Saturday, June 29, 2013


During Jon and Aaron's FlipCon13 keynote, they challenged the audience to make some personal goals using the 5-5-5-5 format.  Here's my first stab at it:

5 Days:  In days, I hope to be finally caught up with my FlipCon 13 class!  While everybody else was working hard at FlipCon13 - attending sessions, making connections, asking questions, recording reflections - I was relaxing on the beach of a Northern Minnesota lake.  Boy, am I paying the price now!  This has been a crazy week of playing catch-up in my class, but the intensity has made me focus and prioritize my time.  So in the next five days, I'll be working on my new class assignments.

This is supposed to be my "thinking" face...I hope I don't look this much in pain when I'm thinking.
I also hope to contact my school principal and superintendent to schedule a post 4th of July meeting to discuss what I've learned at the conference.  My administrators are very excited about the flipped classroom model, and would like to see more teachers in our district adopt it.  We all need to have a discussion about how best to present this model to the staff without overwhelming them.  I've already singled out a couple of archived sessions from FlipCon13 that I'd like to share with particular staff members to pique their interest.

5 Weeks:  Let's see...five weeks will be...August time to go back to school!  My district starts school during the third week of August and ends in the middle of May, so when the calendar hits August I begin to feel that "pull" to get back in my classroom.

This drawing makes me look like I'm trying to run away from school, but in actuality I'm always excited to get back to a fresh school year!
My goal is that by this point I'll have figured out precisely what my face to face time is going to look like, based upon Musallam's Cycles of Learning. I'll have some Google Docs and Google Forms templates ready to go to support that learning in the classroom.  Regarding my videos from last year, I'd like to have the first few weeks' worth revised and ready to go for each class.  I envision making some videos "on the fly" again next year so that they're related to the questions my students have as they explore various topics.  Finally, I've been asked to present about my flipped classroom for some teachers from another district in August, so I'll definitely be using a ton of information that I'm currently processing from FlipCon13.

5 Months:  In five months, it will be December, right at the end of our first semester.  This would be a perfect time to poll my students and parents regarding their impressions of flipped learning.

I'm hoping that most of my students will be loving the flipped learning this year, but I'm sure there will be some who will be uncomfortable, and others who will downright hate it!  Learner-centered classrooms can be challenging for students who are used to "playing school" (as Jon B. would say...).

I also want to invite fellow teachers to visit my classroom during second semester to see what flipping is all about.  If we have iPads for our students during second semester (this a possibility our administration is exploring), I'd like to spend the semester break brainstorming ways for students to use iPads for exploration, collaboration, and presentation.  I've already got some ideas on this front, but I'm not going to take the time to flesh them out until those iPads are imminent!

5 Years:  This is the vision I have for my classroom in five years:

There are a few details about the drawing above that I'd like to point out...First of all, I am in a corner, available for help (and happy!), but the students are busy doing the work of learning.  Secondly, some students are working on their own, some are with partners, and some are in groups.  There are a variety of activities that the students are working on, but they are all essential to the nature of science:  inquiry, support of claims, communication, and problem-solving.  My 5-year goal is that my students are learning in a differentiated, standards-based, flipped classroom that emphasizes the universal and changing nature of science.  I want students to leave my classroom with the ability to make informed, thoughtful choices in their adult lives.  As a teacher, this ideal has always been in my mind.  FlipCon13, including all of the energetic and forward-thinking individuals I have met as a result of being involved with the conference and my class, has brought this ideal back to the forefront of my teaching philosophy.   


  1. Hi Amanda,

    Your images are not coming through on this blog (and I love them so much!). How did the conversation go with your admin?

  2. I think I have the pictures in this post working now. Please let me know if you're still having problems viewing's good for me to work on these technology glitches because I always manage to learn something new!

  3. kadaniels: I just sent off my e-mail to my administrators today to have our "flipped learning" discussion. I'm very excited about what this year could bring for our entire district!