Listen to Ms. Thompson read this post on Podomatic!
I don't remember exactly when I joined the Flip Share group on Edmodo, but active membership has definitely made a tremendous impact on my teaching. Countless educator experiences with "flipping the classroom" are exchanged, through links to blog posts and resources, on the Flip Share group page.
Flip teaching can be defined as: providing students the lecture, resources, and some practice prior to a lesson, thereby freeing more class time for guided practice and student-teacher conferencing. More and more teachers, of all subject areas, are recording their lectures on video for students to view independently. This strategy allows each student to learn at his or her own pace, by pausing, fast-forwarding, and rewinding the lecture as needed. During the third marking period of the 2011-2012 school year, I began experimenting with the flip teaching strategy.
My approach has been to pair lesson preview homework assignments with several video tutorials. Due to our brief schedule, and the fact that technology class is not a core subject, I cannot burden students with too much homework. Therefore, I designate class time for students to work through the tutorials. Students who need more time and/or assistance may come during the second half of my prep period and after school. Through this strategy, my students are empowered and engaged.
I first learned the value of flip teaching through what my students would call an "epic fail". As part of the 3D CAD project, seventh graders must compile budgets using spreadsheet software. Through direct instruction, I succeeded only in boring and frustrating my students. By the end of the lessons, most did not perceive the advantages of using a spreadsheet over using a calculator. In fact, through anonymous course evaluations, my second marking period students communicated feelings that using a spreadsheet to calculate a budget seemed to be a big waste of time. I knew I must work to improve my lesson delivery.
I started by conducting research on the history of spreadsheets. Who invented it and for what purpose? I found the perfect video segments to engage my students. After completing two homework assignments, which entailed watching and answering related questions, my students were fascinated, motivated, and ready to get started on their Google Spreadsheets! View my epiphanic flipped lesson on TED-Ed (feel free to flip it!) and one of my tutorials on Sophia.org, by clicking the thumbnail links to the left.
Not all of my homework assignments require watching video segments and answering questions. Usually, all I ask of students is that they preview the next lesson, including all of its resources, and briefly explain--in their own words--what we will accomplish. I find that this small task, of carefully preparing for the next lesson, greatly reduces the amount of time must I spend as "sage on the stage". Students who complete the homework are able to begin working right away and can even help classmates as I circulate the room to offer one-on-one assistance and conferencing--"guiding on the side".
What did not work?
-Lecturing and modeling on the projector as a class with a vast range of student technology levels attempted to follow along.
What did work?
-Guiding student volunteers in operating the projector during direct instruction, so that I could circulate the room and offer assistance to those in need.
-Assigning lesson preview homework and video tutorials.
What is not working?
-In some cases, students needing the most support do not complete homework nor do they come during my prep or after school.
What is working?
-Giving students feedback on the homework assignments submitted via Edmodo. I find that explaining how to conduct a more detailed lesson preview and sharing examples of appropriate responses help my students to become more skilled at preparing for lessons.
I plan to continuously work on developing my assignment directions and feedback by identifying students' areas of confusion and disengagement. One step I will take this marking period is to add questions about homework completion and extra support to the anonymous course evaluation. I want to learn students' reasons for either completing or failing to complete technology homework and their reasons for either attending or not attending the daily support sessions offered.
Thank you for reading!
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This blog, "The Perfect Course", is to document my efforts in refining the various courses I teach.
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