1) Answering Syllabus Questions
On the first day of school, I send the students home with the syllabus and ask them to write 3 questions they have about class. The next day groups (students sit on groups of 3 or 4) read their questions aloud and if students can answer the questions asked, they do. (Students are instructed to point to where in the syllabus the answer is found ... use evidence!) Then, one person compiles a list of all the questions that aren't answered. I collect these lists and then rearrange them into categories. Over the next 4-5 days, I answer the questions, one category at a time.
I didn't like how this went this year. I'm thinking I should have collected the questions electronically. I think I could have organized them better and then answered some of them electronically too. I could have posted this, as well as went over it in class, so students could refer to answers throughout the year.
2) Degree Partners - Do in week 2 (explanation of degree partners on p. 8 of this document)
In other years, I had students fill out their degree partner sheet during week two. (See page 8 of this document, explaining what degree partners are used for.) This year I waited until week 3 and honestly, regret it. It was nice because they were more comfortable with their classmates, but this was a big downfall too. They knew who they didn't want to work with and it was hard for some students to find enough partners to fill their sheet. I will go back to week 2 next year for this activity.
3) Watching Videos for #Flipclass
With my advanced class, I didn't need to do as much "training" for a flipped class because they had a flipped class environment the year before. I didn't realize how ready they would be to "go". I had to re-do a bit of my unit 1 material, but it was for the better. Now I know for next year! ... My 8th grade class on the other hand needed me to guide them more. I showed two videos in front of class and modeled how to watch them. I paused and gave instruction, paused to let them try problems, etc. I discussed the power of pause, rewind and fast-forward. I then had them watch a video in class by themselves, with headphones, and complete their notes
Here is a presentation I did with a group of teachers about how my set-up went for the fall of 2016 and how I will try and sustain a collaborative culture in my classroom. Presentation of photos & videos with explanations.