Friday, November 2, 2012

To flip or not to flip? Was it going to be successful?

Today was D-day.  Was the flipped concept going to work or not?  I was pretty anxious about whether or not I had made a big mistake with this.  I had a decent idea of who had viewed the tutorials because the majority of them had filled out the Google Form that followed the tutorial.  36 out of 52 students in fact.  I had build in a plan B for those who didn't fill out the form.  They were to take notes in their notebooks while watching the tutorial.  I checked them in class today and from both my classes, only 2 students had done nothing.  (Most likely because of power outages from the storm.)That was encouraging!!

I also did an informal assessment that took 5 minutes.  On a piece of paper, I had the students write down the conjugations and what the preterite is.  I also asked them if they had experienced any technical issues while viewing the tutorial.  That way I could fix whatever issues they had.

My biggest obstacle now was myself.  I had to let the control freak in me not take over.  I sooo badly wanted to review the information presented in the tutorial, just to make sure everyone understood it.  But, wouldn't that have defeated the purpose of the tutorial?  So, I stayed strong just as I do when my son is whining for a toy at the supermarket and told myself "No".

I put the students in random groups of four.  I gave each student a white board and a dry erase marker.  I also gave each group a picture of a famous person and asked them to write sentences using AR verbs in the past tense about the person.  I was worried about the length of this activity.  I wanted them to be engaged and actually working the language  After they exhausted the picture they were working with, I had them switch pictures with other groups.

Honestly, I did not believe that this was going to be successful.  I worried that students would get off topic and start talking about other things.  I circled the room, checking in on their progress, and that kept the side talk at bay.  I was overjoyed to see that some groups were using the ER and IR verb endings, which is the next topic that I have posted on the website.  They had gone ahead and viewed that one as well!

One thing I did not expect at all was the quality of questions I received.  Many students asked very pointed questions about sentence structure, how to tell the difference between the first and third person singular when they are spoken, and how to conjugate and irregular verb in the past.  I was stunned!  I have very rarely received this level of questioning after a "traditional" presentation of grammar.
The best remark of the day was; "Class is over already?"  That signaled to me that the activity was engaging and meaningful.

Overall, I am extremely happy with my first results.  I am ready to upload more tutorials!  Now that I have the basic idea of how to make and upload the tutorials, I need to focus on more ways to work with the concepts in class.  Any ideas?
¡Hasta pronto!

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