August is National Back to School Month. What better way to start the new school year than to flip things on their head. The flipped classroom isn't a new idea. It's a trend that's been going around for a few years now. Some have taken the leap, while others have stayed true to the traditional classroom format. Here, we break down what is a flipped classroom, why it's beneficial, and how to do it.
What's it all about?
A flipped classroom is the concept where students are introduced to the lesson at home. Then, they practice working through this content at school. How can this be done? While at home, students utilize technology to work independently through a lesson. While at school, students have a chance for one-on-one interaction with their teacher to complete the "homework" assignment. This allows for students to be more prepared with questions and background knowledge of the lesson. Students get the help they need while also developing independent study skills. By allowing students to target what they need help with, the learning process becomes more streamlined. Teachers are able to narrow down what the students aren't understanding, and students are more engaged and able to progress at their own pace.
How to make the leap?
So how does one make the leap to a flipped classroom? The answer is a lot of prep work. Teachers can pre-record their lessons and post them online for students to access at home. Alternatively, teachers could create PowerPoint presentations along with audio recordings for students to move through at their own pace. Be sure to encourage students to take notes and list potential questions they may have for the next day in the classroom. Once students return to the classroom, they can then ask targeted questions about things they need clarification on. During this time, teachers would assign the "homework" assignments for students to complete in class. This allows them to ask any necessary questions in order to complete the worksheets.
A Beginner's Guide
Where do you go from here? If you're interested in giving the flipped classroom a try, start with these steps:
1. The topic. What is the topic that will be the focus of your next lesson? Put together all the material you want to use in your lesson plan.
2. The content. How will you present this material to your students? Will you record your own videos? Will you use pre-recorded videos you find online, like YouTube? How will you share graphics and images? Make sure whatever you choose, the content is presented in a captivating way. Remember, your students will be reviewing these lessons on their own, so you want to make sure they are engaged.
3. The technology. Decide on what kind of technology you will be utilizing. Will you be posting your content online? Make sure students have access to the Internet at home. Will it be available to the public? You can create a private virtual classroom that only your students have access to. There are some apps that allow you to create lessons within a program, and even lets you track your students progress as they move through the lesson.
4. The testing. Consider adding comprehension questions throughout the lesson. Sure the bulk of the worksheets and projects will be done in the classroom the following day, but it may be a good idea to add small questions sprinkled throughout your lesson. This will break up the monotony of a lecture, as well as test student comprehension and help them determine what they need further clarification on.
5. The application. It's now the next day and all your students are in the classroom. Now's when you find out what your students didn't understand from the lesson and what they need help on. One-on-one time can be given to each student. Group activities, projects and worksheets can be completed during this time. Consider leaving time at the beginning of class to survey the at-home process with your students. Find out what worked and what didn't so you can streamline the process for the next lesson.
Take a look at this article from Edpuzzle.com for more information to help you start flipping your classroom.
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