Self pacing the reluctant student

In previous years, if I had tried this lesson it might have failed. But I am excited to prove to students what I believe, so I took a risk.

In a normal week, I want my students to

  1. Work at their own pace to learn content.
  2. Get help from me when they are struggling.

And by risking the flip, I was able to do just that. You should have seen my room–students using my chromebooks, schoology and their writer’s notebooks to take notes, all on their own. Students posting a question to my google form, to further the discussion. Students in other groups, reading sample “I am from” poems, including the original one by George Ella Lyons, to write their own poems. While I circled around the room, helping the uninspired to figure out exactly what was going on in those poems.  I met individually with all my poets, having several show me their work at their request.  In previous years, I never would have been able to talk to each poet individually.

See, I decided that even the classes where I worry they will not complete their homework deserve the right to have the classroom be student centered.  To flip these classes, I have grouped the students, so the groups can take turns learning at their own pace and completing a hands on learning experience with teacher guidance. After two days, when all students have completed both activities, then we will regroup and discuss as a class before moving on to the next thing. This way, if someone was absent, I should be able to get them caught up by moving them into the appropriate group.

Even though their posted questions showed me they don’t get the idea of the online content, which was a video about Socratic Seminar discussions, they did work on completing their WSQs, (and thanks so much to Crystal Kirch, who introduced me to this concept) because I think it will really help my students to understand what to do.  Shout out to the weekly twitter chat, #flipclass on Mondays EST 8:00 p.m., who have been so helpful to me in starting the flip.

As for my advanced students, I’ll blog about them later, but it appears that they are ready to take flipping at home, to save the hands on for class. Now they just need to learn how to problem solve when their tech doesn’t work… always a great life skill.

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