The concept of flipping a traditional classroom has been getting some attention lately. The concept is simple enough, instead of the teacher lecturing during valuable class time, the students watch videos (hopefully created by the teacher) at home to gather the content. The class time is then used for students to discuss the content, problem solve, do experiments work collaboratively or get the attention they need from the teacher to master the concepts they were exposed to at home.
Flipping seems like the perfect solution for a math or science classroom. Instead of spending the time lecturing in class & having the students solve problems at home, alone or with parents who are overwhelmed by the content, the students gather the concepts and content at home and solve the problems in class. I can imagine a classroom where students sit together based on how well they understood the material from the night before and work on problems together. While the students who still need help sit in another section of the room, working closely with the teacher as the work on problems and get the support they need.
Here is a great example of a flipped chemistry classroom by Aaron Sams in Woodland Park Colorado.
But I teach history...I would love to avoid lecturing in my classroom and although I try to avoid a straight lecture at all costs, sometimes it does happen. But suppose my students went home every night and watched a video lecture that I had prepared, what would we do in class the next day? Here are some ideas:
- Read primary source documents, understand the context in which they were written and have outstanding discussions.
- Socratic Seminar
- Quick writing (2 minute challenge writing to see how well the previous night's content was understood)
- Students reteach - have the students prepare mini review type lessons to teach the content back to the class. With this technique, groups of students could watch different lectures, a sort of "at home jigsaw" technique.
- Projects - imagine the amount of time that could be freed up in class for students to create projects & write.
Flipping the French Revolution:
The next unit that my 9th graders will be studying is the French Revolution. I have decided that I will flip the unit for one of my classes. Anytime I try anything new I test it out on one class to make sure it is manageable and to compare their outcome to the rest of the classes.
In my effort to flip this unit I am compiling video resources to have my students watch each night. I have another week before the unit starts, and this is just an early list of resources. I won't have time to create the videos myself (that might have to wait until the summer time).
Kahn Academy - French Revolution Videos
This list will grow as I return to this blog post and update the resources...please feel free to comment with any additional French Revolution videos that I should use.
My biggest concern is letting go of the direct instruction and having my students (hopefully) watch the content at home. Will I know if they watched? Will I know if they get it? Will I know if it is working? Only time will tell.