As my capstone project began I was concerned with the math anxiety that was so apparent among my Math 1 students. The desire to cure my students of math anxiety and increase their performance on assessments drove my research.
As my research evolved during the second semester, I began to focus more on engagement techniques as a means of better preparing my students.
After refining my idea over the first two semesters I arrived at the driving question of my capstone project:
How does a flipped classroom model address math anxiety by reducing the cognitive strain students face? My audience includes any teacher looking for techniques to combat the negative affects of cognitive strain on student learning, in particular math teachers who will see the correlation between cognitive strain and math anxiety.
Click either image above to see my design prototypes
Using the SITE model lens
My students have embraced the homework as practice policy but most have failed to realize that practice is a necessary part of mastery learning. As the difficulty in the Math 1 course increased, class averages began to decline, yet the percentage of students who attempted the homework remained consistent. Despite providing answer keys to students so they could have a resource for checking their answers, when I polled classes they indicated a feeling that homework, worksheets with problem sets, was ineffective. They also indicated that they would be more likely to engage with instructional videos, rather than problem sets. After flipping the class and asking students to watch and interact with instructional videos for homework, homework participation jumped significantly. Technical: My high school is not currently a 1-1 site. We have made considerable efforts to encourage 1-1 including: removing all chromebooks from teachers classrooms and checking them out to students and even incentivising the use of technology in classes for teachers so that students will see the need to bring devices. As a site, we have the means to provide students with devices, but despite our attempts at getting students to bring technology to class everyday, they are hesitant to this change. My students,in particular, are hesitant to doing math on computers because the majority of them only have experience with computer based standardized math testing which they have negative feelings towards. Students do however use their cell phones in place of more capable devices on a daily basis.
SITE model weaves together 3 contexts to form an educational context for the learner
Informational: To achieve a reduction to the levels of math anxiety present among my students and, as a result, reduce the strain on student’s working memory, student’s need to engage with math content in meaningful ways outside of class.
The process of flipping my classroom
In terms of innovative teaching and use of technology, my capstone speaks to teachers interested in a flipped or blended classroom model. More specifically, those interested in the use of digital tools to create video tutorials for their students to use outside of class for front loading of new information or remediation.
When thinking about what my audience would need to accomplish this task I felt that it was important to design a cycle, much like out current teaching cycle that allows teachers to be reflective to students needs, adaptive in the use of technology to address those needs and effective in implementing meaningful strategies to help students learn at high levels in and outside of class time.
My first pass at planning "at home" and "in class" activities
Logo design process
When I sat down to create my logo I was at a complete loss. I was unsure how I could visually communicate the complexities of a flipped classroom in a graphic, let alone, having to create that graphic from scratch. I did what I usually do when I am at a creative loss, I turned to google for inspiration.
Sadly, google did not provide me with anything that I felt I could re-purpose for my design. Next, I began thinking of math symbols and become fixed on the symbol for sigma. As a mathematician I am aware the sigma is Greek letter associated with sum, integration and to many students, the letter S. I realized that capital sigma, something I always thought looked like a big E could represent an M when looked as sideways. At this moment, my whole logo came to me in a flash of inspiration. I would use sigma to represent the M in math and I would use reflection to represent a flipped classroom.
Initial logo design
Design number 2
Final logo design
Remembering all of my peers who said Logomakr was easy to use, I thought that would be an excellent place to start drafting the digital version of my logo.