Reflection: Flexibility Modeling Infection - Section 6: Putting It All Together: What do the Results Mean?


As you can see from this lesson, we covered quite a lot of material today. Many students may still need some additional information to help them understand everything they have learned today. I have found that flipping the lecture in my classes has allowed me more time to provide my students with active learning activities and labs during the class period.  

Several years ago, my counselor approached me with the idea of shortening our 50 minute class period to 45 minutes so that we could have a seminar period. I was very troubled because I was already struggling to "get through it all" and now I would have less time.Shortly after the conversation, I attended Lecture-Free Teaching, a short course at a NSTA conference. The presenter was Dr. Bonnie S. Wood. She talked about her journey from a primarily lecture/lab-based class to completely active learning. One of the points she made that resonated with me was class size. Since my classes are typically very small, lecture was awkward. Effective classes work best when the instructor (me) can interact with students on a more individual basis. I have found that small-group tutorials, small seminars, and one to one supervision are where students learn best. This observation is back up by findings in educational research.  

By holding students accountable for their own learning, students internalize it more. Flipping allows me to grade more on mastery versus grading on the curve. It also allows students more appropriate interactions with their peers. They spend less time gossiping and visiting and more time on-task. It has also increased student engagement.  

Based on suggestions from the Lecture-Free Teaching book, I first developed the methods in which I was going to assess what students knew. I use a daily formative assessment in which students respond to a question or scenario at the end of the day. It is similar to an exit ticket. I use Classroom Assessment Techniques (CATs) like the Muddiest Point, One-Minute Paper, or One-Sentence Summary so that students can provide me feedback in their lab notebooks. I use Probes to assess student preconceptions and misconceptions so that I can modify subsequent lessons to help dispel those misconceptions. I also have a weekly formative assessments that could be a problem-solving worksheet, the reading for understanding worksheet in this lesson, or a larger writing assignment like in the Flu Tracking (3/3) lesson.  Next I developed a summative assessment to test my students understanding. These are given at the end of the chapter. They range from traditional multiple choice tests to analysis of case studies and summative writing assignments. These assessments are designed to help students synthesize the information presented in the unit and put it all together. 

Once I had my assessments determined, I began to modify my teaching strategies to accomplish my goal of more active learning. I developed a simple outline that I use in almost every class.

1) Probe or CAT at the beginning of class to engage my students

2) Some type of student centered activity (Exploratorium, Lab, Cooperative Learning, etc.)

3) Teacher mini-lecture to elaborate on the activity

4) Class discussion to help refine models and expose misconceptions

5) Additional class activities to correct student misunderstanding

6) Putting It All Together Summary 

7) Outside of Class Homework

Everything my students do outside of class prepare them for the next day.  It mostly involves the gain of factual information. Students are required to read the textbook, take notes, and watch extension lectures. These lectures include podcasts, youtube videos, and some of my own design.

  Why I Flip my Classes.
  Flexibility: Why I Flip my Classes.
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Modeling Infection

Unit 2: Viruses
Lesson 10 of 11

Objective: Students will explain how viruses infect cells using the Hershey-Chase experiment.

Big Idea: Understanding the life cycle of a model organism helps us understand how many viruses reproduce.

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electromicrograph phage infecting
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