The Flipped Physics Year in Review

--Originally published at FLN – Education Generation

Looking Back ...

Today marks the end of my 14th year of teaching and my 4th year flipping a classroom and it is time for reflection.  First, what worked?  I still love the fact that I am not lecturing to the students and wasting their time by lecturing at them and letting them work on material.  I really enjoyed showing the students their real time results and focusing the conversations in class on the questions they asked on the videos.  I also liked that the students really were accountable for their learning and could not just sit and go through the motion of listening to lectures.  

The students really appreciated the fact that they were not lectured to and were given the information they needed to know.  They liked not having to listen to the "fluff" that many of us enjoy, but is not always worthwhile for the students.  I also liked to see the overall positive results of the students who put time and effort into the video assessments and did not just go through the motions.

So, what did not work?  Many things did not work.  The first is many of my students lack of ability to ask questions about the materials covered in the videos.  I really need to do an activity on the first day to get the students analyzing and asking questions at multiple levels.  Also, I did show the students the questions they asked and answered them.  I did not emphasize them enough and, unfortunately, did not hold students accountable to higher level questions.  I want to work on questioning strategies with the students so they feel comfortable with questions.

Another area that did not work as well as I was hoping was the information retention of the students when they came back to class.  Many of them simply flew through the videos and did not take time to retain or take notes on the information.  I did provide the answers to the video assessments, which the students asked for, but not all students took advantage of this.  Next year I really will emphasize the process of the videos.  Again, the students who did pay attention and used the process did great.  When talking to other teachers, I cam to the conclusion that the students need to be shown the reasons to take responsibility for their learning and have to be retrained.  I don't think I retrained them enough to the flipped model.

So, what will I change for next year?  I mentioned some of it above.  I will emphasize questioning and the process more.  Also, I want to incorporate more problem-based/STEM activities with my class.  I will admit that a group of my students previous records of not so good behavior scared me away from this process.  I have made the decision I am simply going to set high expectations and help the students reach them.  I am really looking forward to getting more engaging activities and engaging more students.  I need to help the lower end students more to continue to be engaged not only in the hands-on process but also recognize the learning process as well.

Reading this post you may think I had a bad year, but my nature is to be hard on myself and look at what needs to be changed more than what worked.  I continue to love the flipped class model and the flipped learning model and will never go back to full time lecturing because it bores me and my students.  Even though a couple of them told me they prefer the lecture method, and their reason is simply because then they are simply told what they need to know.  I want to continue to encourage the students to learn on their own and keep questioning everything.

Thanks for reading my posts and I would enjoy any questions or comments on this post.

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    • In my physical science classes we do multiple redesign of a car model that explores the main topics of the physics portion of physical science.
      In my physics classes they make musical instruments, build egg drop landers and build self-propelled cars.

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