– Jon Bergmann –
This week was my first week teaching a Flipped Mastery class remotely to my students, and I have learned a lot. Flipped Mastery is much harder when teaching remotely. There were both challenges and some novel solutions. Before I dive into my thoughts, I need to share the structure my school has adopted moving to an online environment. We still have synchronous time with our students in a similar pattern that we had before. Before COVID-19, we met with our students every other day for about 90 minutes on a block schedule. Since we started remote learning, we see our students for about 45 minutes every other day in the mornings, and then the afternoons are reserved for office hours.
The biggest issue I saw with my old structure was that I spent most of my 90-minute class time walking around interacting with students, checking their progress, prodding them to do more, helping them with a lab (I am a science teacher), or just getting them on task.
Since I now have all of my students in the same virtual room, jumping from one student or group of students wasn’t going to work. So how do I keep mastery up and running? I realized that I needed to have a more synchronous mastery course. So on day 1, I reached out to all my students who were behind (or in small groups) and made them each schedule office hour time with me to catch up. As I write this, I have about 80 percent of these students caught up. I sent them each email and a text (via remind) to get them to complete the work and then schedule time with me. To the credit of my students, they jumped in and did it. I wonder if this is because they had not been in school for 12 days (Covid-19 + spring break) and were ready to get back to a routine.
Next, I spent most of our first session explaining that all students MUST do the pre-work before class. I said this as strongly as I could. And then before the second session, I emailed and texted (via Remind) each student who hadn’t done the pre-work and insisted they get it done. And lo and behold, only a few didn’t do the work. I knew who didn’t do the work because it shows up in our video interaction tool (EdPuzzle).
Then during our synchronous time, we talked through two topics. First, I chose a few students to ask questions about the videos they watched, and we had great conversations. Then we looked at the application questions that have been a part of their work, and I involved a few more students. The questions were rich, and the students helped to make the system work well.
So, in essence, we are doing a more traditional flipped class where everybody is on the same page each day. I will continue to harangue students who don’t do the pre-work so that they all can contribute to the class discussion.
I still plan on 80 percent mastery on summative assessments. I have a plan for this and will implement it next week. Not sure how that will go. We will see.