Thursday, June 27, 2013

To Flip or Not To Flip

I joined Twitter in an attempt to expand my professional network, and it was absolutely the right thing to do - there has never been a better time to be a math teacher, nor have more resources been available at my fingertips. 

In an attempt to explore everything Twitter has to offer, I've begun following several different threads/philosophies.  It is remarkable how little overlap there is between the various schools of thought.  It's as bad as religions and sports teams.  Giant Dividing Line #1 is To Flip or Not To Flip.    I have to admit that I'm landing on the non-flip side because I'm working towards a less-lecture approach.  However, I do know that sometimes you just have to be told.

Last night, I watched my daughter drilling lowest common multiple problems.  She had learned it in class, but didn't feel confident, so she and I reviewed a bit.  She had struggled for what seemed like way too long, when her dad offered to help.  I couldn't hear what he was saying to her, but then I heard her exclaim, "Oh! I get it!  Mom showed me that earlier, but I didn't understand! Thanks!"  It really sunk in at that moment, that sometimes - no matter how brilliant my presentation is - students just need to see/hear it 1) again, 2) differently, 3) with a British accent.  (OK, that last bit doesn't apply to my husband, but my Geometry teacher was Irish, and I sure hung on his every word!)

What about the kid who doesn't have a mom AND a dad who are mathematicians?  What about the kid whose parent doesn't have the patience to slow down and repeat it, or who remembers it one way, and therefore can't formulate multiple approaches?  Maybe this would be a key place for a video they could access from home, pause, play again, parse, etc?

Now I'm thinking that I need to find the best videos out there that I can post on Edmodo or other places, so students can have every opportunity to learn.  This is especially important since our district has gone all digital and we have no textbooks. This means that parents can't even look at the book to try to help their child figure something out.  How can I best send kids home armed for success?

So, in pursuit of as much yin and yang as this Presbyterian can muster, I will continue to stalk track both the Flippers and the Non-Flippers and hope to accumulate the best resources available!  Go Interwebs!

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