Digital Project / EC 831

To Flip or Not to Flip?

I haven’t made a final decision for my major digital project yet, but I’m really leaning towards learning and experimenting with the flipped classroom.  Besides just having a fun name (head this way if you don’t know what the flip I am talking about), the flipped classroom appeals to me for a number of reasons.  One of them would be the diversity of my present group of Grade 6 students.  I am finding it a real challenge to meet the needs of my students, especially with my crew of 32 in Math.  I would like to set up one of my units using the flipped classroom model.  I think I would use it primarily with my most independent group of students, though I think it would be very useful for all students to use for review throughout the unit. I also think it would be interesting for parents to access, as many find it painful and frustrating to help their kids with the “new math”.  This would allow them to see the instruction their child is receiving.  I have only read a couple articles on the flipped classroom model, so it’s definitely new terrain for me, and I like that!

Do you have experience with the flipped model? Suggestions?  Useful resources?  Warnings? Thanks for the feedback!


10 thoughts on “To Flip or Not to Flip?

  1. Interesting concept. Thank you for the link. I have heard about flipping classrooms but I wasn’t sure what exactly it was. Good luck if this is what you decide to do. Explore +4 has helped me with teaching math. Think Daily 5 structure but just in math.

    • I did some reading on Explore +4 this weekend. I like it, and I wish I would have started the year using it with my kids since we use the Daily 5, anyway. But, most of what I do in Math is pretty similar, I just don’t use those terms. I wonder if LJ is working on some form of media to share exactly how it works, because when you search for Explore +4 you don’t find much info at the moment. It deserves a solid infographic. Hmmmm….:)

  2. What a great idea for a final project! I did a Flipped approach with my Grade 7/8 students in science. I gave them the lesson to look over at home with key points to bring to a group discussion in class the next day. We then did the experiments in class and all the questions in class. No more “I couldn’t do my homework because I didn’t understand.” The work was done in class and the “learning” was done at home. The students also commented that they can re-listen to the lessons to get a better grasp.

      • The first couple of times I had a few who didn’t do the lesson and they felt lost in class. So they sat out of the discussions we did and listened to the lesson while we discussed. They soon realized that it was easier to spend the 10 minutes reviewing the lesson the night before instead of being lost in the discussions and work the next and trying to play catch up.

  3. I’ve read a bit about flipped classrooms at the university level, and one of the common issues is that you’re relying a students to do work independently at home before class begins – if they don’t, the in-class portion can’t really happen. That said, I think there’s a lot of potential for incorporating blended learning into the classroom, in the form of posting extra resources, videos, class recordings, etc. for students to access outside of the classroom. You might want to look into using Edmodo as a platform for this – it’s a great K-12 online learning platform that makes it really easy to share resources with students.

    • Thanks for the feedback, Katia! I need to learn a bit more about the distinction between “blended learning” and the “flipped classroom”. At this point, it seems to me that the flipped classroom is a form of blended learning, but perhaps on the more ‘extreme’ side of the spectrum? Am I on the right track here? (I have taken quick peeks at Edmodo but never enough time, so I will head over there and check it out again, thanks!)

      • Yes, the flipped classroom is a form of blended learning, but while blended learning includes all sorts of online extensions and elements of the class, flipped classrooms refer specifically to students learning content on their own prior to class (it’s also called backwards classrooms, I believe). So it sounds to me from your description of your classroom that blended learning might be a better approach.

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