What do you think? Is this the true nature of a flipped classroom? Is this good pedagogy? Write about your thoughts on this approach to teaching and learning. How can this approach be implemented effectively in your classroom?
Friends. And those who do not know me… the flipped out classroom is something special. If you don’t know what a “flipped classroom” is you have missed out on something pretty special. I am going to do my best to explain my interpretations of what a flipped classroom is but if I fail I will provide some resources that are professionally done that shed some light. Okay the flipped classroom is essentially doing everything that traditional classrooms do… but backwards. Lecturing and teaching happens at home as if it were homework while the homework, activities and practice happen in the classroom. The teacher is available as a resource to almost tutor students during instruction time instead of lecturing and trying to cram in activities. The motivation behind a flipped classroom is that the student is more at the center. The teaching takes place outside of the classroom therefore inside the classroom the student is able to be the focal point. Okay. If you’re confused… check this out.
I think flipping the classroom could be incredibly difficult to pull off if you happen to be teaching in an area where students access to the internet is minimal. If this is not the case why would you as a teacher not attempt to pull this off? I also think there is something truth to varying what is done in the class. Meaning, maybe use a flipped classroom two-three times a week instead of every day. I think that there is extreme value in being able to give your entire day to students needs but it could also be very effective to lecture in front of them and field questions based on what you’re saying.
When the students get to your classroom giving them a pretest is an excellent idea to figure out what needs to be done. It will keep you as the teacher from running around all period long trying to assess where students are. A pretest will also give you an idea of what kinds of activities to give the students and how to differentiate lesson plans for your students. A flipped classroom is definitely good pedagogy. It creates an environment that allows the teacher to just guide. Students come into the classroom already knowing or being informed.
Implementing this successfully into a classroom is where the challenge in my opinion lies. After you’ve gotten over the adjustment of something new and working hard to create different lesson plans and activities, getting students on board and running with this flipped classroom is the task. Communication would be the number biggest thing in my opinion. Letting students know what is going to happen and really reaching out to parents. If students do not watch the videos or tutorials before coming to class, then it is going to be a difficult day of learning for them. Having support at home with parents who are going to invest in your students. The students will need a clear vision for the direction of this classroom. They may also need access to your home/cell phone if difficulties arise. This involves risk but if you believe in a student-centered classroom then you will take these risks. Creating a newsletter for parents and a website seminar for parents to walk through and understand will be a huge benefit to you as the teacher in the long run.
If I teach at a school that I can ensure all my students have internet access, I will absolutely use the flipped classroom. I heard a quote this weekend at a conference that said, “high expectations, creates low impact. Low expectations, creates high impact.” Keep your students guessing. Change it up. Give them something different and a flipped classroom could just be the thing that brings HIGH impact!