So You Want to Flip Your Elementary Classroom… Now What?

April 21, 2018 No Comments

So You Want to Flip Your Elementary Classroom… Now What?

April 21, 2018 No Comments

In my latest blog post, I talked about what I learned from flipping my elementary classroom.  This is an approach I took to teaching as part of an action research project and I learned a lot about best practices for implementing the flip.

Flip Your Elementary Classroom, Flipped Learning

My hope with this post is that you learn something you can take into your classroom tomorrow to help with a flipped classroom model.

Which model will you use to flip your classroom?

A flipped classroom is an instructional approach that removes the whole class direct instruction to a video that students view at home before a more hands-on or in-depth lesson at school.  The idea was started by Jonathan Bergmann and you can read more about a flipped classroom approach to instruction in his book Flip Your Classroom: Reach Every Student in Every Class Every Day (affiliate link).

There are alternative models of the flipped classroom approach.  If your school is 1:1, for instance, but the devices stay at school, you can have students watch the videos as they enter the classroom.  Or, close the class with the videos that correspond to the next day’s lessons.

In my case, I only have 6 classroom devices (four desktops and 2 Chromebooks), so I implemented an in-class flip with a station rotation model.  You can read more about this model in this Edutopia blog by Jennifer Gonzalez.  In essence, students rotate through stations and watch the flipped lesson videos at one of the stations.  The other stations provide opportunities for students to work in small groups and pairs to dig deeper into content.

This in-class flip is the model I took in my third-grade classroom and it seemed to work out well for us.  The first step in implementing a flipped classroom approach would be to decide which model you’re going to use.

Which content and which portion of your lesson are you going to flip?


It’s silly to think that you can flip your whole reading, math, science, or social studies lesson.  Especially in elementary school, each content area is full of different components.  Break it down and start with something small.  You can build from there and flip more components if it’s going well.

Here are some ideas to help you frame your thinking about which components of your elementary classroom you want to flip.  Remember, this is often direct instruction that is moved to video format.

Literacy

  • Introducing vocabulary words
  • Explicit phonics instruction
  • Read-aloud
  • Reading strategies
  • Explicit grammar instruction
  • Modeling a graphic organizer or written response

Math

  • Introducing vocabulary words
  • Introducing/modeling a strategy
  • Modeling an algorithm
  • Build background knowledge by connecting a prior concept

Science/Social Studies

  • Introducing vocabulary
  • Building background knowledge

Where will you get the videos you share with students?

There are two main approaches to take to this problem: find videos made by others or create your own videos.  I, personally, chose to do both when implementing my flip.  There are a ton of wonderful videos out there already made, why re-invent the wheel?

I also found, however, that there were some topics or strategies that were not already available.  For those, I made my own.  I actually really liked making my videos because I found that they were more engaging for my students (what elementary students don’t love seeing their teacher online?) and I was able to tailor my instruction for my students using specific texts and strategies we were using in class.

Below, I’ve listed some of the resources available for finding or creating your own videos.

Pre-made video repositories:

Programs to make your own videos:

Flip Your Elementary Classroom, Flipped Learning

How will you share the videos with students?

There are several ways to share videos with students.  I’ve used two different free platforms – Google sites and Google classroom – and I’ve found advantages and disadvantages to both.  I prefer Google classroom because it’s much easier to push things out to students and hold them accountable for assignments or quizzes.  A Google site is a great place to house videos as it doesn’t require a login, but it makes it harder to hold students accountable.  Although I haven’t tried sharing videos in this way, ClassDojo might be another option.

If your school or district pays for a learning management platform like Schoology, Blackboard, or another similar platform, this might be a great way to get content to students.

How will you assess your students and/or hold them accountable?

When I first started, this was a struggle for me.  You ultimately want a way to make sure that students are watching the videos and getting something out of it.  EdPuzzle has a built-in question feature that allows students to show understanding at points throughout the video chosen by you, the teacher.
In my classroom, I use Google forms/quizzes to give students a short quiz after they’ve watched the video.  I love the data that I glean from the Google form and, because most of our other online work is in the G-Suite of tools as well, it’s extremely intuitive for my students.
Though I haven’t personally used them, I’ve heard that PlayPosit, Vizia, and MoocNote are good ways to hold students accountable and assess in a flipped learning model.
Hopefully, this guide has provided you with a good place to start in creating a flipped classroom.  Have more questions?  Drop me a comment below and let me know!  I’d also love to hear if you know of other technologies that would be helpful for anyone implementing a flipped classroom!
Flip Your Elementary Classroom, Flipped Learning

 

sherylwoods

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  • Anonymous April 22, 2018 at 2:24 pm

    Thank you for sharing all these awesome resource to help with a flipped classroom!

  • Dena Orf April 22, 2018 at 2:44 pm

    What a great post! thank you for the tips!

  • Sheryl Woods April 23, 2018 at 11:22 am

    You are very welcome!

  • Sheryl Woods April 23, 2018 at 11:23 am

    Anytime! I hope you found them helpful!

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    Hi! My name is Sheryl and I am so thankful you've found your way to the TeacherLadyKY blog! I'm an elementary educator from Louisville, Kentucky who is passionate about building relationships and literacy skills with my students, as well as empowering teachers around me to be leaders and rockstars. I've taught everything from kindergarten to fifth grade and I can't wait to share my experiences with you! Enjoy! Read More

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    • I moved into my house in late June of 2012. As I was sitting on the porch, less than a week later, this black and white baby came running through my yard and up to me, eager for some loving. 
She was tiny for her breed - nearly 20 pounds underweight and basically a bag of bones. She was so dirty.  Kids from the neighborhood said they had no idea who she belonged to - she’d been running for a while now. I took her in the backyard and she became a part of our family almost immediately. 
It took her a while to trust us. She wouldn’t let us pick her up. She bolted out the door anytime it was open. Even to this day, she hated fireworks and thunderstorms, which gave her such anxiety that she’d pant, pace, and shake.  We had no idea how old she was,  but we knew she’d seen a lot in her years. She had been terribly abused and, with us, she found a new life of love. 
And she loved so deeply. After a while, she learned that there were plenty of pets, kisses, and treats to go around. She leaned into our sides when she wanted some attention. She begged for walks and car rides. The last seven years of her life were good - so good.  She loved us all, but her Grandpa Dennis Boyd especially. She made our family of puppies complete and we couldn’t imagine life before her. 
Our sweet Hallie Grace crossed the rainbow bridge this afternoon, joining our Annabelle. I will miss her, just like I deeply miss my Belle, but I take comfort in knowing that they are together. ❤️❤️❤️
    • A couple of months ago, I posted about how I’d be moving from fifth grade down to fourth. Well, things change!

This week I accepted an offer to serve as the Backpack Leader at Foster Heights Elementary in Nelson County. I am so thrilled for this position since it allows me to work with teachers and help them level up their skills, but also allows me to stay grounded in my first love: teaching. I will still be responsible for a group of students each day and focused on deep learning with them.

It is bittersweet leaving a school and a district that I love - but when I feel the need to jump, I jump.  I can’t wait to do amazing things with some amazing people in NCS! #npossible
    • A rare day in summer when my makeup is on and my hair is down.  I am absolutely loving these lazy, summer days, but I’m also excited about all of the professional learning that will be happening over the next two weeks.

I’ll admit - it’s hard for me to take a break. But when I do, I break HARD! Learning how to balance and make process, while still taking care of myself.

Enjoy your summer, teachers! You’ve deserve it!

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    • It’s true. You are only as good as the people with whom you surround yourself.
    • Anyone else read two books at once? I keep switching between the two of these. They both started out slower than I wanted, but are starting to pick up.

Brave, Not Perfect is about learning to combat your inner perfectionist and focusing on being brave instead.  It’s a powerful message that more people need to hear and take to heart, myself included.

Everything All At Once is the story of Lottie, whose very famous writer aunt recently passed away, leaving her with 24 letters that includes directions for accomplishing specific tasks. It’s starting to get really good!

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    • Ten years ago, I brought a little hound puppy home from the Kentucky Humane Society after begging my mom for YEARS for a dog. I knew Annabelle was ours the moment she bit my ear.

From there, Annabelle ruled the house. She sat co-pilot in the car. She was the absolute best snuggler. She loved wearing clothes. She could smile bigger than any dog I’ve ever met. 
She was also a mess and a half. She stole food from wherever she could get it. She was jealous - of other dogs, of Justin, of my new nieces. She plopped herself in my lap anytime she could to claim her territory, but when she was mad at me, refused to turn her face to look at me.

She was the leader of the pack, the first of four. 
Today we had to do the hardest thing I, personally, have ever had to do. Having a dog as an adult is way different than having a dog as a kid. My heart is broken into a million pieces. Mama loves you, Belly girl.
    • I took a trip to the library yesterday and gobbled this one up in a couple of hours. I picked it from the shelf on its name alone and it did not fail to disappoint. Audacious is a novel written in verse from the perspective of a girl who has a knack for pushing the boundaries in every way.

It was a beautiful reminder of the beauty - and the chaos - that comes from walking the unknown, just because you felt like it.

@gsprendergast 
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    • Summer reading book #2 is finished! This sweet book, the sequel to #therosieproject, failed to hold my attention as well as the first, but was still so perfect. Don is one of my absolute favorite characters, as cringeworthy as he is. I give #therosieeffect 4/5 stars!

Up next on my summer reading list is #bravenotperfect by @reshmasaujani.

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