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

Friday, April 20, 2018

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.

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.

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



4 comments:

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

    ReplyDelete
  2. What a great post! thank you for the tips!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anytime! I hope you found them helpful!

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