I had kind of been waiting during the Coetail course to get to grips with the idea of flipping the classroom. I was excited to learn more about it as I had heard mixed reports on its efficacy. The main question I wanted to answer from this week’s readings was could it work effectively in the elementary years when children might not have quite so much autonomy around screen time at home?
My first stop was this infographic (ever since course 3 I get a little over excited when I see infographics, sad I know). This was a good general overview but I got more out of watching the really informative videos on scoop.it which illustrated how flipping the classroom works and what it should look like.
My original idea of reverse instruction/flipped learning was you(the teacher) explain a concept or model a strategy eg for addition via video; kids watch at home and then can get straight into activities in class, maximizing in class learning time. How naive I felt after watching the above videos-its clearly ALOT more than that! I think the term ‘reverse instruction‘ made me think it was teacher input-student output type of thing.
But could that be a good place to start until students and the teacher get more used to flipping the learning? I still wasn’t sure if its was process that would work effectively with younger students and with time/resource constraints.
So I moved to have a look at gamification. I had heard a bit about this but as I am really not into computer games, it still feels a bit ‘beyond’ me at the moment. The furthest I have delved into it has been the Minecraft game during our school’s Hour of Code. So I had a look at other posts fellow Coetailers had posted on it to try figure out what exactly it meant to teach through gamification. I came across another great inforgraphic (of course) on Megali’s page which defined the differences between games, game-based learning (both of which I have done) and gamification. I am not sure if I am ready to take my first tentative steps into gamification just yet……so I went back to take another look at flipped learning.
Should I try flipping my classroom?
In Ramsey Musallam’s article Should You Flip Your Classroom he says,
‘Good teaching, regardless of discipline, should always limit passive transfer of knowledge in class, and promote learning environments built on the tenants of inquiry, collaboration and critical thinking.’
He advises the reader to,
‘ask yourself this question: Given my style, do I currently use class time to teach any low level, procedural, algorithmic concepts?’….If yes, begin by creating opportunities for students to obtain this information outside of the classroom.’
The answer is Yes, I do sometimes do this and I would love to reduce this so that the whole of each lesson could be devoted entirely to critical thinking and inquiry.
But where to start?
It seemed like a mammoth task so I fished around online and found some simple, specific instructions on how to get started with flipping my classroom from Jon Bergmann’s article Flipping the Elelmentary Classroom. Start small and build from there-flip one lesson! OK, I can do that…I think! Going on the advice in the article I could post a video to our class blog and checked that my students have watched by asking them to leave a comment.
One of my biggest concerns was what if my less enthusiastic students don’t watch the video and I end up have to teach it in class the next day anyway? The article suggests keeping the video as a centre in class for those that struggle with the concept and need it to be reinforced (and for those that don’t watch it at home). Another great idea!
So how can I adapt what I am teaching to include a trial flipped lesson? At the moment in Math we are working on more formal written strategies for addition. I have decided to create a video using Seesaw . I will post it to Kidblog and see what happens I guess! Aside from increasing the amount of inquiry time in class, I think parents will also benefit and appreciate this as they are often teaching the strategies they learned in school which can be counterproductive!
I look forward to giving this a go and seeing if I can flip further as I learn more about this.