Wednesday, August 14, 2013

How it all began

So, why did I embrace this flipped learning mindset? I was able to reflect on this at the beginning of last school year. I was able to participate in Washington state's Professional Growth Plan (PGP) pilot program. Its really a great model for professional growth, you reflect on an area you would like to grow in as a teacher and make a plan to focus on researching and implementing those ideas. You reflect on your progress mid-year and at the end of the year. The process earned me 30 clock hours! Best of all, it was a great way for me to reflect on my flipped journey. I'll include some excerpts below.

In my own evaluation of my classroom, I am frustrated that students have become too dependent on teacher-directed knowledge and instruction. Students lack initiative for learning and do not articulate their knowledge and learning enough. I want students to become more independent learners. I believe the flipped classroom model should be integrated into my classroom to solve this problem. The pillars of the flipped classroom is to make the best use of face-to-face class time, higher-order thinking skills in the classroom & lower-order at home, and a classroom that is student-centered where the students are the most active in the classroom.

High School students are digital natives. They seem to be more engaged with information when they are receiving it through media. Moving direct instruction to an at-home internet task will make available more time for higher-level thinking, creating and engagement in the classroom in a collaborative way. As our school moves to a Bring-Your-Own-Device policy, I will need to learn ways to allow kids to create and present their learning with technology.

As you can see, I started with Flipped 101. I recorded lectures that would normally by given in the classroom and I put them online. We started by watching videos together, in class with questions to answer. I modeled how students needed to read the questions ahead of time, pause the video, and rewind as necessary. I spoke about how we really didn't need to do this together in the classroom, that it would be best for them to do on their own time and at their own pace. Then I started assigning video lectures at home, usually once or twice per chapter. Often, this would be accompanied by an online quiz. At first it was from a Google Form and then it was on Edmodo. Looking back, and after reading Fair Isn't Always Equal: Assessing & Grading in the Differentiated Classroom by Rick Wormeli, I wish I would not have graded those quizzes. Rather taking notes, summarizing, and/or submitting their own questions about the topic would have been more appropriate. At the very least the quiz should not have been graded, but used by me to understand what I needed to clarify.

Flipped 101 did allow me to do many of the things I had always wanted to do in my classroom, debates, simulations, and primary source analysis. Not that those things did not take place in my classroom before, but they happened less frequently because I had to spend lecturing time for background information. So, Flipped 101 was successful for me, but over time I moved away from that model. Now as I re-vamp my Western Civilization course, I am not planning to have any videos, or at least very few. For the most part, I plan to record mini-videos on the fly when I see a common misconception or problem out of several students.

That is where my flipped learning journey began. Come back and visit later when I post my mid-year reflection as to how it was all going.

1 comment:

  1. Typical scene in any school: the teacher walks in, students await the first words from the teacher. I realized I barely knew my students because I was talking so much. I have not "flipped" in the way you describe w videos at home, but I have learned that flipping can happen in the class, too, if I simply let the students take the lead and initiate things.