Innovation Plan Reflection

Before I started the Digital Leading and Learning Master’s program at Lamar University, I had already implemented some technology in my classroom.  I began very slowly integrating technology into my classroom by substituting paper and pencil assignments with technology.  I would give students assessments through applications such as Plickers, Quizizz, etc.  I knew there was more to integrating technology into the classroom than just having students play (educational) games and substituting it for paper and pencil assignments.  So I began to look for other educators and studying how they use technology in the classroom.  I would go to technology conferences and started to hear about the flipped classroom.  I was in a session where Todd Nesloney was talking about how he flipped his classroom.  That got me thinking that my English Language Learners (ELLs) could benefit from that classroom environment.  So when I began the Master’s program I already had an idea of what I wanted my innovation plan to be.  

My innovation plan was to create a classroom environment where students learn the basics of the lesson at home, and then at school, I get to work more with them in small groups to master the skill/standard they are learning.  This is called a flipped classroom.  I also stated that I wanted to incorporate station rotations with more technology.  In my previous district, it was mandatory to have stations every day, so I decided to also incorporate that aspect in my innovation plan because I was already doing it in my classroom.  When I began the program, I had taken the year off to be with my young children at home.  So all the work I had done for the flipped classroom was for a fourth-grade classroom setting in my previous classroom.  In my previous classroom I had about 120 minutes for math instruction, so having the flipped classroom would open up more time for me to work in smaller groups and give my students more of a personalized instruction.  Having this type of learning environment for my ELLs would help them get more time to master skills/standards, collaborate with one another, and open more time where they can also work on much needed academic vocabulary.  As the program progressed I completed literature reviews on the pros for having a flipped classroom with station rotations for ELLs.  

Since I had been working on creating this type of learning environment, I had already made math instructional videos for fourth-grade students.  I had already created and made notes of lesson plans and websites for my fourth-grade students.  So when it was time for me to come back to work I was hired by different district and in a new grade level.  I had been blessed that one of the focuses of theirs was technology, so I had about ten iPads at my disposal every day.  The district also had set up a technology cohort with teachers from different grade levels.  So my students who were in fourth grade came from a cohort teacher and were already knowledgeable about technology.  So now coming into to a new district where I only had two desktop computers at my disposal, we were getting five iPads, but not until mid-October, and with students who had no technology background.  My math instruction time also went from 120 minutes a day to only 90 minutes a day.  Now that my math instructional time was decreased I felt it was important for me to create a flipped classroom environment.

Screen Shot 2017-12-17 at 6.21.02 PM

At the beginning of the year, I talked to my students’ parents and got their permission for their child to participate.  They were all willing and looked forward to the new experience.  I got in touch with the technology instructional person for my campus so I can get my students’ Google usernames and passwords.  We did not get started with Google Classroom until mid-October due to Hurricane Harvey.  I thought that once I had their Google Classroom information it would be smooth sailing, but that was not the case.  It has been difficult to keep a steady pace of making videos and having students watch them.  It has been difficult for me because I came into a new grade, new district, with new expectations, and new ways on how they run a math classroom and how the content is taught.  My progress has not been what I would have wanted it to be.  Getting my station rotation with technology has been much easier.  Students are working on skills/standards that they are weak on.  We are working on collaborating with another class and that is going to be a slow process, which is okay with me since it will be the first time I do anything like that.

My innovation plan is still in the beginning stages, but even though I wish it was different, I am okay with my progress.  It is a learning experience.  There are outside forces that get in the way and there is nothing we can do, but to be flexible.  I will continue to try to make more instructional videos for my students.  I will continue to encourage my students to watch the videos at home and help them learn how to sign in and watch the videos more independent.  When next year comes and I implement the flipped classroom, it will be much easier because I will already have a bank of videos set up for them.  Some of my colleagues have gotten wind of my innovation plan and they are asking me questions about it.  Hopefully next year they will implement a flipped classroom environment.

COVA Reflection

When I first started out with this program, I was not sure what to expect.  During the first class assignment where I had to come up with an innovation plan that is when I first got a glimpse of the COVA learning approach.  I was filled with anxiety of how I was going to complete my assignment or continue with the program.  I have always had thing spelled out for me with a lot of hand-holding.  It was overwhelming to have the freedom to choose how I completed the assignment.  I wrapped my head around how to handle this first assignment and put a lot of thought into what kind of project to undertake.  

This was not the usual way I learned.  I was not comfortable in having free reign on my assignments.  My adjustment really came when it was time to turn in for a grade.  I have always been the type of student who needed to get an A.  So learning to trust myself with only guidelines and having everything else up to me was nerve-wracking.  I did not know how my assignment would be graded.  It was hard, and I still struggle with that aspect of COVA.  Being able to let my voice out and focus on my organization as my audience was not as tough for me because for the most part, I would visualize myself and what I would like to hear about.

My innovation plan was written to change my classroom environment.  I wanted to give my English Language Learners (ELLs) the best practice to improve their math learning.  At the beginning of the program, I was fully aware of what I wanted, because I had been thinking about changing my classroom environment for some time.  As I went through the program, my initial ideas began to evolve.   I learned that my classroom not only needs to change from the way I instruct my students, but their learning environment has to be set where they are free to voice their learning and feel safe to learn at their own pace and make mistakes.

Since I teach elementary students, I believe I will need to take it slow to introduce COVA.  Even at an early age, students feel that they need to have a set of assignments.  They still have a sense of needing hand-holding through the assignment.  So in order for them to get out of this mindset, I will have to ease this new approach on them slowly.    Making sure they learn to have a voice and they have a say in their learning is important for them to learn to love learning.  If we can get them to follow their own instincts, make sure their voice is heard they are going to be able to take ownership of their learning.  In order for my colleagues to adopt the COVA learning style, they will need to be trained on how to create a classroom environment where students are more in charge of their learning.

Action Research Outline

Topic for research: Flipped classroom, station rotation, and student’s math growth

Purpose: To see what the effect of a flipped classroom with station will have on students’ math growth.  Will it give more time for teachers to spend with students in a smaller group setting and/or individual time?  Will students be more successful in this type of setting?  Will student learn from having a station where they are able to perform e-learning?

Action Research Question: What is the effect of a flipped classroom with station rotation on the student’s’ growth in math class?

Qualitative, Quantitative or Mixed: My research will consist of mixed-methods.  

Data to be collected:  I will be looking at students’ grades, district assessments, and STAAR performance which is numerical data (quantitative) and I will also be asking students how they see their own growth by surveying them.

Type of measurement instruments to be used: Surveys, informal assessments, grades, district assessments, and STAAR performance.

The focus of literature review: With the type of research I am conducting, I will need different literature for my paper.  Technology is a broad topic so I will need multiple subtopics to better perform my research.  Since I am asking students to view videos at home instead of learning a skill in school in a flipped classroom environment, I will need resources similar to Clark’s (2010) research on flipped classroom.  So that would be one of my subtopics: Flipped Classroom.  Another subtopic that I will go over would be, Online Tutorials.  Under this subtopic, I will have resources such as Sargent, Borthick & Lederberg’s  (2011) and Mariano’s (2014) paper.  Resources like these will help support my research.  Lastly, my other subtopic will be, Integrating Technology.  I will need resources just for integrating technology in the classroom.  I will also need to find literature on individualized learning, e-learning, such as using a program like Think Through Math, and on small group instruction.

 


Reference

Bolliger, D. U., & Supanakorn, S. (2011). Learning styles and student perceptions of the use of interactive online tutorials. British Journal Of Educational Technology, 42(3), 470-481. doi:10.1111/j.1467-8535.2009.01037.x

Clark, K. (2015). The effects of the flipped model of instruction on student engagement and performance in the secondary mathematics classroom. Journal of Educators Online, 12, 91-115. Retrieved from http://eric.ed.gov/?q=flipped classrooms&pr=on&ft=on&id=EJ1051042

Edwards, S., & Bone, J. (2012). Integrating peer assisted learning and eLearning: Using innovative pedagogies to support learning and teaching in higher education settings. Australian Journal of Teacher Education, 37(5), 1-13. Retrieved from http://eric.ed.gov/?q=elementary students and tutorials&pr=on&ft=on&id=EJ982405

Mariano, G. (2014). Breaking it down: Knowledge transfer in a multimedia learning environment. International Journal of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education, 26(1), 1-11. Retrieved from http://eric.ed.gov/?q=tutorials&pr=on&ft=on&id=EJ1043012

Sargent, C.S., Borthick, A. F., & Lederberg, A. R. (2011). Improving retention for principles of accounting students: Ultra-short online tutorials for motivating effort and improving performance. Issues In Accounting Edication. 26(4),657-679. doi: 10.2308/iace-5001

What I Learned

Change

In a classroom, there is a lot of diversity.  Not just in student’s learning styles, but also in their home situation and level of learning.  In today’s classrooms, students receive the same instruction, at the same time, and at the same level.  There is no differentiation in the instruction.  I saw this in my own instruction.  I would try to have differentiation when my students would come to me for small group, but that did not give me enough time to work with my students.  So I researched extensively until I came upon blended learning, and the flipped classroom and station rotation models were the ones that stuck out to me the most.  These two models will provide my students a more personalized instruction by getting more teacher time with me.  Station rotation also provides the benefit where they can take ownership in their learning.

 

Trying to change the learning environment is not easy.  There are many hurdles that you have to jump over. Such as:

  • Support
    • Administration
    • Implementation
    • Moral
  • Student setbacks- students not watching the instructional videos at home or do not have opportunities to watch the instructional videos
  • Parent Involvement

 

I have spent time thinking about how I can make sure the hurdles above are not a hindrance in the implementation.  Through my research, I have found when teachers a properly trained and have a support system, they are more successful.  It is necessary for a teacher to receive continuous training on the subject.    Training does not end at the beginning of the year, it goes into the year through the end of the year and continues into the summer to get ready for the upcoming year.  Having a support system, where people are going through the same joys and struggles makes the implementation better.  A support group is necessary where teachers can go to talk to one another and collaborate with another by creating lessons/videos together.  Throughout my research, I was unable to find information on making sure that parents are also supportive of this new initiative.  Even though there are no references on this, it is important to make sure that parents are aware of how the flipped classroom and station rotation works.  A fellow colleague stated that a parent’s perspective is very important.  They may perceive this innovation as teachers being lazy and not wanting to teach students, however, that is not the perception we want parents to have.   So, it is vital for them to know how it works and why it is beneficial to students.  I propose to have constant communication with parents before school starts and throughout the year.  The other hurdle I noticed was about the instructional video and making sure students are able to watch them.  There is an easy solution to this.  Set a system where students are able to watch the videos at home, be at the beginning of the school day, after school, or during the school day (during specials, such as music, art, library, etc.). This is easily accomplished because the instructional videos are not going to be longer than five minutes.  These are the solutions that I will implement to overcome the expected hurdles.

 

With my innovation plan and professional development timeline, I hope to get administrators, students and parents on board and ready for this change.  I have done extensive research through a literature review and other academic works, to figure out how I could make sure I have solutions to the hurdles I have encountered.  Implementing a flipped classroom with station rotation, will not only benefit students, but it will also benefit the district.

 

What Works, What Doesn’t Work

There are many different ways to teach students that at times we do not know what would be best for them.  As teachers, we try to make the best decisions for our students that at times we may choose the wrong teaching method and that is part of teaching.  We are not able to make great changes if we do not try new innovated strategies. I am here to let you know that I have found that method.  The flipped classroom and station rotation will be able to get students the best instruction possible.  They will be able to have instructional videos at their disposal anytime and anyplace.  Within the classroom they will be able to use that newfound technology to further their learning and collaborate with others to learn.  The following video will inform you on how to get this plan to work.

 

Leadership

be-brave-enough-to-start-a-conversation-that-matters-dau-voire

It is safe to say most people want to be a leader in their professional community.  We read all different types of books about what makes a great leader.  One of the key characteristics  that make up a good leader is to  be able to work in different types of situations.  Another characteristic most books agree on is to be able  to hold conversations with our colleagues and work out issues or share ideas in a safe environment.  Although these are great tips to keep in mind, they do not go into detail as to how to make those conversations.  In order for us to be a great leader and make a change in our professional community, we must be able to have meaningful, honest conversations with our colleagues.  Throughout my process of learning how to become a great leader, my graduate professor, asked us to read Crucial Conversations: tools for talking when stakes are high.  

 

Change is a big step for everyone.  Not only will my colleagues be wary of change, but parents and students as well.  It will be vital for me to be able to communicate the heart, the why, I want there to be a change in our classrooms.  Having those conversations where everyone can be honest about what this innovation plan, flipped classroom with station rotation, will entail is the first step.  This is vital change in instruction, that will make the classroom more catered to the individual student.  Having a flipped classroom with station rotation will an environment where students will become self-learners and where students will take ownership of the learning

people-who-are-skilled-at-dialogue-do-their-best-to-make-it-safe-for-everyone-to-add-their-meaning-to-the-shared-pool-even-ideas-that-at-first-glance-appear-controversial-wrong-or-at-odds-with-thei

After we are all on the same page and  focused on what the reason behind the innovation plan, I will need to be able to share what the vital behaviors and use the 6 sources of influence to make sure that they know what this innovation plan is not going to be.  The real skills that are being taught in Crucial Conversations is going to come useful with the 4DX (4 Disciplines of Execution) Strategy/Plan.  When I introduce the 4DX, I will be on the lookout for  cues when conversations may turn for the worse.  I want to make a safe comfortable environment where students can feel safe voicing their opinions.  We are all familiar with this where we are afraid to say what is on our mind so we do not come across as not willing to participate change.  I do not want my colleagues to feel that way.  In order for to have a successful change, teachers, students, parents need to be able to have meaningful conversations.  We all need to be able to explore our thoughts and voice them.  They will also be able to contribute to the implementation of the innovation plan.  
Anyone can be a leader, but to be a great leader takes someone who is able to take a crucial conversation and be able to put everyone be at ease.  A great leader is able to make sure everyone’s voices are heard and make them feel like a crucial aspect in the innovation plan.  I plan on shaping my conversations to include everyone and listen to their opinions to become the great leader necessary to make the innovation plan a success.

 

References

Grenny, J., Patterson, K., Maxfield, D., McMillan, R., & Switzler, A. (2013). Influencer: The

         new science of leading change: 2nd ed. New York: McGraw-Hill Education.

McChesney, C., Covey, S., & Huling, J. (2012). The 4 disciplines of execution: Achievingyour

         wildly important goals. New York, NY: Free Press.

Patterson, K.,  Grenny, J.,  McMillan, R. & Switzler, A. (2012). Crucial conversations: Tools

         for talking when stakes are high, second edition. McGraw-Hill.

4DX Strategy for Change

When I started thinking about making a change in my classroom, I never considered making a change with my colleagues as well.  I always wanted to be a digital learning leader, but I initially thought about making the change myself and then getting my colleagues to join me in my innovation plan.  I thought about doing it first because I have not encountered any other teachers in my district who have implemented a flipped classroom.  So before I use the 6 Sources of Influence and the 4DX (4 Disciplines of Execution) Strategy, I will implement my innovation plan in my classroom first, then in the second year I will use the Influencer Model and 4DX to get my colleagues on board.

 

Making any type of change always comes with challenges especially if it is an introduction of an entirely new concept.  In the education field, teachers are asked to make changes constantly, but they are not given examples of how the change should be implemented.  Teachers are given the why and examples, but that can only do so much.  Teachers are never given the how to or the chance to experience how to implement the change. The Influencer model and the 4DX go hand in hand.  When I complete the first year of my implementation, I will be able to use the Influencer model as the hook for my colleagues.  They will be able to understand the importance, the “Why,”, it is vital to create flipped classrooms with station rotations.  After getting them interested, I will be able to use the 4DX Strategy.  The 4DX Strategy is where the implementation takes place.  The 4DX is where the goal, WIG (Wildly Important Goal), what measures need to be taken, how it is going to be shown, and accountability is specified.  

 

I have created a 4DX strategy plan along with the stages of change that I will use to implement the flipped classroom with station rotation among my colleagues.

 

Stages of Change

Stage 1: Getting Clear

Stage 1 requires me to  meet with the teachers who are going to implement the flipped classroom with station rotation.  We will discuss what the 4DX strategy is and discuss if  any changes need to be made.  We will decide what day would be best for our weekly meetings.  I’d also like to establish  that we must all be held accountable and hold each other accountable.

 

Stage 2: Launch

This is where we are going to kick off the innovation plan.  We will hold a meeting to make sure everyone is on the same page, and  everyone has what they need to start.  I plan on reassuring  my colleagues  that I will be there if they need any help.  I will let them know that we are here to support each other and help each other when needed.

 

Stage 3: Adoption

This is where we will start seeing what our sweat and tears are being poured into.  I must make sure to refer back to the influencer model, so teachers can remember the reason we are creating flipped classroom with station rotation classrooms.  At this point, teachers will begin seeing that the adoption of the 4DX is having a great impact with student’s growth and how they are having more time to have more individualized teaching.

 

Stage 4: Optimization

This stage is where we see if there needs to be any changes in our 4DX strategy. Teachers will become more active participants and encourage others to create flipped classrooms with station rotations.  Teachers are having a much easier time collaborating with one another and letting teachers go into their classrooms to observe how they are implementing the flipped classroom with station rotations. Ideally, teachers will actively pursue and attend professional developments.

 

Stage 5: Habits

At the end of this process of having a flipped classroom with station rotation,  it will become second nature to the teachers.  The big WIG will be accomplished because the rest of the faculty would have seen the impact of the flipped classroom with station rotation had on teachers and students.

 

4dx-strategy

Flipped Classroom with Station Rotation Influencer

In the education world we are always looking to find the new innovative way to change out student’s educational world.  We try to make sure that teachers are up to date with the new strategies.  Over time, technology has become a big part of the innovative change, but in schools they are still behind.  Many teachers and administrators fear technology in the classroom.  Some view it as a waste of time.  They are stuck with their view of having lecture instruction as the only way for students to pass the state assessment (STAAR).  When it was time to make a change in my classroom and school, my mind went directly to technology.  Technology is a great tool to help students grow into independent learners and innovators.  Knowing that there was going to be a lot of resistance from my fellow colleagues, I had to come up with a way to influence them to take a leap and follow in my innovation plan.

 

After reading the book, Influencer: The New Science of Leading Change, I was able to come up with vital behaviors and 6 Source of Influence to ensure that my fellow colleagues will take a leap and become innovators alongside of me.

flipped-classroom-with-station-rotation

 


6 Sources of Influence

123

 

Reference

Grenny, J., Patterson, K., Maxfield, D., McMillan, R., & Switzler, A. (2013). Influencer:

The new science of leading change: 2nd ed. New York: McGraw-Hill Education.

Why make a change?

Why? Why do I want there to be a change in my classroom?  Why do I want to have others change their classrooms alongside of me?  For the past couple of years I have been wanting to change the way my students learn in my classroom.  I realized they were not getting enough instructional time with me and not enough time to explore the skills on their own. They were not able to continue their learning without having someone to guide them.  I would teach them the skill give them a some time in the classroom and then send them home with homework.  Most of my students would come back with their homework incomplete.  Their parents and my students would tell me that they did not understand and could not complete the homework.  So the next day and during my small group instruction I would go back and review.  Only this did not give me enough time to help my students master the skill.  It would put us behind on our scope and sequence.  It would also not help my high achieving students grow either.  This is when I realized that something had to change.

As I was exploring methods to change my classroom, I came upon the flipped classroom.  The concept is that students would watch an instructional video at home, answer some questions, and the next day students will work more on the skill while having the teacher there as a guide.  I immediately knew this was the change that I have been looking for and I had to implement this  in my classroom.  This would help all my students, from the lowest to the highest level.  This would give me more time to work with my students and make sure they are growing.

Ever since I have learned that there needed to be a change and what change needed to be done, I have been trying to find a way to do it.  The urgency for me to be able to fully make this change has been years in development.  For the past two years I have been trying to implement this change, but have had some roadblocks. I need to make sure that my students and their parents are on board, because without them this change will not work.  This upcoming year I need to make sure that I get my students and parents get on board.  I will need to make sure that they are aware of the why and the importance this change has on them in the long run.

why-change

Learning Environment, Design and Purpose

 

We always talk about the reasons why our students are not performing to the state’s standards.  Why they are not challenging themselves? Why do they just give up without trying?  There are so many other questions we always have about them, but we never stop to think about the real reasons.  We need to start to think more about the student than the grade or percentage on a test.  In order for our students to be successful we need to make sure that they are going into a learning environment where they are free to explore without any judgement.  They need to go into an environment where they are aware of the purpose of their learning.  

 

In my graduate course on creating significant learning environments, I had to think about what type of learning environment I wanted my students to have.  I need to create a significant learning environment that promotes a growth mindset.  In creating a significant learning environment, I talked about the different challenges I will encounter and how I will handle them.  It is important  for my students to feel comfortable in the classroom and  to be able to come in the classroom with the freedom to ask questions without feeling like they are not smart because they need to ask for help.  I want them to be able to leave the classroom with a feeling of wanting to  go online to learn more.

 

In the process of figuring out  what I need to do in order to create a significant learning environment, I had to think about my own learning philosophy. Figuring out what my learning philosophy was, will allow me to better help my students.  Learning about all the different learning theories will help me figure out how to help my students learn about their learning.  Once my students and I figure out the way they learn, we will work together as a team and be able to change their mindset from fixed to growth.

 

In the process of creating a significant learning environment and promoting a growth mindset, I still have to design how I want to implement my innovation plan.  In my graduate course I was introduced to a new taxonomy, Fink’s 3 column table and re-introduced to UbD Design, backwards design. I understand both of these as forms as lesson plans.  The Fink’s 3 column table was the hardest plan I have encountered.  It is setup to have the ‘endgame’ in mind.  What I want my students to have learned at the end of the year.  This will help me be able to really create activities that will truly help my students learn.  The UbD design is geared more for the of the weekly lesson plan.  It is more detailed and more student centered.  Both lesson plans will help me organize my innovation plan so I can share them with my administrators and fellow colleagues.   Having these lesson plans will make sure that I am providing my students the best learning environment for growth.

 

Finishing this graduate course on learning environment opened my eyes and made me realize that there is still so much more work to be done.  Figuring out what my learning philosophy will help me be a better teacher to my students.  I will be able to relate to those students who learn the same way I do and help them begin to think about learning a new way.  To think that learning is an ongoing process and that there is not one way of learning, there are multiple ways.  Learning about the different learning theories so I can help my students be better learners.  Creating a significant learning environment and promoting a growth mindset will be an ongoing process.  With a growth mindset, every obstacle, every setback is a learning opportunity that we need to embrace.  Our learning is neverending.

 

Reference

Dweck, C. S. (2006). Mindset: The new psychology of success. New York: Random House.