‘It is today we must create the world of the future.’ Eleanor Roosevelt
The new buzz word in education is the ‘Flipped Classroom’. I have used the flipped classroom and have found it quite successful. Many people say to me, ‘I am intrigued by the flipped instruction, what is the best way to implement this in my classrooms?’ I decided to blog what I have found works best for me in my classroom.
For those of you not familiar with flipped classroom also known as flipped instruction; the basic ideas is that as educators we flip
our instruction so that students watch and listen to lessons for homework, and then use our class-time for tackling difficult problems, working in groups, collaborating, and creating. Students are expected to watch the vodcast, take notes, and understand the concept being taught. During class time you would do a quick review then work on an activity where the students can collaborate with their classmates on more challenging real world problems.
The first time I tried the flipped classroom, I tried it with my fifth grade math class. I was lucky that all my students had computer access. The students watched a Khan Academy video on how to multiply fractions. The expectations given to them were to take notes as if I played this video in class (I modeled my expectations many times with also guided practice before assigning a video for homework).
I considered it a success as all the students had mastered the concept based on my quick assessment. They loved the hands-on multiplication activity we did in groups. The students also had great feedback to make it better! As part of my closure I had students fill out an exit slips answering this question, ‘What is one thing you like and disliked about the flipped classroom experience?’ One thing they didn’t like about it was they couldn’t ask questions. One way to solve this problem was to use Edmodo, a wiki or a wall wisher so the students could post questions and I or another classmate could answer them. Many students loved that they could watch it multiple times and stop it when they needed to. They also liked that if they didn’t understand something shown in the video, there was videos on the side that could also help them understand or they “googled” it.
I think educators should try the flipped classroom. My advice (I am noexpert) for those that want to try this in their elementary classroom is:
1. Model your expectations in the classroom. Show a video and stop often to show students how to take notes. Then move to guided practice before assigning it for homework.
2. Remember not all students have computer access at home so have a “back up plan” such as having students stay after school to use your computers or see if your technology teacher would let you borrow the computer lab.
3. Think about what your goal is. Ask yourself exactly what do you want your students to master.
4. Start small. Try one subject and see how it goes for your students. Make adjustments as necessary.
5. Use videos that are already made
from sites such as http://www.khanacademy.org, http://streaming.discoveryeducation.com
or http://www.mathpickle.com/K-12/Videos.html to start you off.
6. Try making your own videos once you get the hang of it. The kids love seeing and hearing you!
7. Use it as a way to differentiate!
8. Read up on it! There are lots of great articles out there and if you are on twitter follow #flipclass and see what educators are doing and saying all around the world
Using the flipped classroom will help your students take ownership of their learning, a great 21st century skill we want all students to master! It will also help them become independent problem solvers along with collaborators.
My favorite component of the flipped classroom is it changes the role of you, the teacher! You become more of a facilitator and guide their learning. The classroom becomes an inquiry and/or problem based learning zone verse lecture.
The flipped classroom is not for every student, but it puts forth the best way educators can increase in-class learning. If a student or small group of students needs more instruction that still can be done without holding others back. You won’t know unless you try, so take a risk and see what happens! If you have used the flipped classroom and have other tips or insight please sure by commenting below!
“There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work, and learning from failure.” Colin Powell