Flipped learning worked really well during both the in-person portion and the online portion of classes last semester for my 9th grade and 11th grade classes, so I would like to continue with that model for all of my classes this year. I think that this will allow me to maximize my in-class time with students, whether in the online learning model or the partnered instruction model.
However, I’m worried because I have one class that I will have to prepare from “scratch” because I’ve never taught it before (though with lots of great resources from my partner teacher!!), and even with the classes that I’m teaching again, I will have to reframe many components to provide a better online learning experience for students. I feel like I’ve been working on preparing all summer but I still have nothing!! Eeek! (Oh, and visas and flights and quarantine and making sure my own child doesn’t fall behind…)
Things to Still Do
I mentioned that the flipped model worked well for me last year, but I’m also cognizant of the fact that they did well because I had already gone over expectations and routines with them when we were together during first semester. In particular, a flipped model with a in-person component (when I can physically check/scan who’s done the work, who understands it, who’s ready for an extension, etc.) is very different from that check-in happening online or with a instruction partner. As such, I’m still trying to think about how best to introduce these routines for successful flipped learning from a completely online beginning. If I had a magic wand, I would like to have 2 – 3 cycles prepared for each course before the school year starts, but… (I can’t even write that sentence without cackling madly at the keyboard).
In addition to the content, I am still thinking about how best to structure my “live” lesson times, particularly with an instructional partner in the classroom. Luckily, I’ve been fortunate to have partner teachers in a few of my classes for the past few years, so I’ve already spent some time considering how best to support students with multiple teachers in the classroom. That being said, I never felt like I had quite figured out how best to utilize the presence of multiple teachers in the room, so this is still something I’m mulling over.
Luckily, I have great partner co-teachers for 2 of my courses as well as a really helpful team and a fantastic CAL (go HS math team!!), so I feel like I have a lot of people who can support me in brainstorming the best ways to support students’ learning. Communication & collaboration is definitely the key to getting through this semester/year!
Things to Consider (above and beyond basics)
One of the things that I want to work on more this semester is incorporating more opportunities for student interaction. I think that this will be easier this semester because attendance will now be mandatory for the in-person zoom lessons. During this semester and from even just the short DX training we just finished, I have lots and lots of tools I want to try using to help students make connections with each other and to communicate their thinking in different ways.
In addition, since 3 of my classes are with 9th graders who are also new to HS, I want to make sure that I’m supporting them in their transition to high school in general, above and beyond requirements for my courses. I think (??) that I’ll also have a 9th grade mentoring class, so I hope that’ll give me more opportunities to make connections with them.