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What Parents Should Know If their Child
is in a Flipped Classroom
In the past few years, many teachers from around the world have started to use a new method called the flipped classroom. Some parents are curious, others skeptical, and a few hostile. If you are a parent of a student in a flipped classroom, what is it you need to know about the model so that your son or daughter can have the best experience possible?
But first: What IS the Flipped Classroom? The idea of the Flipped Classroom is really quite simple. Direct instruction (lecturing) is done via videos which students can watch on their own before class. These videos then allow time for the teacher to work with students on things they struggle with. That’s it: The Flipped Class in a nutshell. You may also want to watch a short video clip where Aaron Sams explains the flipped classroom.
We send students home with the hard stuff!
For too many years we have been “doing” school backwards. We send students home with the hard stuff. We expect them to solve problems and apply what they have learned in class without help. They had their notes (if they took them) and their textbook (if they bothered to read it), but little else. With the Flipped Classroom students do the hard stuff in class where the teacher is present to help students. They do the easy stuff outside of class.
Here are my top five reasons why you should be thrilled your child’s teacher is flipping his/her class.
1. It will increase Student-Teacher Interaction
There is something I fundamentally believe about good teaching – it is about developing good relationships between the teacher and the student. One of the beauties of the Flipped Classroom is that it gives the teacher more individual time with each student. That means your son or daughter will get more one-on-one time with his/her teacher. There is something powerful about moving the teacher away from the “front of the room.” Getting teachers in-and-amongst their students changes the dynamics of the class. When we flipped our classes in 2007, I knew my students better than I had in my previous 19 years as a teacher. Spending lots of quality time with each child helped me to know my students better both cognitively and relationally.
2. It will help you help your child
How many times has your child come home with homework they were unable to understand? You sat with them at the dinner table and tried as much as possible to help them, but you couldn’t. Or maybe you had learned something when you were in school, and your child has informed you that you “do it wrong.” One of the beauties of the flipped classroom is that you too can watch the videos with your kids. You can learn how the teacher teaches a topic and you will be better equipped to help your son or daughter.
3. It will decrease the anxiety of your child over homework
I have three children and we have had times where our kids came home with homework and they were stressed. They had too much to do and either not enough time or not enough understanding. That in some cases led to tears and much wringing of our hands. If the homework is for the students to watch and interact with a short video (We strongly emphasize that these videos need to be SHORT!), then this is much more doable. We want the kids to do the hard stuff when they come to class.
4. Your child will be able to pause and rewind their teacher
In one of the early years of the flipped classroom, my daughter Kaitie was watching a video of me in my living room (which, by the way, is weird), and she jumped up and said: “I love the flipped classroom.” I asked her why and she said: “Because I get to pause you.” I was taken aback, but I realized what she was saying. She could pause her teacher. All kids learn at different speeds and frankly we teachers talk too fast. Wouldn’t it be great if your son or daughter could pause and rewind their teacher? Well guess what? They can if they are in a flipped classroom. (You can read Kaitie’s blog post about her experience in a flipped classroom here).
5. It will lead your child to deeper learning
There is one thing I have seen happen with almost every teacher who has flipped their classroom. They flip their classroom for about one to two years and then they go beyond the flipped classroom to deeper learning strategies. These include things like Project Based Learning, Challenge Based Learning, and Mastery Learning. Count yourself extremely fortunate if you have a teacher who has flipped their class for multiple years. These teachers have no doubt completely changed the dynamic of their classrooms. Instead of being focused on test preparation or busy work, their students are actively engaged in their own learning, taking responsibility for their learning, and enthusiastically embracing learning.
There are many other great benefits, which you can read about in the book I co-wrote with Aaron Sams, Flip Your Classroom: Reach Every Student in Every Class Every Day. Though this is written to teachers, I have heard from many parents who have read the book and enjoyed the read. It is a really short book (100 pages) and I guarantee that it is not written in Educator-Speak (is that a word?), but in plain language.
So if your child’s teachers are flipping their classes, rest assured that they are in good hands.
Five Mistakes to Avoid When Flipping Your Class
- Jon Bergmann
When Aaron Sams and I first started flipping our classes in 2007, we made a lot of mistakes. If you are considering flipping your classroom this fall (or just flipping a few lessons), I want to share with you some of the mistakes we made or have seen others make, so that you don’t have to repeat them.
Keep Your Videos Short:
Short-short-short! We took our standard lecture and made videos. These videos contained multiple objectives and pieces of content and were way too long. Instead make one video per discrete objective. My rule of thumb is one to one and a half minutes per grade level. For a 4grader, your videos should be no longer than 4-6 min. For a 10 grader that means 10-15 min videos. If you think you can’t have quality videos that short, you will be surprised how little time it takes to clearly communicate a specific objective. Just try it out.
Don’t assume all students have the Internet at home:
Or that they have access to the Internet 24-7. We met with each student individually and asked how they were going to access our content outside of class. Many had iPods and we simply connected them to our computers and downloaded the content to their devices. For others we provided DVD’s for kids with no computers at home. Don’t forget to ask about what kind of access your students have to devices at home. Does their dad take an online course and monopolize the computer at night?
Don’t Lecture if Students Don’t Watch Your Videos
Rescuing students who don’t do what you ask is never the answer. If half of your students don’t watch your video content, then don’t rescue them by teaching what is already in your video. All that will accomplish is to tell the students who did do the work that what they did was a waste of time.
Hold Each Student Individually Accountable for Work
Instead, hold them each individually accountable for watching the videos. When we first started we walked around the room and asked students to show us their notes on the video. Those who did received ten points and those who didn’t went to the back of the room to watch the video content on some class computers with headphones. The students who didn’t watch the content quickly realized that the only way we were going to (at least initially) expose them to content was through the videos. And while they were watching videos in the back of the room the other students were getting help on the hard stuff, which they now had to slog through on their own at home. This didn’t solve all the problems of kids not doing their homework, but it worked for most students.
Teach Students HOW to watch your videos:
Watching one of our instructional videos is not the same thing as watching Batman on DVD. Students need to interact cognitively with the video. They need to be intentionally taught how to watch our video content. Spend some class time teaching your students how to watch instructional videos. I know it is weird to watch a video of you teaching while you are standing there, but we want students to be able to do this at home when we are not present. One thing we did on the first or second day of school was to watch an introductory video together. I gave the control of the pause button to a specific student. As students were trying to write down notes from the video, the student in charge of the pause button was either going too slow or too fast for other students. After many minutes of frustration, I informed the students that each of them would have control of the pause button for the rest of the year. We also used this class time to teach them how to write down questions from the video which they needed to bring to class.
Ten Questions You Should Ask
Before You Flip Your Classroom
As the school year starts, many teachers are wanting to implement flipped learning into their classes. Before you begin, I encourage you to answer each of the questions below. The purpose of the questions is to help teachers BEGIN the process of flipping their class. This is only the first step. Flipped Class 101 can lead to Flipped Learning, which is a second stage of the Flipped Class. Many teachers are asking for some step by step guidelines as they begin.
1. What will you flip? (A lesson, a unit/chapter, a subject, or a class)
2. Who will make your videos? (Curate, create, or a combination)
3. Assuming you will create videos, what software will you use to make your videos? There is no right answer here. Choose the tool that works best for you. Explore some of the choices below before you start. Learn one of them and use it. I encourage you to start out simple, but as time goes on you may want to switch to a more feature-rich (and usually more expensive software solution)
4. Once you have created your video, where will you place it so that your students can access it? We find it best to put these in a coherent place on a learning management system (LMS). Vendors include Blackboard, Moodle, , Haiku Learning, Canvas, , My Big Campus, Info Mentor, etc. The videos can also be hosted on video servers like , Vimeo, Screencast.com, , google drive, and other sites.
5. How will you check (or will you) if your students watch (or should we say interact) with your online content?
6. How will you communicate to your students how to access your flipped content?
7. How will you teach your students how to watch your video content for comprehension? You don’t watch instructional videos in the same manner as a popular film. When we first started, we spent class time intentionally teaching our students how to watch instructional videos.
8. How will you communicate to your students about how Flipped Learning will change their experience at school?
9. How will you communicate to your parents about how Flipped Learning will be a different experience for their children?
10. How will you reorganize class time now that you have extra time? This is maybe the MOST important question: WHAT will you do with your class time? This question depends upon what you teach, what level you teach at and your own individual educational philosophy.
This list should get you started.
Screencasting Tools You Might Consider
Tools for a Computer
Tools for an iPad
Your Video Camera
Notes, Tips and Resources from the
“Flip your classroom” Workshop
by Jon Bergman, presented through Region XI
Teach the students HOW to watch the videos, to pause it (they get to pause their teacher!) and take notes and write down questions they have about the material.
Video length guide - 1 to 1 1/2 minutes per grade level....even for seniors, no more than 15 min.
The videos hit the bottom two levels of blooms....they allow you to excel to the other levels in the classroom.
Don’t number your videos. Name them according to their content, that will enable you to have the flexibility to change your order/sequence which you may want to do down the road.
Have them bring a question to class from the video...what do they wonder about when watching? That way every student gets to ask a question. It allows you to check to see if they watched the video. Go to groups to answer their questions, then let them get off to work.
Tell them ahead of time about when the deadline is for them to watch the videos...don't expect them to be able to watch it that night. 3 videos per week is a good number not to exceed.
Ask students if they have access at home? Find out if they have accessibility to high speed Internet?
For no internet access:
Use flash drives
Burn to DVD’s
Download to Ipods
My big campus
Arrive early and let students watch
To start, you can use old PowerPoints and add voice and notations
All systems have quick links to upload to YouTube, making it easy for teachers to publish quickly
Keep it short
Animate your voice
Work with a partner (one take the role of the teacher, one the student)
Don't waste your student’s time
PIP (picture in picture – a small picture of you, while the rest of the screen is on the content)
Call outs/zooms – added when editing
Add Video Clips
Keep it copyright friendly
Learning Manangement Systems for posting videos include:
Blackboard– to post videos http://www.blackboard.com/
Edmoto – to post videos https://www.edmodo.com/
Moodle – to post videos, can create different versions of the test. https://moodle.org/
YouTube – to post videos (check to see if school filter blocks it)
YouTube now has an edit option when you upload a video. You can do annotations on top of video. You can add callouts like speech bubbles. Last, you can add links to branch somewhat like the “Pick your own adventure” or make a test with correct answers branching to a different video.
iMovie and QuickTime have the capability to record what is on screen
mybigcampus can facilitate transfer of info http://www.mybigcampus.com/
quia.com - question bank site.
SCREENCASTING TOOLS YOU MIGHT CONSIDER:
Tools for a Computer
Your Video Camera
Flipping Tech Tips
Flipping the Classroom with an iPad and Google Drive Using "Explain Everything"
IDEAS/THOUGHTS FROM THE WORKSHOP:
3 Key Elements Of The Flipped Classroom:
Quality instructional videos
Engaging class activities
For teachers who are interested...give them time, maybe a day or half day with a sub in their class, for them to get several videos done at once.
Introduce the students to the Cornell Note Taking System (a great skill to take with them to college)
The student divides the paper into two columns: the note-taking column (usually on the right) is twice the size of the questions/key word column (on the left). The student should leave five to seven lines, or about two inches, at the bottom of the page. Notes from a lecture or teaching are written in the note-taking column; notes usually consist of the main ideas of the text or lecture, and long ideas are paraphrased. Long sentences are avoided; symbols or abbreviations are used instead. To assist with future reviews, relevant questions or key words are written in the key word column. When reviewing the material, the student can cover the note-taking (right) column while attempting to answer the questions/keywords in the key word or cue (left) column.
Science labs: kids watch a video of the pre lab the night before. Now you only have a few that don't understand.
Mystery Skype = 20 questions
English teacher can edit each individual students papers, video tape it with her notes and comments as she is making them, take the students to the lab and with headphones, they can all hear her at the same time...talking to each of them individually.
For primary grades...the teacher can email the video link to the parents
Have them do 1/2 of the worksheet....reward accurate work. If they are struggling have them do one or two extra problems, if they did it but can't explain it (perhaps they cheated), have them do the rest of the worksheet.
There is a grading system example in the presentation on the website.
In grade book, you can have "non weighted" grades that add up and it automatically gives you a percentage.
Go to flipped coach.com to see PE TEACHERS/coaches utilize a flipped method
Bamboo tablets are nice for writing or drawing, notation
Increases student teacher interaction real time live informal assessments
I talked to every kid in every class every day. Wow! (3 parts - 3 every things)
Parents learn with kids and help kids
At home - Direct instruction
At school - Practice, Apply, Assess, If needed – Remediate
Search flipppedclassroom.org for letters explaining this to parents. Or create a video to explain it.
This link is for a Google Doc where parent letters/videos are being shared: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0AoNSkh2FgPbXdGlsZ0ZORkRBbEdvWXM4cE1XeE1jdFE#gid=0
To start, flip one lesson or one unit.
80/20 Rule - 80% student centered/20% teacher
Flipped classroom gives you time in the classroom to do other things, like a Google Genius Hour - 20% of their time to learn about/create whatever they want, but they must produce product
Flipping the Elementary Classroom - Kindergarten
1. You won’t flip the class, you will flip a lesson
2. Math is the easiest place to start
(we may make a video for the concept we will teach each week)
3. We could very easily create short videos for each letter of the alphabet. Include upper/lowercase letter and the sounds. Also, ask them to come up with words that begin with that letter to share in class the day after watching the video.
4. Make a video introducing a book we will read in class and have them make predictions about what will happen.
5. Video for the letters would need to be ready Friday for them to watch over the weekend so they will be prepared on Monday.
6. To make sure our students are watching the videos, we could incorporate a blog where students type 3 words that begin with the Letter of the Week. At the beginning of the year parents could type the words. Towards the end of the year we would encourage students to type the three words.
Science flipped class materials
DiscoveryLearning.com for videos resources
Students have logins
Campuses have logins
The Flipped Class in Region XI Texas
Use this as a place to have a backchannel discussion and to interact with others.
Jon and Aaron’s nonprofit organization with the purpose of teaching about flipped learning to educators--We do lots of PD for teachers
Jon’s personal blog where he muses about education
Social networking site for flipped educators, or educators interested in exploring the flip.
Come join over 10,000 others and learn from the group
Twitter: http://twitter.com/jonbergmann or @jonbergmann
Monday Nights at 7 Central time for #flipclass chats
Videos I Showed in the Session + a few more
Aaron Talks about Flipped Learning
Aaron Talks about the Flipped Class
Jon talks about the Mastery Model--
What does it look like?--Peer into Aaron’s mastery classroom
What do the students think? Jon asks his students what they think of the flipped class
Sample Videos--Jon put several teachers videos together to make a sampling.
Taking a Risk with At Risk Kids (Clintondale High School)
Powerful video about the flipped class working in a low SES school
Flipping Out and In--The Matrix and the Flipped Class--A fun video about the flipped class
Hybrid Standards Based Grading Explanation