Monday, February 17, 2020

Flipped Learning, Why you should do it

     Have you ever done whole class direct instruction with a presentation like Google slides or powerpoint?  Have you noticed that some students finish really fast with writing down the information from the slide while others take a lot longer.  It's hard to wait for every student to finish writing down the information before moving on because the ones that finished early are now trying to entertain themselves.  If you are lucky they are just drawing pictures on their notes.  However, sometimes they decide to see who can make a field goal with paper footballs or throw objects across the room to get the attention of another student.  By the end of the presentation some of the students are missing notes and most can't remember the other stuff you talked about while they were trying to write the information down.

       This was me about 10 years ago and I thought there had to be a better way.  Introducing the flipped classroom.  This is where students use video to learn the information at home and then in class they can focus more on practicing and applying the information.  I started using this teaching strategy six year ago and I haven't looked back.  Below are five reasons why I feel you should try out the flipped classroom method.

Reason #1: Individual Student Pace

        Students get to move at their own pace.   Those who write fast are not waiting and can quickly move through the video.  Those that take longer with processing disabilities or language barriers can move slower through the video and pause the video when needed.  Every student gets all of the information at their own personal speed.

Reason #2: Rewatch

        Unlike lectures that are a one time deal, students can watch the video over and over again as many times as they want.  I often suggest to my students to watch it again the night before the quiz. You could have them watch it a second time a few days later.  We all know the research that shows how many times a student needs to hear and interact with the material before it sticks.  Videos are an excellent way to help with that

Reason #3: Saves Time

        It will save you so much time later on.  Yes, it does take a little bit of time upfront to create or find a video and decide where you want to host it.  However, once that is done and figured out you can use the same video again and again every year.  Think about how much extra time you will have the following year just because you set it up this year and now it's done.

Reason #4: Increased Engagement

       Since the students are watching the videos at home and learning the basic information you now have more time in class to do the practicing.  This is also perfect for differentiating your class.  For me, the day after a flipped lesson I divide my students into two groups. I have them take a short assessment and those that demonstrate they have a basic understanding of the topic get to start applying the information and practice using it by doing an online or group activity.  For the students that demonstrated they need more support I am now able to give them the support they need in a small group where I can reteach or do extra practice.  Both groups are being met at their level of understanding and getting exactly what they need.

Reason #5: Student Strengths

       Students are already using social media to watch videos and learn information.  They use it for learning how to pass levels in their video games, for watching their favorite Youtube artist, for watching how to do a new dance, and many other things.  Why not work with those strengths.  Show the students that videos can also be useful to learn about the information in their classes.

        After every quarter of instruction I have my students fill out a feedback survey to help me improve my teaching and gain knowledge on what is working and what needs to be fixed or tweaked.  When asked which activity they enjoy the most, the flipped lessons rank first most of the time.   Most of my students wish that more of their teachers used this strategy.

For more information: Check out my Youtube video about it below with a special free offer at the end.

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