Posts tagged ‘Homework’

Flipped Classroom and Common Core Standards

“The focus of flipped teaching is different from other examples in that the technology itself is simply a tool for flexible communication that allows educators to differentiate instruction to meet individual student needs and spend more time in the classroom focused on collaboration and higher-order thinking.” Jac de Haan, educator and founder of Technology with Intention

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A year and a half ago I wrote a blog post about flipped classroom for elemntary classrooms and since then a lot has changed.  I think more people are realizing that flipped classroom is not just a buzz word or catch phrase but a shift in the classroom approach while redefining homework. Educators are focusing needs to be on having the students master the content rather than just covering it. The Common Core has helped with the shift, as it is deeper, not wider.  The Flipped Classroom lets you attend to each students individual needs and making differentiate easy. There are a lot of newer sites that can help you do this easily along with connecting the Common Common Core standards already done for you. My two new favorite sites are Ted Ed and Learn Zillion.

The Ted.Ed site offers a structured access of content through subject or series. It allows teachers to “flip” any video on YouTube—including TED-Ed videos, Khan Academy or ones you have created on your own You Tube Channel. With each ‘flipped’ video you can add quizzes, links and other resources to the video. It also progress monitors for you as well. Check it out here and test it for yourself introducing Ted Ed. Other great features are that it is free and if you like a video that has been flipped already but you don’t like some of the questions etc you can customize it to your liking! You can also use the Khan academy site, that has a Common Core Toolkit and match the Common Core standards as well. I also love you can embed this into your wiki, Gaggle assignment, Edmodo or other platforms for your work flow.

Learn Zillion site offers great lessons that are linked to Common Core standards with there Common Core navigator.  You can then download lesson slides and resources that help you teach the lesson, depending on what you need. They have a coach’s commentary that you can listen to, to get expert explanation of the lesson and Common Core State Standards. (This is very helpful when you are still trying to understand these new standards. You can also assign lessons and track student mastery by setting up your class. This site is also free as well!

Flipped Learning Resources:

My Flipped Classroom Wiki

Google Doc by Dan Spencer

TechSmith Flipped Classroom 

Twitter chat #flipclass (Monday @ 8:00)

If you have used another site that allows you to flip your classroom and connect Common Core standards, I would love to learn about it.

To Give or Not to Give Homework That is the Question…or Is It?

“I like a teacher who gives you something to take home to think about besides homework.” By Lily Tomlin

For a long time I ignored the homework debate. I would hear parents complain how there wasn’t enough time after school for homework due to their kids schedules. I listened but secretly thought, ‘I did homework when I was a kid and I played sports, was in girl scouts and I managed or at least my parents managed my schedule.’

Before parents didn’t question homework the teacher assigned it, the student did it, end of story. I was reading articles on my favorite app, Zite and I noticed many of the articles were related to the homework debate. I decided to not ignore it anymore as it had also been a “hot topic” at our school meetings as well because our state added 45 mins on to our day. (Which I agree with as now we are the same as other states but wish the added time was reflected in our pay.)

After reading many articles on both sides I came to the decision that we need to change our mind sets as educators if there should or shouldn’t be homework but look at the quality of homework. We need to really ask our selves, ‘Is the homework making a difference in the student’s education?’

Giving homework teaches self-discipline and time management, two very important skills. We, as educators, need to be giving students, authentic homework. We need to pose a question for the students to ponder (which is why I love the quote I started
with) and let them answer it via blogging, Edmodo or another site where the students can be critical thinkers, creative, collaborate and communicate as all these skills make up a 21st century learner. This is why I like the flipped classroom so much. (See my previous blog on Flipped Classroom below) We need to turn homework into a catalyst for learning!

I am curious to know what other teachers, educators and schools philosophies are about homework. Are you, as an educator, shifting your homework policy to fit the needs of our 21st century learners?

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