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.
My hope with this post is that you learn something you can take into your classroom tomorrow to help with a flipped classroom model.
Let’s start with the basics. Which model will you use?
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.
- Introducing vocabulary words
- Explicit phonics instruction
- Reading strategies
- Explicit grammar instruction
- Modeling a graphic organizer or written response
- Introducing vocabulary words
- Introducing/modeling a strategy
- Modeling an algorithm
- Build background knowledge by connecting a prior concept
- Introducing vocabulary
- Building background knowledge
Where will you get the videos you share with students?
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: