To Flip or not to Flip Your Classroom…

Interesting perspective from Ross Cooper who has a great website on curriculum.  In this article he discusses why he never flipped his classroom.  The idea is great and innovative BUT I agree that you can definitely flip your classroom in a away that is counterproductive and is not best for the development of our students and their ability to learn through problem solving.

As a teacher, I used this method occasionally but I was careful because I was concerned about the same issues that Ross discusses in his blog.  Consider using the time to creatively present the issue/problem, and providing some of the history behind the topic that the kids will be learning the next day so that when they arrive, they are ready to jump in.

For example: I was teaching at a high school and working with students in a math elective that we called Math Modeling.  We were going to analyze elections and the various styles that are used throughout the world.  I used flipped learning to present all of the methods that we would be discussing in the unit, one at a time, and their homework was to watch each video the night before we started investigating the new method.  I presented little, to no math content at all in the videos.  They were use to inform the students so they had a solid understanding of the tasks and purpose of the lesson prior to entering the room.

So in summary, my use of Flipped Learning was to present the topic, provide examples of where it is used in real life, and to introduce the purpose of the lesson.  I wanted them to BUY INTO the lesson before they even arrived.  I did not want my students to memorize some basic tool to come in an use 50 times the next day.  I wanted to save time by introducing the lesson, which in turn, I hoped that my students would come in with questions and prepared to dive right in to the lesson.  My high schoole students really seemed to enjoy it and found that the majority of them would watch the videos on their commute to and from school on their phones.

This is a must read for any first time “flipper” because this concept is time consuming and you want to make sure that you still protect the integrity of the learning process.  For those that do this frequently, does your method still protect the learning process?  OR d0 you just use it as a way to present information and drill for skill when they get to class?  Hopefully between Ross’s blog and my use of the flipped classroom, we have opened your eyes to some of the dangers and, what I feel was, effective uses of the flipped classroom!

Check out Ross’s blog!

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