Monday, April 23, 2012

Ready to Flip

Twitter is my favorite PD. Last September, I found an article through a tweet that introduced me to flipped classrooms.  I immediately retweeted it and noted that it was something I was interested in looking into.  My wonderful new principal (whom I didn't know very well at the time) asked if I would be interested in seeing it in action. Before I knew it, three colleagues and I were on our way to his former school to visit with teachers already implementing flip classrooms.

It was mind changing.  They were honest with us about the work it took, the drawbacks, what it took to get it going.

And it got me reading. I've read the pros and cons.  I've pinned articles to my Pinterest board on Flipped Classes so I can go back and review them. I began lurking on #flipchat on Twitter. I follow blogs and news articles.  Most of the information I find deals with math and science classrooms, but I don't believe they are the only classes this can be done with.

And I am ready to make the commitment.  My summer challenge for myself is to prepare materials and flip my creative writing class. Creative writing seems the easiest of my classes to flip. The main reason being since I use a writing workshop approach, I have many mini lessons prepared already. The directions and the examples are ready. Also, I reworking the details of this class anyway, and following Kelly Gallagher's ideas from Write Like This: Teaching Real World Writing Through Modeling and Mentor Texts. 

It just makes sense to flip this class.

And the bossman challenged me to get this going next year.

What is a flipped classroom?  Essentially, for me anyway, it is a delivery method.  The flipped classroom delivers the instruction for the class outside of the classroom--generally online (although a podcast I listened to yesterday says it doesn't HAVE to be online). The learning, the "homework" is done during class time. During class time, so the teacher is there the moment a difficulty arises.

Flipping a classroom really creates a student centered classroom--well, it does if you do it right. It does if the teacher is willing to give up control. Teachers must think through their lessons. Here's what the students need to know when we are done. How are we going to get there? Content before technology.

And, students need to take control of their own learning. And they need to know it will be hard.

So, stay tuned. I'm sure there will be more posts as I struggle to change the way I "Stand and Deliver".


  1. It actually just sounds exciting, Deb. I will look up your Pinterest articles to see more. I have read a bit about this. My biggest question is what about the students with slim internet access? Will you give them time in class to access, or give hard copies of work or? I imagine this is cleared up by others, but I just didn't know. Best wishes!

    1. Linda, I plan on letting students view any videos they need in the classroom...but there are ways around the internet access issue. DVD's, paper copies...

    2. Students can downdload the videos also- putting them on the computer to watch later, without internet.

  2. Truly exciting. I'll be waiting for updates in the coming year on how it's going!

  3. Wow, this sounds brave, exciting and challenging all wrapped up! Can't wait to hear more about this; I had not heard of this at all before reading your post. Good luck as you venture into this new territory!

  4. Total sweetness! I hope you document your adventure here.

    1. Oh, the ups and downs will be recorded for posterity. Found out about a class last week from our education agency, so will be taking that in August.


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