It's not a big flippin deal!

5 easy steps to start flipping your lessons today

#1 Flip your class without the homework

Videos don't necessarily have to be watched at home. On second thought, you don't have to always deliver content through videos!  Other suggestions are interactive websites, games, virtual museums/tours, simulators, student created content...the list goes on and on. Given resource constrains, I've found it's more effective for students (those without a school issued device) to watch/explore material in class. I typically use 3-4 videos to cover 6 weeks content and once lesson plans are submitted, I book all my lab/chrome cart days for the entire 6 weeks. This ensures you'll have a one-to-one device to student ratio on content days.

Next, you'll need to decide how students will demonstrate their knowledge and understanding after they view the content. This can be done in a number of ways, here's a few suggestions:

  1. Fill in the Blank/Q&A Handout
  2. Outlines
  3. 5 W's
  4. Assessment (schoology quiz, google forms)
  5. Questions within a tool (some creation tools allow you to add questions that student will answer as the watch the video.  See below)
  6. Activity: Experiment, Station Rotations, Game, Kahoot, Socrative, Answer Garden
  7. Application: apply information in a new way - illustration, student created game/experiment, project...

Video Resources

"Create Your Own" Tools

Why recreate the wheel?  (Ready Made Resources)

  • YouTube
  • Discovery Learning
  • TED
  • 25 best online resources for finding free educational videos
  • Online Textbooks (hopefully all core teachers will have access to one next year) The Pearson flipped videos/readings/interactive galleries are GREAT!  Garcia and I are using the demo site this 6 weeks.  Email one of us for links and password info.

#2. Decide how you're going to communicate

Not only does the flipped model benefit the student but it's also designed to make the teacher's life easier.  Communication is key and I've found it's best if students access the content/instructions/assignments/calendar/class dialog through your website or LMS (learning management system: schoology, edmodo, google classroom, discovery learning). This gives you a quick and easy way to share critical information with all your students.

Most of these tools will allow you to create classes and provide member codes to share with students for a quick and easy sign up. The real benefit is it also makes content accessible 24/7.  Your class is always available whether you or one of your students is away.

#3. Let projects do the work

I'll be honest, this took a little getting used to.  I was scared if I didn't personally deliver all material in the "traditional sense" (teacher assumes the position, begins lecture...) it wouldn't be implanted into the hormone saturated  grey matter, also know as the middle school brain!  Umm...lets face it, students no longer learn that way.  Did you know it's now standard for hospitals to issue newborns with a #2 iPad seconds after birth?!  Okay, we all know that's not true but what is true is that our students have been "plugged in" since early childhood.  If we're to reach this generation we MUST simulate the same constant interaction and stimulation, technological devices provide, in our classrooms.  So how do we do this?  Easy, toss out the handouts and start implementing projects!!!

That being said, it must be stated that to be effective, a project doesn't have to be an elaborate undertaking and it doesn't have to be 100% technology based.  Good projects (whether tech or paper based) have a variety of activities to complete, skills to exhibit/improved and goal to be reached.

Here's a simple example I recently used to teach the Galveston Hurricane of 1900.  

  • Prior to project I created a simple document with instructions/questions/presentation methods and posted it on schoology. Students watched a 3 minute video, split into groups and was assigned one question to research and answer. Groups created a 2 minute oral presentation.  The group teaching about the weather advisory delivered their info in the form of a weather report.  The group teaching about the building of the seawall had to create an architectural drawing and deliver their info as if they were the engineers in charge of its construction. Another had to create a business proposal and present their info as if they were Houston Oil men trying to persuade Galveston business owners to relocate to their city.  
  • It was easy to create/prep, 45 min max
  • Student Lead Learning
  • Bloom's in Action - applying, analyzing, creating: Students took their research to a whole different level without my direction: created props, "real world" charts/graph displays, organized scripts and business proposals, the list goes on and on and most were created by hand.
  • Validation - Not only was the use of projects validated by improved test scores, each 6 weeks, but it was also visible in other areas too.  My students completed a writing sample this week and many chose to write about the hurricane.  Their passages included statistics, dates, names of important locations and people, comparisons, and reactions.  It will certainly make you feel good, as a teacher, to read something and realize, "Hey, I guess they're listening after all!"

Here's some resources for ready made projects

  1. Teachers Pay Teachers
  2. Livebinders
  3. Pinterest
  4. Buck Institute for Education
  5. A better list of ideas for project-based learning
  6. The PBL Super Highway…Over 45 Links To Great Project Based Learning

#4. Set yourself up for success

Here's some recommendations on how to manage the use of technology responsibly

  1. Students like to use technology in the classroom.  It's your job to set the guidelines and it's their job to follow them and ensure technology stays in the classroom:  to prevent misuse don't allow student to (1) stream youtube or any other music/video streaming site that isn't assignment related. It really SLOWS the network down. (2) conduct unsupervised searches.  I use the Google Custom Search Engine Creator to compile a list of previewed sites students can use in their research.  It will provide you with an embed code you can add to your classroom site or a link to share on your LMS.
  1. We all know technology shouldn't be used to babysit students or fill time so create a page on your website that students can visit once they've completed their work. Here's an example of what I provide my students.  You can include sites  that reinforce subject content and/or academic enrichment.
  2. Embed videos on your website when possible so you're not streaming content all the time.  Here's an embed code generator you can use for your website.  You can also download videos to your computer if you plan to use them in all your classes, say for a warm-up or introducing an assignment.
  3. Identify a tech rep(s) for each class.  These are your super savvy tech users that can help you and fellow students when you're trying something new.  I rotate mine each 6 weeks.  They're also a big help to substitutes.

Don't get overwhelmed...

  1. Don't try to learn 100 apps/programs/tools at one time.  Pick 1 or 2 to use for a 6 weeks and then pick a few others the next time.  Students are bored easily anyway so this keeps things fresh.
  2. I'd recommend setting up a google sheet where you can organize all the tools you find and learn about.  Column titles can include:  Application Name, Link, Description, Usernames/Passwords ( I know, I know...I shouldn't do this but there's too many to keep track of and I think I do a pretty good job of hiding it)
  3. I'd recommend asking students to bring their own ear buds/headphones and a flash drive (at least 4 GB) to save online content on.

#5. Get a flippin toolbox

This section is under construction!  I'm still working on my flipped resource site but check back after spring break:

In the meantime here'a a link to a symbaloo Mrs. Garcia created for our Web 2.0 presentation we presented a couple of weeks ago:  Engaging Web 2.0 Tools

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