Posts tagged ‘Flipped Classsroom’

Choosing a Blended Learning Model

“Learning is more effective when it is active rather than passive process.” Euripides

According to Christensen Institute blended learning is a formal education program in which a student learns: (1) at least in part through online learning, with some element of student control over time, place, path, and/or pace; (2) at least in part in a supervised brick-and-mortar location away from home; (3) and the modalities along each student’s learning path within a course or subject are connected to provide an integrated learning experience. There are four different models: Rotation, Flex, A La Carte and Enrichment Virtual Model. There is a difference between blended learning and technology integration, learn more about that from my previous blog post.


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Truly understanding the difference within the blended learning models will help make choosing and implementing blended learning in your classroom easier.

Rotation: Students are rotating through stations with at least one station being online. (Most often used)

Flex: Students main way of learning is online. (taking multiple classes)

A La Carte: Some students (not a whole school) take a class that is entirely online but is done inside the school they attend.

Enriched Virtual Model: Students attend class and then do coursework online, on their own time.

In my experience, most teachers use one of the four sub-models based on the rotation model. Below I define the differences between the sub-models.

  • Station Rotation: (Most used and easiest to manage)
    • Takes place in one classroom
    • Usually three stations: 1. Teacher led 2. Online Instruction/Practice 3. Student collaboration
    • Students rotate on a fixed schedule to the different stations that is managed by the teacher (Ex 15 mins per station, the teacher rings a bell and the students move.)
    • Students rotate through all the stations but do different activities based on level
    • Each station is the same content area (ex. everyone is doing math)
    • Teacher led station can be instructions or conferencing
  •  Lab Rotation:
    • Rotation happens through multiple lab/rooms within the school building
    • Students rotate among lab/rooms
    • Each lab/room is usually a different content area
    • One lab/room is online learning
  •  Individual Rotation:
    • Students rotate on an individual schedule based on their pace and needs.
    • Students don’t have to rotate to all the different stations in the room. They go to stations based on their needs as a learner.
    • Typical stations that are set up are: Online area, small group/direct instruction area, group work area and individual work area.
  •  Flipped Classroom:
    • Online delivery of instruction and content is done through video that the students watch at home. Best practice and research shows videos should be no more than 10 mins.
    • During class students are working on an active learning strategy such as injury or project based learning.
    • Sometimes flipped and another sub-model of rotation is used. (Ex: I used flipped and station rotation)
    • Misconception: Homework practice online is flipped learning. (Ex: students using adaptive learning software such as dreambox or a teacher assigning problems for students to do using a learning management system like Edmodo – These are NOT flipped classrooms)

Now that you understand the differences between the blended learning models, chose the one that best fits your classroom. Next week I will share some tips and tricks of managing a blended learning classroom.

Technology Integration and Blended Learning – There is a Difference

“We learn by pushing ourselves and finding what really lie sat the outer reaches of our abilities.” Josh Waitzkin

Todays blog post stems from a question I often get asked, “What is the difference between technology integration and blended learning?” They are similar concepts as both use technology as  a tool for students to learn, a way to incorporate 21st century skills into lessons and often real world application. Lets break the two concepts down to better understand how both are effective practices for the classroom but are different.

Technology integration is when teachers use technology in a lesson or has students create to show mastery of curriculum standards. An example to technology integration is having students create or show mastery on an App/web tool such as ShowMe or EduGlogster. A great way to integrate technology into a lesson is to use the Technology, Pedagogy and Content Knowledge (TPACK method) There are different levels of technology integration for a teacher, using a SMAR model or technology integration matrix, helps teachers see where they are on the continuum.

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Blended learning combines face to face classroom learning with global online content, giving student more control over the time, place, path, pace of their learning. There are many different models of blended learning. You can learn more in-depth definitions of  these blended learning models at the Christensen Institute. The pedagogy of blended learning is that the teachers’ role is to facilitate student instruction and mastery of  their goals, which is a shift in the tradition model.

This video does an excellent job of explaining the difference between blended learning and technology integration.

Creating with Pixiclip

“True happiness comes from the joy of deeds well done, the zest of creating things new.” By Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Pixiclip puts creating and recording at your fingertips as a FREE web app, that works on all devices. PixiClip provides a screencasting, whiteboard space where you can easily sketch a diagram, add your voice/video/image and type. The clips can be shared but made private, hidden, or even password protected.This web app doesn’t require you to create an account in order to use it but I did notice it worked much better in the chrome browser. Below are ways you can use this application in the classroom.

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1. Flipped Lesson: This is an easy tool to use to flip a lesson. Explaining  a concept such as, rock cycle, as you draw you can also include a video in the top corner that shows you explaining it or you  can just record your voice. Want to now how to start flipping your classroom or other good tools, click here to see my previous posts.

2. Student Assessment:  Get students showing what they know by having students explain a concept. They can easily share it with you by posting it in the blog (embed code) or emailing it.

3. Learning Vocabulary: Have the students draw a vocabulary word and have the other students guess it. Great way to add a creative way to review vocabulary. (Think of the App Draw Something but for education)

4. Reflection: Have the students upload an image of something they have created or done and share a reflection about what they learned or the process. Great for reflecting on a Problem or Project based learning (PBL) activity.

5. Creating Story/How to: Have students create short stories to help them understand beginning, middle and end or have them create how to’s with images.

I would love to know how you use it in the classroom, please share!

Digital Creations with EdCanvas

“In creating, the only hard thing is to begin.” By James Russel Lowell

Edcanvas is a tool I shared during the Edulum’s tool smack down and figured it needed more explaining then just the two minutes I had. Edcanvas is a place where you can create presentations, projects, share resources, flip the classroom and so much more. You can create meaningful content on any Common Core or Essential Standard in minutes, yes minutes! You can also use any device as it is mobile responsive.

Once you create an account and are logged in you will see that on the left hand side you can see your canvases, classes and gallery. To start a canvas, click on creating a canvas and enter the title for the canvas at the top. You can search for resources using the search options on the right. Notice there are many options of things you can use such as YouTube, Google Drive, Flickr, Website Links and Educreations. Once you have the resource you want drag it to a box and drop it. That is it, how easy! At the top you can change your theme and templates. Notice when you scroll over a box you can add text and/or embed a quiz!

One of my favorite features is the sharing options Edcanvas has. You can share the canvas so many different ways but it also has a unique way as well that I haven’t seen on many web tool sharing options. On Edcanvas sharing you also have the option of creating a QR code; how convenient is that!


Here is my Edcanvas that I made in 5 mins.

Creating a class is just as easy and a great way to help you differentiate. To start click on add class, select a new class and then name your class. It will give you a code that you can post on your workflow platform. Your students will go to and select sign-up then click the student tab. Have them register using the course code. (Notice no email address is needed as it is an option only.)

Other Awesome Features:

– Autosaves (great for students who forget to save)

– It can integrated with Edmodo

– Gallery of resources from other educators

– Click on play to present your Edcanvas

Flipped Classroom and Common Core Standards

“The focus of flipped teaching is different from other examples in that the technology itself is simply a tool for flexible communication that allows educators to differentiate instruction to meet individual student needs and spend more time in the classroom focused on collaboration and higher-order thinking.” Jac de Haan, educator and founder of Technology with Intention

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A year and a half ago I wrote a blog post about flipped classroom for elemntary classrooms and since then a lot has changed.  I think more people are realizing that flipped classroom is not just a buzz word or catch phrase but a shift in the classroom approach while redefining homework. Educators are focusing needs to be on having the students master the content rather than just covering it. The Common Core has helped with the shift, as it is deeper, not wider.  The Flipped Classroom lets you attend to each students individual needs and making differentiate easy. There are a lot of newer sites that can help you do this easily along with connecting the Common Common Core standards already done for you. My two new favorite sites are Ted Ed and Learn Zillion.

The Ted.Ed site offers a structured access of content through subject or series. It allows teachers to “flip” any video on YouTube—including TED-Ed videos, Khan Academy or ones you have created on your own You Tube Channel. With each ‘flipped’ video you can add quizzes, links and other resources to the video. It also progress monitors for you as well. Check it out here and test it for yourself introducing Ted Ed. Other great features are that it is free and if you like a video that has been flipped already but you don’t like some of the questions etc you can customize it to your liking! You can also use the Khan academy site, that has a Common Core Toolkit and match the Common Core standards as well. I also love you can embed this into your wiki, Gaggle assignment, Edmodo or other platforms for your work flow.

Learn Zillion site offers great lessons that are linked to Common Core standards with there Common Core navigator.  You can then download lesson slides and resources that help you teach the lesson, depending on what you need. They have a coach’s commentary that you can listen to, to get expert explanation of the lesson and Common Core State Standards. (This is very helpful when you are still trying to understand these new standards. You can also assign lessons and track student mastery by setting up your class. This site is also free as well!

Flipped Learning Resources:

My Flipped Classroom Wiki

Google Doc by Dan Spencer

TechSmith Flipped Classroom 

Twitter chat #flipclass (Monday @ 8:00)

If you have used another site that allows you to flip your classroom and connect Common Core standards, I would love to learn about it.

Why I Love Using Entry and Exit Slips

“Follow effective action with quiet reflection. From the quiet reflection will come even more effective action.”  By Peter F. Drucker

Many teachers have use exit slips (also known as ticket out the door) which I believe is a crucial part of teaching and learning but I also think entry slips are just as effective and often overlooked. I like to use both of them for many reasons such as data points and/or as a reflection tool for not only myself but for the students. Here are a few different ways I use them in the classroom.

Entry Slips:

1. I like to use entry slips to see where the students are in their learning. I usually put four to five problems on the board and this is how I differentiate. If the student shows mastery they go right into math workshop or a Problem Based Learning (PBL) activity I have prepared. If they show partial mastery I would have a teacher assistant (or volunteer) work with the students until mastery. Where I, the teacher, would take the students that showed no mastery.I use this method often when I ‘flip the classroom’.

2. I like to use entry slips, when I know based on a pre-assessment  data, the students all showed partially mastery of a topic. I use this as a gauge to see where my lesson truly needs to start.

3. I like to use entry slips to start off a unit. I like to see what they want to learn about a unit. For example, I would ask something like, ‘What do you want to learn about place value?’ You will be surprised at what they will say. One year, I had a student say he wanted to learn about other place value systems such as the Mayan. Do you know that is my best lesson I think I teach now, years later! I have now turned it into a PBL project and the students love it! This type of entry slips helps my reflect and be a better educator, it also gets the student a voice in what they want to learn along with getting them starting to think about the unit we are about to start!

I do not use an entry slip everyday. I try to use them once a week. I do however use exit slips more often, sometimes daily.

Exit Slips:

1. I like to use exit slips to see how the students are doing on a unit. This helps me assess how the unit and the students are doing. I can then use this data to change my lesson plans or pacing. A prompt might be, ‘ Give me 3 things you have learned so far, 2 questions you still have and 1 thing I need to work on.’

2. I like to use exit slips to see how effectively I taught a lesson. On my door I would have a red piece of construction paper, yellow and green. I would give the students a question such as rate this lesson. 10-8 would be green, 7-5 yellow and 5-0 would be red. This gives me a quick visual and data point to help me improve the lesson next time. Sometimes you as the educator think that a lesson has ‘flopped’ and it really hasn’t or vice versa, sometimes you think it was great but the students don’t. This is a great visual to grasp that. I also use the red, yellow, green exit slips to see how the students comfort level with a topic is. We talk about before hand how each student has different strengths and weaknesses and I use the example of myself and another teacher. I am great at geometry and she is at fractions, doesn’t mean we can’t do it but we know it is not our strength. I do not use this type of exit slip until i have built that safe environment.

3. I like to use exit slips see if they have mastered or not mastered a concept. I sometimes adopt the essential question I have for the lesson as a prompt. I use this data for my next days reteach groups. A fellow co-worker, Jen Sieracki, uses what she calls ‘Ticket to Workshop”. After she teaches the mini-lesson, she has the students show their mastery and she uses this data for here reteach/small groups.

If you ‘google’ exit and entry slips you find lots of examples and prompts you can use. I would love to know if other educators use entry or exit cards differently. I can always improve my teaching!

* Free image courtesy of

Creating and Using Infographics in the Elementary Classroom

“Creativity involves breaking out of established patterns in order to look at things in a different way.” By Edward de Bono

I am an a self acclaimed advocate for 21st Century Teaching and Learning. I truly believe that students need to be learning through creating, collaborating, critical thinking and communicating (4 C’s); that is why I am a fan of using infographics in the classroom. Infographics are a way to show visual representation of information. When making an infographics students have to use all 4c’s in order to complete one.

Infographics can be a great way for students to present data to the class on a research project they are doing or an arguments such as books verses ebooks. Infograohics align with many of the Common Core and Essential Standards objectives.Remember the data used for infographics could be data just from your classroom, school or community as long as that is stated.

Examples of how each subject can create infographics:

Science: If a student is studying the Great Garbage Patch during their ecosystem unit they can inform the class about it through an info graphic. For example how much trash there is and how many animals it has hurt.

Math: Students can do any topic they want because infographics are all about math data and graphs.

Literacy: Students can compare and contrast any two books. The students can also chose a hot topic they are writing about, For example, if schools should be year round or if schools should have uniforms or not.

Social Studies: Students can create an infographic on any time period such as the Civil War by making a timeline infographic.

P.E.: Students can make an infographic on nutrition or benefits of exercise and how it correlates with grades.

How do the 4c’s apply:

Collaboration: If students are working together on making these infographics they are collaborating ideas.

Critical Thinking: Students are critical thinking about what information should go in the infographic and why.

Communication: Students are communicating with each other and also communicating information.

Creating: Students are creating an info graphic product.

Step by Step process on how can you make them in your classroom:

1. Have the students start with a topic/idea and research to gain more information. I would also recommend the students create a rough draft on paper as a basic outline.

2. Create the infographic using Pages (or see below for other sites). I like Pages best because it is simple and user-friendly. You can also keep changing the page size to make it longer for infographics. (Inspector, page set up and then paper size scroll to custom) you can also create your own graphs using Pages. Remember too…

  • Keep it simple and pleasing to the eye.
  • Decide on a color scheme
  • Reference your facts in the infographic (Sources)
  • Look at others to gain ideas how you want yours set up.
  • Make them interactive by adding QR codes or videos

3. Once you are finished, export it into a picture – j.peg, so you can embed them into a wiki or the students can post them on their blog etc. Here is one I created using Pages with a friend Doug Thompson- that’s right we collaborated! (We also did add some graphics using Photoshop but you don’t have too)

Other Sites students can use to make infographics easily and free!


Popplet (Limits you)

Kathy Schrock has great resources for classroom teachers on infographics too.

Please let me know how you have used infographics or created them in your classroom so we can learn from each other!

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