Sunday, September 14, 2014

EngageNY & flipped videos

I finally feel like I'm in the swing of the school year, as we're coming up on week number 4. My kiddos and I are settling into our routine, and math has been a huge adjustment for us all.

Since we're now officially using the CCSS in our district, we're expected to teach it, even though we don't have adopted textbooks for the new standards. The biggest area of concern was obviously math. The CCSS has completely different standards then we've been using, so we needed to figure out a way to teach these new standards without new textbooks.

Enter EngageNY. If you haven't had a chance to check out the EngageNY website, I highly recommend it. They have both Math and ELA resources for students and teachers.

My district gave teachers the option to try out EngageNY's math program as a supplemental program, in place of our state standard textbooks. And let me tell you, it's a whole new ballgame!

EngageNY is split into 6 "Modules" or chapters, with anywhere from 15-30 lessons, depending on the topic. The lessons are so comprehensive, and include so much information, the students (and teacher!) is learning in a new way. I've never found myself studying up on what I was teaching for math, so much! It's been an adjustment, but I can honestly say, my kids are getting it. It's taking them some time to get used to a new way of thinking and explaining mathematical concepts, but they've been such excited learners.

To help my students ease the transition to these new math concepts, I've been using the app Explain Everything to create videos.  I'd used Educreations in the past, and I do like the fact that's free, but can't even tell you how many times I was in the middle of recording the audio for my video and I would misspeak, or cough, or just plain mess up, and I'd have to rerecord my entire audio. Frustrating!

Thankfully a colleague introduced me to Explain Everything, and I haven't looked back. It's very similar to Educreations, but gives you more flexibility in how you create your videos, adding in pictures, the color scheme you want to use... and best of all... you can edit the audio, and simply erase that one part where you messed up! And it's only $2.99. Worth every penny if you ask me.

So I've been creating videos for the lessons, to help my students as they work on their homework, so that they can watch and re-watch as much as they want. And the feedback I'm getting from my students and their parents, is wonderful. I love being able to "flip" some lessons for them.

I'm not ready to completely flip my math program, but this is definitely the first step!

Do any of you flip any of your lessons? Have you tried any of the EngageNY lessons? What do you think?

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