Thursday, January 19, 2012

Woah there..slow down!

I've been working hard the last few days to organize and write out instructions for each project students will complete during the course of the unit (1 per week). I have decided to make an "Informational Binder" for my classroom. The binder will be divided into the following:

Tab 1: Research on Flipped Classrooms
Tab 2: Overview and Grading
Tab 3: Project descriptions and Rubrics
Tab 4: Copy of Interactive Notebook
Tab 5: Paper copies of Quizzes and Tests
Tab 6: Additional info

My primary motive in creating the binder was to keep visitors to my classroom informed of what we're doing, but also to make my communication with the SPED teachers in my room easier. I teach on a team, and our team currently has two SPED inclusion programs, additionally we have some ELL students. I wanted a central source of information where teachers and paraprofessional's in my room could access all of the information whenever they need it.

Three additional thoughts occurred to me about "flipping" my class:

1. It will make better use of my "co-taught" classes. As mentioned I have two SPED programs on my team. In an idealistic world these classes are co-taught between the SPED teacher and myself, with additional classes having a paraprofessional assisting. Due to the current structure of the traditional classroom this almost never happens, yet it has always been a hope of mine. I think this set up will make co-teaching a natural and daily occurrence since neither of us will be the "central source" of information. Rather all students can access either of us during the course of class. I think it will make better use of the strengths and knowledge that the SPED teachers bring to my room, and allow them to share that with my regular ed students in addition to their own.

2. This is lofty and far too forward thinking since I don't even know if this whole "flipping" concept will even work, but I think flipping would allow me to present different "courses" within the same room. Its not something I will do this year, but maybe in the future if it works. For example, if a student takes a US history class in college (and some high schools) their class is presented using the teacher's "lens." In other words some teachers may present the Revolutionary War from an economic point of view, or from a women's history point of view, or a military history point of view. Since the content in a flipped classroom is being delivered via screen cast to students, in theory you could record the material using these different lenses and essentially allow students to chose which "course" they want to take, following the video lectures for that course. The possibilities of individualizing learning with this model are fantastic, I'm excited to explore them.

3. Although for this Unit all students will be listening to the same video lectures, in the future (again if this whole thing works) I think I will make various "levels" of videos and allow students to follow that lecture path, even further differentiating for them.

I think the one thing I need to remind myself of here is that this may not work. I am wary of becoming so consumed with this project that I push it to succeed when maybe it won't. What can I say? I'm excited. I do need to remind myself once in a while though to slow down, lest I get too ahead of myself. I wonder if it is better to do a "full flip" as I am or if others have had more success just doing "partial flips"? I'm definitely curious to see how it will go.

I found this great picture at (thanks for the inspiration)! I think it really sums up the flipped class:

As a final thought, I just realized that if each student does 1 project per week for 7 weeks I'm going to have roughly 700 projects in my room...good thing I have a big closet I guess!

1 comment:

  1. I have a question! How do you use interactive notebooks in history? I am thinking about starting them next year. Do you think they would work with seniors as well?