Wednesday, June 06, 2012

Flipped AP Calculus Class

Curses on my principal! This year she's been on the "flipped classroom" train. She sends us e-mails. She "gently" suggests we just try it once. She sends more e-mails containing articles raving about flippin' flipping. I kept my head low. I had conversations with myself: What's she thinking! That's too much! I have other things that I'm juggling! I can't see how it would work with students that don't have computers. What if they don't watch at home? What if they come in and either didn't watch and say I didn't get it, or watch and say I didn't get it? Do I do it for every lesson? Every subject?

Then she sent a portion of an article by this teacher, who did this with AP Calculus, which I'm teaching next year. I've also been reflecting and brooding on all those students I had this year in precalculus who perfected the art of "playing school" by pretending to be taking notes and paying attention while they were just going through the motions. Passive "learning". I had no effective consequences for that, not in the "shame on you" way, but in the catch it and make them tune in way. By flipping, and some effective way I can give points or assess that they watched, then I can do the practice problems in class. I totally agreed with this teacher's statement that by the time the kids get home (and ours get home pretty late), their brains are fried, and they may not be giving their mental "all" to the math homework.

Anyway, I'm batting around the idea of doing this for next year for calculus. Teacher Tube? Screencast.com? Other? There seem to be a ton of resources in the above link. .... I'll THINK about it.


15 comments:

  1. Let me know if you want me to send you some AP stuff. I taught it for a zillion years. I can also offer some good techniques to help them with the exam.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I totally get everything you mentioned in your post! I would be very happy to help you get set up with AP Calculus or answer questions/concerns directly. My suggestion: start with 1 class! Organization, consistency, and preparation is key -- so start small.

    I use Camtasia Studio to record/edit and host to screencast.com (you can do this directly from Camtasia - one button to click!). The guided notes that I give them to fill out help me a lot in assessing how well they watched the video. This is the 1st thing I check for in when they come to class. They should have taken notes (not just copied exactly what I wrote... or their classmate wrote). This works really well for me...

    Please feel free to email me (contact info on my blog). Great thoughts on your blog!

    ReplyDelete
  3. I totally get everything you mentioned in your post! I would be very happy to help you get set up with AP Calculus or answer questions/concerns directly. My suggestion: start with 1 class! Organization, consistency, and preparation is key -- so start small.

    I use Camtasia Studio to record/edit and host to screencast.com (you can do this directly from Camtasia - one button to click!). The guided notes that I give them to fill out help me a lot in assessing how well they watched the video. This is the 1st thing I check for in when they come to class. They should have taken notes (not just copied exactly what I wrote... or their classmate wrote). This works really well for me...

    Please feel free to email me (contact info on my blog). Great thoughts on your blog!

    -Stacey Roshan

    ReplyDelete
  4. POed! Thanks for your offer. I'd love any advice/ideas/tips/other you think are transferable. I'm also so glad to read that you're enjoying your "retirement". I envision you power walking all around and happening upon cool new things. I love to read about your adventures and squirrel away ideas of places to visit.

    Stacey! I loved reading about your experience of the "flipping" especially since it applied to AP Calc. I have tons of questions, so I'm going to send you e-mail. Thanks for the offer.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Anonymous7:41 AM

    Hi Shireen- This is Jen (again). It is so funny that you blogged about this. I've been tossing around the idea of having students watch videos at home before coming in to hear more/practice concepts the next day. I've never taught Calc before and, frankly, I'm freaking out already about it. So much that I've been getting up at 5 every morning to study it. It's been a looooooong time since I've done any calculus and the stuff is all in my head somewhere, I just have to (slowly) pull it back out and make sure I understand it enough to teach it. I've been watching videos on www.khanacademy.org and they've been tremendously helpful. And I started to think that maybe I'd have the students watch those next year as well. If you haven't already, you should check that website out. I love that the presenter is not visible on screen. You are just looking at his "blackboard" and hearing his voice. It really helps eliminate all of the distractions students typically have in the classroom (look what Ms. Whatever is wearing today, OMG BillySue is picking his nose, etc. . .you know what I mean). The presenter is very good at explaining the intuition behind concepts and I'm thinking maybe students would be able to really focus on those videos and then come in with good foundation to learn more about them and then to do practice problems. But, then again, I feel like maybe I'm crazy because I've never even taught the course before, so what the heck do I know?! Let me know what you think.
    :-) Jen

    ReplyDelete
  6. Hi Jen,

    I forgot if you mentioned it, but are you going to an APSI calculus workshop before the fall? I've been in the past, and they're really helpful. I also like this guy:
    http://www.calculus-help.com/
    find his tutorial tab, and I think he explains stuff well.

    Also, http://www.mastermathmentor.com/
    has a ton of great free worksheets and tips and such.

    I've seen some Khan videos. I think it's a good resource to add to the mix. I'm batting around the idea of doing a variety of flipping: me, me giving internet info, textbook, them searching internet info....

    I haven't taught it in 3 years, so I'm rusty, too. You've given me the push to pull out my files soon. Let me know if we can push each other set study goals or something.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Anonymous7:50 PM

    Shireen- I'm definitely up for being pushed (or shoved) to set study goals or something! I am going to an AP Summer Institute in July. My goal is to not look like a total idiot at it, so I'm trying to work through the entire curriculum before that. Today is my first official day of vacation and I'm only finishing chapter 4. I've got a lot of work ahead of me. My husband (also a math teacher) thinks I've lost my mind. He looked at me like I had 5 heads when he got up this morning and found me working on calculus on the first day of summer vacation. *sigh*. . . .
    -Jen

    ReplyDelete
  8. Hi Jen .... sounds like you have a great plan with studying first. And your husband??? apparently he doesn't know a good time when he sees it :).

    You're not by chance going to an institute in Texas are you? THAT would be a coincidence.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Hi Shireen.

    I attempted a flipped classroom last year. It quickly changed from attempting videos 4 times a week to videos that needed to be watched before they came to class every Wednesday and Friday.

    The "flip" did not really flip much as I found myself still teaching the concept again briefly in class, but it was a great lead into integrating technology for me as I was a 2nd year teacher.

    I did the videos using Jing and posted them to my students thorough Edmodo!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Thanks for your feedback, nichol2c. I know there will be bumps along the road, and it may not work with my population, so it's good to hear all experiences.

    ReplyDelete
  11. 2x + 3y = 11 and 2x -- 4y = -- 24 and y=mx+3 find the value of 'm' http://youtu.be/UDe9zTsxQ3o what is y=mx+3 here is this linear equation or linear equation.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Anonymous9:46 PM

    I'm interested in flipping my AP Calc class this coming year. For those who have done it, can you give me more specifics on waphat you did during class time. I don't want to assign them book problems...I'd like to get them to think and learn more!
    Thanks, AM

    ReplyDelete
  13. i've seen this work for people this past year and am all for it, but...

    my issue is this: what do we do if students don't have the access at home?

    ReplyDelete
  14. NB, that is one thing I'm wondering. I guess I'll play it by ear. Here are some things I might consider if it's not too many students:
    * maybe they could check out an iPad from the library
    * maybe they could allot after school time or tutoring time to watch
    * maybe they can use computers in class to watch, but that would defeat the purpose

    I guess I'll see what happens.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Some concepts are too difficult to have students learn passively by watching videos at home. I believe calculus is one of these subjects.

    ReplyDelete