You’ve most likely heard of, or even tried, the flipped classroom where students watch videos of lectures at home and then do activities and other work in class.
It looks great on paper. Using class time for students to do practice work, small group collaboration, labs … sounds perfect for a science classroom.
If you’ve tried this model of pedagogy and loved it … kudos! I’d love for you to write a guest post about your success!
But if you’ve tried it and found it not working for you or you’d love to try it but know there’d be too many issues, there might be a solution for you!
In-Class flip: a new take on the flipped classroom
I really wanted to try the flipped classroom. As I said above, it sounds like such a great idea for a high school science class. In a perfect world, it would be.
But (and this is a BIG but!) I could foresee several major problems that would occur almost immediately.
For example, I tried not to give my kids much homework. Most of it was done in class. But even still I had a hardcore group that just didn’t do homework. So there was no way most of my kids were going to watch a video of me giving notes! So that would immediately cause a problem in class because they wouldn’t be prepared to do the activities. I researched ideas on how to overcome this but didn’t find anything that would work for me.
My district is a very rural K-12 school in the poorest county in our state. There were still students without an internet connection or any mobile device or computer. So they would have to find an alternate way to watch the videos. I knew it was just not gonna happen.
With those two major roadblocks, I decided to not even try it.
Enter … the In-Class Flip!
Let me start by saying I certainly did not “invent” the in-class flip. But I was using it in my classroom before I knew it was a real thing!
The in-class flip is when the teaching videos are watched in class instead of at home. Then students use that information to do other activities in the classroom.
Changing things up this way was a game-changer for me and my students!
How Does It Work?
The “home” part of the flip can be done several ways … it’s usually part of a station. The videos you show can be ones that you’ve made yourself (this is what I did most of the time) or from another source such as Youtube. I had a mobile chrome book cart that I had to share, but its home was in my classroom. Other teachers had to sign up for it ahead of time, so I knew when I’d have access to them, which turned out to be most days.
The videos were short, usually 10 – 12 minutes. But in that time I could cover what would normally take me a whole class period. Students took notes on note packets that I provided while they watched. Sometimes I would have Cornell notes for them to complete instead.
To hold them accountable they had to complete a Google Form with short answer questions about the notes. I checked them quickly and used the information I got from the forms to indicate what areas I needed to cover more in our small teacher – led group.
The kids took varying amounts of time within the same class to complete the video, notes, and questions. As they finished the video and notes, there would be other activities for them to complete.
For example, small groups would rotate to me for extra practice or a deeper dive into the material. Another station is usually an informational text activity on the topic or a textmapping assignment. Or there might be a CER for them to complete.
I always had a station with some kind of manipulative activity or a “mini-lab”. They always liked the hands-on stations.
All of the stations had to be able to be completed without too much direction from me because sometimes I was working with a group. But when I wasn’t with a group, I was circulating, listening, and watching in case there were questions with an activity.
I didn’t use this strategy every day … some days I still did a traditional powerpoint/lecture/discussion lesson or a whole class activity that took a class period. Some days were for assessment. But I would estimate that we did an in-class flipped lesson probably about 60% of the time.
I really loved teaching this way and I looked forward to our “flipped” days. The students liked it better than a traditional class, saying that the class seemed to go by really fast and they liked working together.
I was serious above about writing a guest post if you’ve had success with a flipped classroom!
If you try the in-class flip, please let us all know how it goes!