Flip the classroom! (Huh?)
“Flip the classroom.” So many new terms!! When I first came across this term, I went straight to Wikipedia.
You’re probably already familiar with the idea of the flipped classroom. If you’ve ever assigned a new topic, chapter, or book to study at home, and then had your students come to class prepared to assess, critique, and expand upon it, you’ve flipped your classroom. It’s about reversing the learning process. Let students discover and explore a topic on their own first, at home or in the classroom, and then open it up for analysis (traditional homework) under your guidance.
These days, you can also have students watch:
- lectures (which you can make yourself),
- TED talks,
- video presentations made by professionals, amateurs, or students,
- news and analysis,
as well as read texts, with the intention of letting the students discuss and evaluate what they’ve watched and read. In this way they independently build a knowledge-base, while you take on the role of coach, guiding, challenging, and assessing their learning. One of the great virtues of this way of teaching is that students can go back and re-watch the material, skipping what they know, and concentrating on areas they find difficult or that challenge their existing knowledge.
From the “Clintondale High School” section of the Wikipedia article, “Flipped Classroom”:
Teachers found that shorter videos (3–6 minutes) were the most effective. The school uses audio files, readings and videos from the Khan Academy, TED, and other sources. Students favored the changes. Students unable to watch the videos at home watch the videos in school.
The whole Wikipedia article is excellent. This section will inspire you.
Here are some flipped classroom examples that you can use and customize:
Math teachers: prepare your own short videos carefully describing a concept and how to solve problems using the concept/method. Upload them to your school web page or your youtube or vimeo account. Have students watch them on their own at home, or in class (with earphones). Develop a set of problems of increasing difficulty to solve in class, and let students work (perhaps in teams of 2-3) to solve them, while you move around the classroom addressing whatever difficulties students are having at whatever stage they are at.
Science teachers: Go to your local natural history museum and develop a research project for your students, based on relevant exhibits. Then take a class field trip to the museum, or have students independently go to the museum with your project outline in hand. They should collect photographic and audio/video evidence at the museum. (If you’re coming to DC, I can help you develop a relevant, fun project to work on here.) In class, have students work in small teams to prepare their projects, using the evidence they collected, plus evidence from other sources. You move from group to group, coaching and advising. Have each group present their project to the class, requiring each student to explain his/her role in creating the project.
Literature and history teachers: have your students read a short story or unit of history at home or in class on their own. Divide students into groups of 2-3 so that you have 9 groups. Also divide the story or unit into 3 periods (opening, development, conclusion). Assign 3 groups to each of the 3 story/history periods. All the groups must prepare a presentation, discussing events, themes, important people, and impacts on events forward and/or back in time (eg, how does Hamlet’s meeting with the ghost affect his thinking throughout the play? Or, what is the impact of the emancipation proclamation on the rest of the Civil War?). Presentations should include visual aids including historically appropriate photos, paintings, engravings, etc, relevant to their period. Groups will compete for the best presentations (secret ballots). Wrap up the presentations with students writing an essay on why this story/historical period remains important.
Rich sites; provocative articles:
For more on the flipped classroom: start with the footnotes in the Wikipedia article. I especially liked this one:
A Beginner’s Guide To Personalized Learning:
Four Stages Of A Self-Directed Learning Model:
Responding to cyberhate:
includes links for a cyberhate-response curriculum, grades 9-12.
I welcome connections with you through LinkedIn and Google+. For LinkedIn you can click the button below. Or for both LinkedIn and Google+, go to your home page, and in the search box at the top of the page, type in my name, Stephen Berer.
Wishing you a great winter break.