My plan (so I have from now until August 22nd to figure it all out!!) is to do a few different activities the first day (different from what I've ever done before), and introduce the three "pillars" of the flipped classroom to my students before they go home. Then, on the first night for homework, students will watch this 10 minute video, take guided notes (still have to make that up), and write down as many questions, comments, or concerns that they have. Using the advice of someone wise on Twitter (sorry I can't remember who!!), I want to make this a CONVERSATION with the students where they feel ownership and feel they are a part of it - not just some directive I'm handing down to them. I want them to buy in to what we are doing.
...by the way, the three "pillars" are...
- Three key "pillars":
- students managing their own learning,
- making the best use of our face-to-face time, and
- using higher order thinking to drive our class activities.
Throughout the first week or so of school, we will take time to have discussions, ask and answer questions, and just clarify anything about the flipped classroom that needs to be brought up. I'm not sure how this will look yet (whole class, small group, partners, etc), but I'll figure something out.
With no further ado, here is the video...
Before I made this video, I typed up a script... me reading through the script was 8-10 minutes (I tested it 3 times, with small edits and changes each time). Then I realized... why am I talking about everything being student centered and there are no students in this video?!?! So, I chose some key portions of the script to actually say, and let my students do the rest of the talking with interviews I had done with them earlier in the year.
Here is the script of what I actually ended up saying, for those of you who like to "see" it:
HI everyone! This is Mrs. Kirch, and I am very excited to work with you this year as we delve into another year of math. This year, you will be experiencing a new way of teaching and learning called the Flipped Classroom. This video will talk about what a flipped classroom is, what you can expect this year, and why we are making the change.
Let’s start off with “What is a Flipped Classroom”? I’d like you to hear from my students last year a little bit about the flipped classroom.
The flipped classroom is a place that is completely student centered and focused on your needs rather than on me...but what does that mean, exactly? How is the flipped classroom different than what you are used to?
In a flipped classroom, I am not up in the front of the classroom giving a lesson every day, because you watch the lesson before you come to class on your computer, tv, or mobile device. A 45 minute in-class lesson is whittled down to an 8-15 minute video lesson, so you save a lot of time and are able to learn at your own pace, whether that be faster or slower than your peers. You are completely in charge of your own learning and the speed at which you receive the information.
When you come to class, you are ready to discuss the material, ask and answer questions, solve problems, and apply your learning in a variety of different ways. I’m able to walk around the entire period and help you either individually or in small groups, clarifying misconceptions and asking you questions to make you think deeper about what you are learning. It’s a much better use of time - and the best part is that you have a ton of help around you if you need it! My role has flipped from spoon-feeding you the content on a daily basis to providing you with all the resources and support you need to master this math class - it is now your responsibility to learn it!
And that is exactly what the flipped classroom is - flipping the responsibility for learning and focus of the classroom time from the teacher to the student.. In a traditional class, students are very passive and expecting the teacher to tell them exactly what they need to do, when they need to do it, and how they need to do it. The teacher is generally in full control of everything that goes on.
In the flipped classroom, the responsibility for learning is flipped to the student instead of the teacher. While I will still be providing all the resources you need in order to learn, it will be done in an individualized way and in a way that allows you to be active learners both in and out of class. These resources might be videos, websites, or other sources that I find helpful, and you will even learn to find resources on your own! Because you have all the information you need in terms of the lesson, you are able to learn the material at your own pace, in your own time, in your own place, rather than during the 54 minute class period. The flipped classroom enables you to take full responsibility for your learning and for class time to be focus on your individual and unique needs. And now, I have the time to focus on YOU and help YOU in the way that YOU need it. That’s what the flipped classroom is all about - focusing on the student and helping the student to succeed in the best possible way. You are the one that matters the most in our flipped classroom!
Some of you may be thinking, “This sounds awesome! Let’s get started!” Others of you may be wondering why we are making this change? You’re thinking, “Isn’t what we’ve done the last 100 years good enough?” I don’t know about you, but I’m not okay with being “good enough” - I want to be great! Because of the flip that will be happening, we are now able to make the best use of our time together, help you learn how to manage your own learning, and challenge ourselves in ways we weren’t able to in a traditional classroom. We can no longer settle with just getting by, playing school, and passing tests- surface level learning that is spoonfed to you is just not enough anymore.. I do know that any change is difficult, and it will be rough for you at first as you transition to the expectations of a Flipped Classroom.. But, I will be here every step of the way to support you and help you as you make this transition. I know that even though it will be hard at first to get used to this new style of learning, you will be grateful for it in the end because you will have learned math much better and deeper than you ever have before. The most important thing is to start off with a positive attitude towards the change and be open to learning in a new way.
To summarize, My ultimate goal is to help you learn. I have found that teaching for 45 minutes and then having you go home to try problems on your own for 30-45 minutes was not the most effective use of my time with you. So, we are flipping things around. You get the lesson at home, take some time to process it, and try a few examples on your own to test your knowledge. Then, in class, we can spend then entire period working together, asking and answering questions, solving problems, working in small groups and one-on-one, applying our knowledge, and helping you to learn, understand, and succeed. I think that sounds awesome!
Wow, this was a lot! At the end of this video, I would like you to write down all of the questions, comments, and concerns you have regarding the flipped classroom. We will be spending time in class over the next week discussing what you write down, and this will help us work together as we make this transition and make sure that everyone will succeed.
Here is some stuff I typed up, but didn't end up using. I figured I'd post it, since I wrote it, and it might spur some thoughts for you! Originally, all these thoughts were interspersed with what I actually chose to say (above)
Sound interesting? Let’s talk a little bit more about what you can expect in a Flipped Classroom and how is it different from what you are used to. There are two “flips” happening in the flipped classroom. The first is a physical flip, and the second is a mental flip.
- Graphic: traditional - 5 minute intro, 30-40 minute whole-class lesson, 10-15 minutes for individual or partner practice, 30 minutes at home individual practice
- Let’s start off by talking about the physical flip. In a traditional class, I would spend about 45 minutes of the class time up front explaining the lesson, working out examples, and answering questions as a whole class. Some students would be bold enough to raise their hand to ask a question while others would sit there quietly, not understanding but not wanting to be embarrased in front of the whole class. Still others would be bored because they understood the material quicker than their classmates
- Sometimes there would be time at the end for you to do some practice on your own before the bell would ring, but sometimes not. Then, you would go home and try the homework problems on your own. Hopefully, you would remember what you learned in class and be able to do it. If not, you either stared at it for a really long time, wrote some stuff down to make it look like you did it, or copied from a friend the next day. Either way, the practice was probably not very helpful or meaningful to your learning.
- Graphic: flipped - 5 minute intro, 10 minute WSQ discussions, 40 minute individual/partner practice, small group teaching, applications, creation, etc, 30 minutes at home completing WSQ for next day
- The idea of homework and classwork is going to be physically flipped around.
- In a flipped class, that 45 minute in-class lesson is whittled down to an 8-15 minute video lesson that you watch at home before you come to class. You take notes, pausing and rewind when needed. If you need to re-watch the whole video all over again, you can. If you understand the material and want to watch it at double-speed, you can. The important thing is that you are in charge of your learning and the speed at which you receive the information. There is no pressure from me or the people around you. There is even an online study group you can participate in via ThinkBinder to ask questions and share ideas with your classmates and possibly Mrs. Kirch that night.
- After watching the video, you complete a reflection piece called a WSQ and come to class ready to discuss and ask questions. Everyone comes to class with the same notes and received the same lesson, and it didn’t take nearly as long as it would have in a traditional class! In fact, the average student from last year says that they usually double the length of the video as a guide for how long their homework will take that night, so it’s very easy to plan ahead. Once class begins, we are able to get right to work - discussing, asking or answering questions, working on problems, and clarifying anything that wasn’t clear from the previous night.
- You are not expected to master the content after just watching a video, although if you do, that is great! Generally, that’s what class time is for! Learning the concepts is done outside of class time so that class time can be focused on YOU and YOUR NEEDS rather than on me: actually working on problems where there is help if you get stuck, asking questions to clarify misconceptions, discussing material with your classmates and teacher, and applying what you’ve learned in a variety of different ways. I am active and moving around the whole class, there to help you with whatever you need help on. You no longer have to sit there and listen to me teach during class, because you have already been given the lesson and are ready to dive right in to practicing and applying it. It’s a much better use of time - and you have a ton of help around you if you need it!
- My role has flipped from spoon-feeding you the content on a daily basis to providing you with all the resources and support you need to master this math class - it is now your responsibility to learn it!
- And that is exactly what the “mental flip” is - the responsibility for learning and focus of the classroom time. In a traditional class, students are very passive and expecting the teacher to tell them exactly what they need to do, when they need to do it, and how they need to do it. The teacher is generally in full control of everything that goes on.
- In the flipped classroom, the responsibility for learning is flipped to the student instead of the teacher. While I will still be providing all the resources you need in order to learn, it will be done in an individualized way and in a way that allows you to be active learners both in and out of class. These resources might be videos, websites, or other sources that I find helpful. You will also learn how to find resources on your own, called curating content. Because you have all the information you need in terms of the lesson, you are able to learn the material at your own pace, in your own time, in your own place, rather than during the 54 minute class period. The flipped classroom enables you to take full responsibility for your learning and for class time to be focus on your individual and unique needs. And now, I have the time to focus on YOU and help YOU in the way that YOU need it. That’s what the flipped classroom is all about - focusing on the student and helping the student to succeed in the best possible way. You are the one that matters the most in our flipped classroom!
- A while back, I thought about one question: “What is the best use of the face-to-face time I have with my students?” I quickly realized that standing in front of the room talking at you and showing you the math myself was NOT the best way, especially when I was doing so to all 40 of you at once. The Flipped Classroom makes the best use of our class time because you are given the opportunity to get the individualized attention we all crave and we all deserve. You are able to get the extra help you need IN CLASS during class time, and work at your own pace on the concepts you need to work on during any given day.
- In addition, the Flipped Classroom helps you acquire some very important life skills, including managing your learning and your time, communicating and working with others, and using a variety of technological resources. This environment will set you up for success in your future as you grow and mature into a responsible member of our society, especially as you prepare to enter college or the career of your choice. By being in a "flipped classroom" you will all become more independent learners who know HOW to learn and HOW to use your resources to help you succeed.
- Lastly, because we have so much class time to work together, we can now focus on higher order thinking skills and do more engaging activities, such as applying, analyzing, evaluating, and creating instead of focusing on just working out math problems - that can get boring after a while and doesn’t challenge our brains in the way we should be! We will be learning about some of those activities in the coming weeks as we jump into this school year.