Give Flip A Chance

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about a concept called The Flipped Classroom.  It sounds like a great idea, students come to class with the background knowledge and basic understanding of the day’s lessons. They spend their class time in collaboration with other students or with the teacher working on problems.  FABULOUS!

As a teacher of 3rd grade that seems like an impossible feat given all the subjects we teach. At the same time it could be a great way to fit in more content with less time. I’ve been thinking about giving it a try for my upcoming year. I have more students this year and trying to get all of the curriculum covered with a wide variety of levels will be a challenge. The flipped classroom for a subject or two could be my answers…..with a few modifications.

So much of an elementary school teacher’s day is focused on math and ELA. That combined with specials outside of the room there is little time left for science, social studies, health, handwriting, environmental and character education. So here is my plan. We are going to give it a mini flip. What is a mini flip? Well, let me explain. Most of my students are from a low or no income home. They do not have the technology or internet in their home to make a true flipped classroom work. How can I expect them to access online material at home when they don’t have it? I can’t.  At school however, we do have the technology. We also have about 30 minutes when students are trickling in before the start of each day. Why not use this time in a more beneficial way? Currently my students do a journal write using the Write About it App and a morning starter. Then they are free to work on any work not completed or simply read. My thought is to use this time for “The Flip”

I’ve been using Schoology as a class delivery system for my Grad school class. I’ve really enjoyed it and decided to use that as the platform to try this. I’ve created a folder for each “lesson”. Students can come in the morning and pick up an iPad and get to work. They can read on line or in their actual book and take basic notes in an interactive notebook. Each lesson has an assignment that can be done electronically or by hand and submitted electronically. When it comes time for social studies class,( one of the three times a week for 20-30 minutes that I can actually fit it in) they will be prepared to collaborate with their classmates about the subject, rather than just starting out with reading the lesson. capture of schoology

We can get right to the “meat and potatoes” rather that starting out with the appetizer!

There are some kinks that will need to be worked out. I will have several students who are well below grade level, reading wise. My thought here is to use the website to create a screen cast of me reading the material and guiding them to highlighting the correct information. That way they can read and follow along with me. I will also create a screen cast using TouchCast, that will help them with the technology. Of course I will model all of this when introducing this method to the class, but I will also upload these videos as references.  Students will be given assignments along the way  including a Webquest (similar to this one)  I will make using Wiki Spaces to monitor group participation,  and a choice of creating a final project that they can work on, in a group or alone.

This will go along with the 10 Key Components ideas that students need  a voice , they need to be challenged on multiple levels of thinking, and that they should be given multiple pathways to encourage learning. It is my hope we can eventually try this with several subjects and even be able to do this with our math lessons allowing for more time for collaboration in the classroom.

I will add an additional post and link it to this to let you know my reflections on the successes and failures of this process.  As Sir Robinson said, “ If you’re not prepared to be wrong, you’re not prepared to be original. Failure is to be expected” I say, it’s what you do with those failure that make you more successful in the long run.  So off I go to Give Flip a Chance!



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