As we begin as educators to tackle the question of internet access to all, I see the flipped classroom as a major topic that will surface as a result.  I participated in a webinar where the speakers discussed the concept and I see this as an approach that can truly be useful to teachers and engaging to students.  The students view the lecture as homework so that class time can be used for meaningful enrichment, intervention, or guided practice with the instructor available to provide guidance. The present constraints of internet access to all could be overcome by laptops in the classroom, flash drives and laptops available for checkout, or a scheduled period in the schedule for students to visit the computer labs in the building. Flipped classrooms would give classroom teachers a real opportunity to implement differentiated instruction and make growth for student achievement a true reality for all.  This approach would make teaching more enjoyable for the teachers while benefiting the students in the classroom.  We know that learning can, and will, only take place if students are engaged.  Not only would a flipped classroom environment engage the learners, but this pedagogical strategy would streamline vital instruction and make project-based learning become a reality. It would also provide a format for students with long-term absences a method to catch up and not miss any of the vital learning. As teachers prepare to convert to Common Core I see an opportunity for them to begin implementing this strategy by videoing some of their lectures to cover the new S.L.E.s associated with Common Core.  While this will require work on the front end, it should allow for a more enjoyable classroom experience for all.  Teachers could also divide vital instruction with team members so that a sizable video cache is available rather quickly to all students in that specific course.  This could lead to videos of "best practices" developed by teams which would be beneficial not only to the students, but would allow the teachers to add to their professional repitoire as well. Teachers, or teams of teachers, could video at a rate they feel comfortable with and add to their video cache as they move through the new standards.  The possibilities this initiative could provide are limited only by the imagination of those implementing it.

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Hi John,

You have done an excellent job of capturing the essence of flipped classrooms and I completely agree with you about the value of this approach! I have been saving and sharing lots of resources, both about flipped classrooms and screencasting (since screencasting is an important thing to know about if you want to try a flipped classroom approach). You can view it here. I am continuously updating it as I discover new blog posts, articles and resources on those topics.

One of the educators I connect with in Edmodo (Tim Childers) has actually started a group for people who may want to come into the approach more slowly and he calls it "Somersaulting in the Classroom." (because it's easier to do a somersault than a flip :-) Edmodo is a free site and once you have registered to can join/create groups there. This is the group code you need to join the Somersaulting group. p65nmy

Thank you Peggy.  I think the somersault concept is a great tangent because it is important that educators proceed at a rate with which they are comfortable.  This is a timely discussion for many states as teachers prepare to align their curriculum with the new Common Core standards.

I'll confess, I've been hesitant about the idea of flipping classrooms from the beginning. It seems to me that it's still lecture-centric with all the concerns related to that form of teacher-centered instruction. I ran across this blog post this morning (Why I Gave Up Flipped Instruction). The author articulates many of my concerns about flipping, but I'm having a little trouble wrapping my head around the alternatives she describes.


What are your thoughts about flipping and also about the alternatives proposed in this blog post? Have you tried flipping instruction in your classroom? What was the result?


I'd really like to hear from TICAL members on this issue. If your teachers are flipping, why? If not, why not?

Peggy, I love the term somersaulting classroom. I would describe that as what I have done with a few lessons for my 4th graders. I'm going right now to join that Edmodo group! I certainly haven't totally flipped. Susan, where I have found the practice very helpful is with procedural tasks, such as how to properly answer an extended response question. Last year I found I was giving this lesson over and over because some of the students needed it repeated every time they had to write something. This year the 4th graders are piloting a 1:1 iPad program. I created a screencast for how to answer a question. Every so often, at the beginning of the year, I would assign it as homework before the kiddos were writing. In class, I was surprised to see that they would start the video, pause it, start their writing, watch the next section of the video, write the next section, etc. I have also had parents comment on how helpful it was for them to know exactly what was expected if they were helping their child at home.

I have other videos, such as how to write a hook, ideas for offering supporting proof, etc. that the students watch as needed. (Some never get to the point of needing the Adding Transitions video because they just aren't ready.) I can direct the students to the videos that will help them in their specific area of need, just when they need it.

What we are working on right now is where each small group has a literary term that they will teach to the class. They have to research the definition, create the layout for an informational page for our English notebook, create or find supporting media, and then teach the lesson to the class. My math co-teacher has had the students create instructional videos for different math algorithms, all of which get posted in their Google Site, and so are available as needed for their classmates. This has been very engaging for the students and a great resource for those who need review.

Since this is my first year with this and I am often flying by the seat of my pants, I welcome what others have to say about flipping their classrooms. What have you found successful? What are the pitfalls I should try to avoid? Do you have videos to share?


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