I have made another discovery about flipped learning. You can use flipped learning to increase the amount of “coaching time” in a classroom, however utilizing this approach also makes sense in a busy classroom with students coming and going in different frequencies and at different times. A flipped instructional approach allows students to learn when learning in most convenient for them. Allow me to explain.
In my classroom over the last two weeks, we have had a few interruptions to our normal schedule. Last week, I had students leave my classroom for a volleyball game, a swim meet, to watch a hockey day, to film a movie, to attend a pep rally, to tour around new students, and to train up north on a ski hill. When we value students’ diverse interests, we often struggle with finding the time to ensure that academic expectations can also be met. I pride myself in being able to problem solve in challenging situations and I’m especially thrilled with how I was able to ensure my students received basic instruction on how to craft a speech, while recognizing the multiple schedules of my girls.
And so I applied my new magical flipped classroom strategies.
I created short (no more than 5 minute) clips about how to write the intro, body, opposing side, and conclusion of the graphic organizer, as well as how to turn the organizer into a script. I posted these clips on YouTube (thankfully much easier than last time) and gave the girls the clips on their Blackboard site. Instead of having the girls watch at home on the first day, I started the class by having them watch the short clips on iPads and start to craft their topics and arguments, while I was able to coach and support students in small groups and one-on-one.
Having these videos easily available has meant that when a child missed a class, they could watch the video at home. When the templates was not completed to expectations, I asked girls to re-watch the video and then conference with me one-one-one.
I also sent these videos to tutors to better support their children with their homework and allow these key educational allies to know what is expected of the student for this project. I was also able to share these clips with my Grade 5 literacy partner so that she could show her students these clips and we could have a consistent message about what makes an outstanding speech.
Recognizing that my students work at different paces and on different schedules has allowed me to better meet the needs of each of my students for this literacy experience. And looking forward, just the idea that if I teach persuasive writing again, I could possibly reuse these clips makes my prefrontal cortex sparkle with excitement. In a busy, fast paced educational setting, any little thing that makes teaching a little more stress-free is worth sharing!