Oh, Flip. Here We Go

The time has come to flip the classroom. We have decided to take our classrooms to another level. During our team meeting before we went to Christmas break, we talked about having more simulations in our classrooms. We loved giving students tasks and becoming someone from history to teach about the Native Americans or the Revolution. Having time to play games with words and showing how fun math has become an afterthought in our planning and not at the forefront. After discussing the things we would like to do in our classrooms, my team decided we need to flip our classroom. We did a little looking around and found information from innovators like Karl Fisch and Jon Bergman/Aaron Sams. After some research we started setting up our plan.
Flipping a classroom is not an easy thing to do. Just thinking about it gave one of our team a headache. So let me start with what our flipped classroom looks like. We found a great infographic to explain what we are looking at doing. Our idea of what we will be doing is having students learn short lessons on video at home and we reinforce and investigate the concept with activities at school. Simulations, activities, games, and discussions. Sounds good to me. It will create a little more work, but as we do it more, it will get easier.
So we decided to start small and take it a bite at a time. We will start with our vocabulary lessons that are part of our homework each week. Instead of teaching a lesson about the weeks vocabulary words each Monday, we will have the lesson done at home with a short video. Having students write out the words, meanings, and examples on Monday takes time. Writing takes time. So changing it up by having students write at home will give us time to do a reading activity with students on Monday. The stories will use the Vocab words in the reading so we will be introducing the vocabulary words in the reading. Students will watch and work on a 5 minute video on Monday and one on Tuesday night to complete the lesson. On Wednesday we will have an activity using the vocabulary words instead of finding out if they have the information correct on the paper. The questions they anew will let us know if they understand the word or not.
Starting out with a small flip will help us find the bugs and problems we need to work out. The teachers are pretty excited about the flip. The students were pretty excited about the flip. There were a few negative comments, but mostly for students that look for the negative. We did discuss each comment that came up to make sure we thought about the different issues. We hope to be adding more subjects in the next.


A Flip with a Twist

Just read an article in the New York Times about a forced flip of classrooms in Idaho. I am not sure the Idaho legislature gets the idea behind technology and what can be done with it. The idea of having teachers lecture less and have more time to help students in the classroom is right on. For everything? I am not sure that will happen. There is too much for students to learn in the classroom and we do not want students to burn out using the computer. Flipping a classroom and having students learn a little at home instead of doing their "homework" with their parents will have the students digging deeper at school in their subjects. Parents will be less frustrated and can listen to the lessons to see what we a talking about at school. But having students do all or most of their work on computers may look great on paper, but the tech companies are not teachers. A living breathing teacher needs to help students find and get more out of a lesson. I found out a long time ago that technology is great, but it will never be able to take the place of a good ol' teacher. Computers have to be programmed to have a teaching moment, but teachers are programmed to use teaching moments when they are needed and at any time. One computer idea does not fit all classrooms. - Posted using BlogPress from my iPad