10 Tips to Flipping your Classroom.
Flipping your classroom is no easy task. It requires dedication, hard work and a lot of trial and error. Here is a list of 10 ways that I have found to help flip your class.
1) Determine the purpose of your flip. Flipping your class is more than just making videos for students to watch at home. It changes what goes on in class as well. Determine what your end result is. Do you just want to make instructional videos so students can gather information before they step foot in class? Do you want to inform students of rules and procedures for an upcoming science lab?
2) It takes time. Do not underestimate the amount of time it will take to start flipping your class. If creating personalized videos to upload, it will take quite awhile before you get the hang of it. It will also take time for your students to adapt to the change in instruction.
3) Walk your students through the process. You are changing nearly every aspect of how a student receives information. Do not expect kids will know what to do. If they are pros at taking notes from your lectures, do not assume that this will transfer to notetaking at home. Show the kids how to start taking notes from a video. Set clear expectations what they should do at home.
4) Start small. Remember that this is a huge undertaking. You have to decide what app you plan on using to make your videos, how to upload them and where to upload them to (YouTube, Google Drive, etc.) If you start full steam ahead you may burn yourself out. Start with one class or one subject.
5) Use humor. Kids want to sit through a boring video just as much as they want to sit through a boring lecture. Add humor. Laugh in the video. If you make a mistake, leave it. The kids love it. I had the buzzer to my dryer go off in the video and told the kids to hold on because I was going to fold laundry. The next day they had a hay day telling me they heard my buzzer go off.
6) Have a backup plan. If the students didn’t understand the video or students didn’t watch the video, what are you going to do? As with any quality lesson planning, always plan for the unexpected.
7) Use your own content. Let me start by saying that students like to hear your own voice. That doesn’t mean you can’t incorporate other videos into your own. If you wanted to start out with using videos that others have made, that is a great way to start, but try to start making your own.
8) Give kids control. This might be the hardest thing to do. By giving kids control of your class, you are actually taking more control over what happens. This is much easier said than done but remember the purpose of your flip. You should be the guide on the side in the class. Ask yourself if you are talking more than the kids. Your kids should be delving in conversation with each other and you are merely the moderator. This takes quite a bit of modeling to implement but it can be done!
9) Make em’ short. Don’t bore the kids with long videos. I try and shoot for a 12 minute average for the junior high age. Some videos do take more time and some take less. If a video is more than 15 minutes I give them more than one day to watch it.
10) Check for understanding. Don’t forget to check the students’ understanding of the content in the videos. This could be done through a quick formative assessment that is not graded. I have my students go to the board and explain concepts from the video and let them work through the problems with the class. I don’t say a word. If they make a mistake, I don’t mention it. I let the others in the class correct it. This is very hard for myself and any teacher to let a student continue with a mistake. This could take 5 minutes or it could take 15 minutes. It is a powerful thing. I incorporate giving kids control with checks for understanding.
Good luck and always remember to have fun when flipping your class. Don’t give up!