Each year, I make it a point to try something totally new and challenging in my classroom. Last year, my new activity was the flipped classroom. It was exciting; I was the only teacher in the district that tried this new approach to teaching. It was very well received by the students! I was fortunate in the fact that my school has a mobile laptop cart that very few teachers use, so I had access to it in my classroom for an extended period of time. This made much of the logistics simpler; any student who did not or could not view the video at home could come to my room at lunch or study hall time to view the video. Very few of the students had to make use of this; even the students who consistently avoided homework took the time to watch the lecture video at home. For a sampling of some of the videos that I produced last year, visit my wikispace cvjeremko.wikispaces.com and click on the link for “Team 7B math has flipped!”.
The students were given a note taking guide so that they took notes as they watched the video. This was how I determined whether they had done the homework. Upon entering class, I had three stations set up, depending on the self assessment of the students.
1) Those who had fully grasped the lesson were given problems to do to practice the concepts and skills that were introduced in the video. They were then assigned to either create a presentation of the concept ( in the form of paper slide video, or other media ideas), or were given advanced sponge type activities on the topic
2) Those who needed some assistance or much assistance worked with me. I gave assistance and provided clarification for those who needed minimal help. These students then went on to work on problems to practice the concepts and skills.
3) Those who needed extensive help had more of my attention to assist them in grasping the concepts.
There were numerous benefits afforded by implementing the flipped classroom, as well as challenges, of which I will outline both below. Please understand that I will start with the challenges, but the benefits far outweighed those!
Inevitably, creating and storing the videos took a substantial amount of time on my part, not to mention planning for differentiated activities to take place the next day in class.
Uploading the videos took a substantial amount of time on my home computer. My cable company explained to me that they reserve most of their band width to downloads, and rightly so. Many more people are downloading and streaming video, rather than uploading.
There were some technical challenges with the lighting, sound and execution of the videos.
Things did not always go as smoothly as I had planned in the differentiated classroom. The first time we had flipped the classroom, things were a bit chaotic in class the next day. I think of it as growing pains and opportunities for growth. There really was not a multitude of resources available to me. Day after day, these resources are growing, as many more teachers are realizing the benefits of the flip. I learned from my early experiences, and, just like every other aspect of the art of teaching, I will improve with experience.
Yet, even with these challenges, the benefits were tremendous: Please see my other post on the flipped classroom
How do you implement the details of flipping the classroom? I would love to hear from you!