Hello everyone,

Aside from being super-excited about seeing you all at MaRS on Friday, I’m pretty stoked about starting the second stage of my action plan. Stage 1 was simply recording and releasing one-minute videos of myself saying and gesturing vocabulary words with French and English subtitles. The students could then watch these videos on their own time so that I wouldn’t have to do it all in class. I call it a partially flipped classroom. So far, I’ve heard good things from a few parents but that might be a case of reporting bias so to really find out how it’s going,  I’m going to kick it up into Stage 2.

Stage 2 involves sending out a Google Form with each video. The form will be a multiple choice quiz with the words from the video and certain English translations. Students in Grade 3 should be able to complete these forms by themselves but Grade 1 & 2 students will complete these forms with their parents to help with the reading component (and because I e-mail the video links to the parents anyways.) This information will then go to a master form that will allow me to see who completed the form and how many questions they got right.

At first, completing these forms won’t be mandatory but it will have a significant positive effect on their grades. While some may argue that it may not be the students themselves doing the work, I maintain the important point that a) it shows the students that French has a place outside the classroom, and b) it gets the parents involved, which in my short time of teaching I’ve learned is a powerful motivating factor for students. Furthermore, the parents will feel good because they’re helping their students learn and getting a visible return on their tuition.

I’m not sure what level of participation I’ll get off the bat, but I’m hoping that the keenness of the parents will bring it up to 25% – 50%. I’ll model the completion of these forms in class with all my students and rewarding the completion of these forms with ClassDojo points and other tangible incentives. Most importantly of all, I’m crossing my fingers for no technical glitches!

Speaking of technical stuff, the IT folks let me take out an iPad and use it in French class. I’ve used it mainly for ClassDojo, an online behaviour tracking and reward device. While I welcome advice or comments from any educator, I’m hoping to hear from people who have tried flipping their classes with really young students, or implemented other interesting modified or redefined activities from the SAMR model with young kids in language classes. See you soon!

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