Monday, August 5, 2013

After Edmodo, there came the Flip Your Classroom book

I was waiting and waiting for this book to be published.  I was so excited for it that I didn't realize that I ordered two copies of it!  This happened because the book was published as a joint effort between ASCD and ISTE (my two favorite organizations).  I ordered the book from each of them.  Thankfully I was able to send one back.

I read this book in one sitting because of it's an easy read and had tons of fantastic ideas.  The authors, Jonathan Bergmann and Aaron Sams, teach high school.  While I read it, I didn't know if I could completely flip my classroom like he did.  I felt it would be easier if I was at the high school level.  Being in the middle school, I thought I'd start small by sort of flipping with my homework assignments since quite a few of my students have no access to the Internet/computer at home and no way to get to the library.

I really liked Jonathan's syllabus that he used for his class.  I tweaked it and added in the the Common Core standard.  Also, I decided that I would vary the days that each of my class turns in the assignments so that each day it would take me less time to correct.  It is very important for me to have extra time since I have a 2 year old at home.  Check my Freebies link for the shared document!

I decided on 12 assignments since that what fit into a quarter time frame given the length of time to complete each one.  After I created the assignments and syllabi, I searched the Internet for the best resources that would be most helpful for seventh graders.  In Edmodo, I created a folder to put the syllabi, assignments, and resources needed in case some students wanted to work ahead  (I'll be flabbergasted if many do that!) or if they were absent.  My students in my "Fun Summer School" loved the idea and thought having the extra resources at home were very helpful.  Only time will tell.

I didn't want to keep this great book for only myself so I donated it to my school library to be part of our professional collection.  If your district is desperately needing funds like mine, and you have professional books you're done with, I urge you to donate them to your school library.  This way when you talk about it with a colleague, you can tell them to "check it out".

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