Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Snow Days, Flipping, & Activities

I don't know which snow day we are on today.  I know that it is either #4 or #5, but either way it is about 3 or 4 too many.  As a teacher, I try desperately to make sure that my students are able to finish units before vacations or extended time away from class, also known as MCAS.  Losing yet another day to the snow (with potentially more to come next week) has put my classes in a potentially difficult position with regard to that.

What the snow is allowing me to do, however, is try an experiment that I have been intrigued about since I first read about it a couple of weeks ago.  It is the concept of "flipping" the class.  I first read about here and after reading the post and watching the video that went with it, my understanding of this concept is that my students will participate in the "direct instruction" (i.e. lecture/notes) of the lesson outside of the classroom, thereby opening up the class time for activities surrounding that topic.  My hope was that I would be able to do it with Uncle Tom's Cabin, but Mother Nature has intervened, so now I am going to try and run two activities at the same time and conduct activities based on UTC and the Kansas-Nebraska Act.  By dividing the class in half, giving them a chance to work with each other on the individual activities and then allowing them time to pair up and share their experiences, my hope is that we will be able to get back on track with our look at the 1850s.  

More to come tomorrow.

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