Friday, April 13, 2012

Greek Festival

Today was our Greek festival, students displayed the projects they've been working on and brought in food, music, clothes, and games from Ancient Greece. It was a huge success and we had a lot of parents show up. I had a few parents come up and tell me how much they loved the flip. That was really great to hear, it was also great to see the students so proud of the work. That being said it was definitely a long, chaotic afternoon. I've posted a few pictures below from the festival, as well as a picture of the fantastic columns that the students made for the entrance.


  1. I'm a 9th grade history teacher in an independent school, and this sounds fantastic. I'm getting inspired to give this a shot next year with my US classes, but I'm worried about the amount of class time that will be available. I know it would be great to give them time to workshop their writing with each other and with me, and I know that have DBQs and other activities that I could implement, but I don't know that I could fill the time with projects in the same way.

    Do you see this format as something that could work at the high school level and still prepare them for AP or honors classes, since that's what the majority of the parents will be asking? ("I pay good money for you to TEACH, goshdarnit")

    My inclination is that it is definitely workable, but any thoughts from would be appreciated.

    1. Hi there! Thanks for the comment. I definitely can understand your concerns, I have heard similar comments ("You don't TEACH?") but have realized that no matter what you're always going to have a few nay sayers. I definitely think this would work at the high school level.

      I agree the project concept wouldn't work in high school, that's what is great about flipping, you adapt it to your classes. If I were doing this at a high school level I would use the time as you stated for writing, and DBQ work. You could definitely do some work with primary source documents, possibly some ELA style literature circles but using different historians works (maybe have one group read Gordon Wood and one group read Joseph Ellis and compare view points for example). There are many many things that I think could work at the high school level. Also I wouldn't be afraid of a good old fashioned discussion, this is something that I want to start to implement with my classes next year, one day a week discussing materials. I'm not sure what the technology looks like in your school, but you could go on "virtual" field trips to many possibilities!

      You can definitely prep them for AP or honors classes in this format. In fact, I feel that this class style is a good prep for a college style class. A great deal of upper level history classes in college are based around students completing a certain amount of reading and content preparation outside of class, and then participating in a socratic style seminar. In this case the preparation that the students would be doing is watching lecture videos- but the concept is still there.

      My best advice if you do decide to flip is sort of what we as teachers know in general- pretend you've done this before! If the kids smell newness or fear they will take advantage, but if they think this is how it is, and they buy into it, I think both you and the students will really enjoy how the whole thing works!

      Definitely let me know if you have any questions, I'm still pretty new to this myself but am finding tons of support on the web! I don't think there are as many history teachers flipping as math and science, but we exist! Also check out some of the blogs I'm following, even though they are not all history some of these teachers are doing fantastic things to use class time.

      Good luck! I'd love to hear if you decide to do this and how it works.

  2. I think we also have to are TEACHING! The students watch videos created by YOU of the content that YOU want them to get. You ARE teaching!

    1. That is true! Thank you for the feedback, sometimes I have to remind myself that I'm still teaching, isn't it funny how we let phrases alter meanings?