-on gets to work! When it’s finished, select “open document,” and you’ll see your QR Codes on a Google Doc! Rename the Google Doc to save your sanity in your Google Drive. Print the document, cut out the QR Codes and post them throughout your classroom or your building for a fun scavenger hunt!
Creating the Google Form
I also love Google Forms. They’re just simply fabulous. For this activity, you’ll create a Google Form that uses data validation to require students to enter the correct term before submitting the form.
I’ll be using this activity in the coming weeks with my students!
Here’s a brief instructional video for creating this activity!
Welcome to 2016 in review! We’re a few days into 2017 and I’m just now getting around to sharing the most popular EdTech posts of 2016 from Teaching with Technology. Whoops 🙂
2016 was a fantastic year for my little blog…I feel like I’ve grown exponentially as a teacher through sharing my experiences, ideas, and tips with all of you. Blogging has encouraged me in so many ways and has pushed me to jump outside of my teacher comfort zone, as well as break down my own learning barriers by growing a FABULOUS PLN!
I love sharing with you and feel so blessed to be able to do so!
Ok, enough with the sappiness … on to the 10 most popular posts of 2016!
#10 –> “How to Create a ‘View Only’ Folder in Google Drive
Learn how (and why) to create a “view only” folder in Google Drive. You’ve no doubt realized that I’m a Google geek and LOVE getting the most out of my Google Drive experience!
#9 –> “Google Classroom Update: April 2016”
Google Classroom is absolutely fabulous and this update from April, 2016 was pretty exciting!
#8 –>“Using Google Spaces for PD”
Google Spaces debuted in late spring of 2016 and I definitely need to revisit this great tool! Spaces looks like a cross between Google+ and Classroom, and I think it has big potential for professional development!
#7 –> “Google Classroom Updates: May 2016”
Ok, this was an exciting addition to Classroom FOR SURE! Scheduling assignments, announcements, and questions! Woohoo!!
#6 –> “Getting Started with EDpuzzle: A Quick Guide”
I LOVE EDpuzzle! EDpuzzle is one of those tools that makes my life as a techy teacher easier. EDpuzzle can be used in a 1:1 classroom or a traditional classroom. Teachers can assign videos, embed questions, and monitor students all from this wonderful FREE tool! Check out this quick guide to get started!
#5 –> “New ‘Team’ Feature for Kahoot”
I LOVE KAHOOT! It’s absolutely fabulous. Last year, Kahoot unveiled their “team mode” feature, which allows students to play as teams – hence the name! My students still love the “classic mode” of Kahoot, but the new addition is fun, as well!
#4 –> “New ‘Quiz’ Feature Google Forms Addition”
Google Forms are FANTASTIC! Prior to the “quiz” option, I typically strayed away from using Forms as quizzes. Now, I use it all the time! I can’t wait to see what comes next for Forms!
#3 –> “A Techy Teacher’s Toolbox: MORE Fabulous Chrome Extensions”
Google Chrome is awesome, but using Chrome extensions makes your Chrome experience even MORE awesome – if that’s possible. I feel like I could create a new “Fabulous Chrome Extensions” post monthly … perhaps I shall!
#2 –> “Google Forms + Flippity Random Name Picker”
Have you tried Flippity, yet? It’s a FREE tool that I use to create review games, flashcards, and now random name generators! Flippity is now a Google Sheets add-on … more info on that, later!
AND … THE MOST POPULAR POST OF 2016 IS …
#1 –> “Using Quizlet’s New ‘LIVE’ Feature”
Quizlet – it’s not just for flashcards! Quizlet LIVE is an awesome way to encourage students to work together to review important concepts AND promote mastery learning! Quizlet contacted me not long after this post went LIVE (pun intended!) and asked to feature it on their blog! Super awesome!
Well, there you have it! The 10 most popular posts from 2016. Thank you for following me and my blog last year! I hope you stick with me in 2017 for more fantastic ways to use educational technology to enhance the learning environment and increase student engagement!
P.S. Don’t forget to register for the Amazon gift card giveaway by completing this quick little form!
*EDpuzzle is a sponsor of Teaching with Technology*
Welcome to part two of A Day in My Flipped Classroom! Today, I’ll be sharing how a typical day looks in Petty Wap‘s classroom.
In a typical unit, which normally lasts anywhere from two weeks to a month and a half depending on the content, my students have between 3 and 7 instructional videos that they actively view. The videos are 3-7 minutes in length, and most of them are about 5 minutes long. When I began flipping my classroom two years ago, I made my videos WAY TOO LONG. One video was 13 minutes! I found myself rewording and rephrasing my content and basically reteaching in the video. This is NOT THE POINT of the video! Now, I have more practice with creating videos and know what my students need from the videos … I’ve found that I can effectively communicate a 50-minute lecture in about 5 minutes. The time freed by concise videos alone is amazing! There are MANY video creation/screencasting options available, from free to quite pricey. My tool of choice for creating my instructional videos in Screencastify. It’s a fabulous Chrome extension that allows me to save my videos to Google Drive or YouTube. My students also use Screencastify to create projects for class. The “lite” version of Screencastify only allows for 10 minutes of video and no editing tools. However, anything longer than 10 minutes is probably going to lose MY interest, much less that of my students! And, if I need editing software (I do one take videos, so editing doesn’t happen often – if ever!) I can use the YouTube video editor. Check out more about Screencastify and other fabulous extensions here.
WHEN THE BELL RINGS…
As my students enter the classroom on “video day,” I start by directing them to Google Classroom where they’ll find their assignment. I use the fabulous EDpuzzle to embed formative assessment into my videos and then assign those videos to my students. EDpuzzle allows me to not only monitor student understanding of concepts discussed in the video, it also allows me to see how much time students spend on the video as a whole as well as on video segments AND lets me quickly view which students have completed their video assignment, and which still need to finish it. It’s SPECTACULAR and is one of the tools that have helped to make my flipped classroom successful! EDpuzzle integrates with Google Classroom which means I can import my Classroom rosters in EDpuzzle and can also quickly assign EDpuzzle videos as an assignment in Classroom! Fantastic!! Check out my posts about EDpuzzle here and my EDpuzzle tutorials on my YouTube channel here. As I take attendance, my students are locating their EDpuzzle assignment and note-taking document for that unit on Classroom, getting out their earbuds or grabbing some “Petty Beats” – these are headphones that students can borrow if they forget their earbuds at home … we have fun in my classroom!!
As I take attendance, my students are locating their EDpuzzle assignment and note-taking document for that unit on Classroom, getting out their earbuds or grabbing some “Petty Beats” – these are headphones that students can borrow if they forget their earbuds at home … we have fun in my classroom!!
As students complete their videos, I’m walking around with my iPad or MacBook monitoring their progress and providing feedback on their responses to the embedded formative assessment. One of the many aspects of my modified flip that I LOVE is that I’m there in the room if my students have questions about the content. It’s wonderful!
As students finish up with their video assignment, they access a Padlet wall that I create for their class section for that specific unit. We use this wall as an exit ticket of sorts where students respond as directed by me. I may have them list one thing they learned and one question they have about the content, or rate themselves on their understanding of the content (green-I can teach my peers; yellow-I’m getting there; red-I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT’S GOING ON!), or maybe list something I need to review … if they feel confident, sometimes I have them respond with “it’s all good in the hood.”
When all students are finished with their video, we play some sort of game to review and solidify the content … Kahoot, Quizizz, BrainRush, or Quizlet Live … something to keep them thinking about the content and have fun at the same time 🙂
Every day in my flipped classroom is NOT a video day. Some days, students are tackling unit vocabulary through Quizlet – Government vocabulary is TOUGH and foreign to my students. Other days, students are working together to create their own government, their ideal cabinet, a skit to portray the protections provided by a Constitutional Amendment, etc. We recently worked through a Structured Academic Controversy about the Electoral College … the response to that was fabulous! Read about my SAC here. Next semester, we will begin our branches of government unit and will work through one of my FAVORITE activities … creating bills simulation! Students will draft bills as the House of Representatives or the Senate that will apply at our school and will then present their bills to the President (our principal) to sign or veto. This activity is tons of fun! I’m also jumping headfirst into the world of Digital BreakoutEDU, and my students will attempt to “Free Congress” on our first day back.
It’s safe to say that flipping my classroom has encouraged me to be a more creative, inventive, and flexible teacher. I love my flipped classroom … how does your flipped classroom look? Let me know in the comments!
*EDpuzzle is a sponsor of Teaching with Technology*