## ImagineIT - Phase Six - Part One

One of my biggest dilemmas was figuring out how and when to post a video for my flipped classroom, but after some trial and error (and reading of Flip Your Classroom), I’ve decided that two things guide me in that way. One, there is no need to post a video unless something new is covered. I should not create a video just to create one. This ties in with timing of lessons. Since this is my first go-around with a flipped classroom, I’m not sure how much class time I should devote for students to work on a specific assignment. With trial and error, I’ve come to decide that less (work) is more, provided it is deep thinking work. I can’t let students spend an inordinate amount of time on a topic, because, one, that wouldn’t allow us to finish all of the AP Calculus curriculum in time, but, two, more importantly, that wouldn’t help in the perseverance aspect of my project.

In terms of the main crux of my project, perseverance in problem solving, I started day one trying to evaluate my students’ abilities to push through problems. This yielded two main results: 1) students in my class are fairly confident in their abilities and will work to get an answer, but are unclear on what a good answer looks like, and 2) perhaps I should be working to get students who aren’t in an AP math class, like my Geometry students, to work on their perseverance.

After meeting with some teachers and student focus groups, I decided to, instead of interviewing each student, create a survey that students could answer, in essence telling me where their failures at perseverance lay. I based the questions I asked on the focus group, wherein those students told me specifically when they stopped persevering.

The results are below. One of the more interesting finds is that on the subject of not knowing how the end result should look on a problem, 29.3% of my students report they rarely experience this, while 17.2% of students nearly always experience this. This conundrum, and others like it, have provided me with additional dilemmas to tackle, ones that I didn’t expect to find. I hope to delve more into the data, but I only recently acquired the results, and I will report on any other discoveries, solutions or dilemmas as they come about.

My next step is to have students look at problems and have them discuss both where they should start and how their results should look.

In terms of the main crux of my project, perseverance in problem solving, I started day one trying to evaluate my students’ abilities to push through problems. This yielded two main results: 1) students in my class are fairly confident in their abilities and will work to get an answer, but are unclear on what a good answer looks like, and 2) perhaps I should be working to get students who aren’t in an AP math class, like my Geometry students, to work on their perseverance.

After meeting with some teachers and student focus groups, I decided to, instead of interviewing each student, create a survey that students could answer, in essence telling me where their failures at perseverance lay. I based the questions I asked on the focus group, wherein those students told me specifically when they stopped persevering.

The results are below. One of the more interesting finds is that on the subject of not knowing how the end result should look on a problem, 29.3% of my students report they rarely experience this, while 17.2% of students nearly always experience this. This conundrum, and others like it, have provided me with additional dilemmas to tackle, ones that I didn’t expect to find. I hope to delve more into the data, but I only recently acquired the results, and I will report on any other discoveries, solutions or dilemmas as they come about.

My next step is to have students look at problems and have them discuss both where they should start and how their results should look.

## ImagineIT - Phase Six - Part Two

In my previous update, I described my dilemma (many more complicated reasons for not persevering than I thought), listed next steps and posted results of the survey I had given my students (see above). In the few weeks since then, there has been some action taken, as well as some new dilemmas.

In terms of moving forward on my project, the one new activity I’ve done is I had students analyze problems, looking at how they would begin them (even if they had no idea what to do after that) and what their answers would look like. They worked in groups on this, and it became a very fruitful discussion, as they saw that they had much more skill in solving problems than they thought, even if all they knew was a possible first step. In addition, I had hoped to bring students together once again to help create a rubric for measuring perseverance when solving problems. I had hoped to finish this by the end of the week, but, as things often do for a teacher, time has gotten away from me. This last week turned out to be much busier than I expected and, unfortunately, I’ve had to postpone my second focus group until after break. The good news is that I have 15 students signed up to tackle this dilemma. The bad news is that my project won’t really move forward until I get this rubric finished. But I remain positive that we still have some time left during the new year that I can further help students become more confident about problem solving.

When I first considered the idea of problem solving, I originally focused on my calculus students, since I knew I would be teaching both them and some sections of precalculus. However, my schedule was rearranged and I found myself teaching two regular-level geometry classes. Going from an AP class to a regular class has been somewhat of a culture shock, seeing how much work the AP students do compared with how little the regular students do. And this led me to a (probably obvious) realization: my geometry students need even more help with perseverance than my calculus students do.

That is my second dilemma: What to do with the geometry students to better prepare THEM to solve problems. I know it might be too much to try, but I’m going to anyway. The first step to this was to flip my two geometry classrooms. Now, this didn’t go as well as calculus (it is the middle of the year, after all) and the geometry students aren’t as dedicated to watching videos, but they are working much harder in class, and since they don’t do much homework (if any) anyway, this is great to see. I’ve already seen grades improve, and I can’t wait to see what happens when they decide that doing all of their “homework” in class really makes them more confident.

In terms of moving forward on my project, the one new activity I’ve done is I had students analyze problems, looking at how they would begin them (even if they had no idea what to do after that) and what their answers would look like. They worked in groups on this, and it became a very fruitful discussion, as they saw that they had much more skill in solving problems than they thought, even if all they knew was a possible first step. In addition, I had hoped to bring students together once again to help create a rubric for measuring perseverance when solving problems. I had hoped to finish this by the end of the week, but, as things often do for a teacher, time has gotten away from me. This last week turned out to be much busier than I expected and, unfortunately, I’ve had to postpone my second focus group until after break. The good news is that I have 15 students signed up to tackle this dilemma. The bad news is that my project won’t really move forward until I get this rubric finished. But I remain positive that we still have some time left during the new year that I can further help students become more confident about problem solving.

When I first considered the idea of problem solving, I originally focused on my calculus students, since I knew I would be teaching both them and some sections of precalculus. However, my schedule was rearranged and I found myself teaching two regular-level geometry classes. Going from an AP class to a regular class has been somewhat of a culture shock, seeing how much work the AP students do compared with how little the regular students do. And this led me to a (probably obvious) realization: my geometry students need even more help with perseverance than my calculus students do.

That is my second dilemma: What to do with the geometry students to better prepare THEM to solve problems. I know it might be too much to try, but I’m going to anyway. The first step to this was to flip my two geometry classrooms. Now, this didn’t go as well as calculus (it is the middle of the year, after all) and the geometry students aren’t as dedicated to watching videos, but they are working much harder in class, and since they don’t do much homework (if any) anyway, this is great to see. I’ve already seen grades improve, and I can’t wait to see what happens when they decide that doing all of their “homework” in class really makes them more confident.