Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Flipped Conference 2012 - Keynote thoughts

Early start today with presenter meeting at 8:15! Although I was really curious about Brian Bennett's keynote today, I have to admit it was hard to concentrate because I was getting nervous about my own presentation. The Flipped Conference 2011 didn't have any foreign language speakers, so I really wanted to be able to give all the foreign language teachers great tools and inspiration to start their flipped journey. Brian's keynote made some great points, some which are difficult for we, as teachers to accept.

For example, he addressed students that finish their required work for his class and then did work for other classes. I know that this is an issue that many of us struggle with. I agree with him that if a student has finished their work, they should be able to work on something from another class. His comparison was "if you, as an adult finished creating a presentation ahead of the deadline, would you continue to work on it?" When you think about it that way, it seems cruel not to allow students to do something else when they finished. The only question I have is, " How will administration respond to students doing math in my Spanish class? " So far, my administration hasn't brought it up, but it might raise eyebrows if I was observed and students were doing other homework. (Honestly, it doesn't happen too often in my class.)

Brian also had some interesting ways of choosing groups. He had a grid with words and students picked the words they thought went together based on the word Pluto. Science people chose "Mars, Mercury, Venus", I picked "Mickey, Minnie and Donald". (Clearly I have been hanging out with the kids too long!) But, it was a cool new idea for choosing groups.

He also discussed assessments and giving choices to students when taking assessments. He has created "choice boxes" to help students pick projects, but students can pick their own way of demonstrating knowledge. This is something that I am doing for unit assessments, but I wonder if it could work for the Benchmark Assessments (Vocab and grammar) as well.

That is what I love about this conference and my flipped PLN (personal learning network). Everyone has great nuggets of information no matter what your content area. All you have to do is stay open to the possibilities.