Did my first Twitter Chat last Thursday. It was a good experience, but not my favorite way to spend an hour and a half on a school night. I felt like it took a lot of time to say very little, although I did glean a few useful ideas on which to follow up. The best part was discovering some more like-minded Precalc teachers to follow on Twitter and possibly exchange ideas with later. I’m not sure if I’ll do it again, but I am definitely finding Twitter to be a wealth of wonderful people and enough ideas and resources to make my head spin. I think I tend to be more of a blog person.
I had one of those days which probably went OK for the kids but didn’t seem to flow at all well for me. Here is what happened. Yesterday the students took a learning target quiz. Since students would be finishing at different times, but there was still a lot of time left in the period, I gave them the assignment to connect to the internet and watch a video after the quiz that went over some introductory notes about logarithms and converting between exponential and log form, a topic they had previously covered in Algebra 2. That went smoothly, amazingly enough. Internet access worked and everybody watched the video and got the notes done. Today I used my Navigator system to check for understanding. The problem was that we had to update calculator operating systems, remember how to all log in, etc. etc, which was a necessary evil, but it ate up some class time. Meanwhile my SBG trained kids just started working on the two worksheets they had picked up, before and during the Navigator review, so some students were far ahead of others, but that, I guess, was OK, too. The formative assessment (FA) showed about 75% mastery of concepts, which was not bad for the first day of reviewing something from Alg 2, so that was OK. I did a bit of reteaching as we went through the FA, spent a few minutes introducing a couple of log properties, and then did the first problem with them on another worksheet about exponential growth, leaving them to finish up both worksheets and check keys online. As I look back on it, nothing was really negative, but I felt like I was jumping all over the place with not coherent plan to my lesson and the kids were all doing their own thing, some paying attention, some just working on their own, so I wasn’t sure if students were getting the point of what I was saying, especially my weaker students. And coming from 16 years of structured lecture, followed by practice, the whole thing just seemed sort of loosey goosey to me and I felt like I had blown it–very amateurish when it comes to the whole SBG flipped classroom experience.
Guess what? After writing this, one of my weakest students popped into my room to ask a question. I asked her how class had gone for her today–was it too chaotic, hard to follow, etc. She said very nonchalantly, “It was fine. I understood everything.” She had already done most of the worksheet and just needed to clear up a few details she had questions on. Eureka! I am not a failure.