Tuesday, November 20, 2012

The Next "Flip"

The flipping process is not just about the videos or tutorials.  The students have viewed the tutorials online at home, taken notes at home and filled out the Google Forms at home.  Now it is my duty to make sure that they have ample and meaningful activities to work on while in class.  While I feel as though I have done these kinds of activities in the past, they have been static and teacher driven.  One of the main purposes of the flipping classroom is to put the student's learning in their court.  They are supposed to work at their own pace on activities that I have designed for them.

From the webinars I have seen and research that I have done, I've seen many examples of packets of activities, questions, etc.  This seems a bit overwhelming to me and quite frankly, will I be able to, once again, give up the control of running the classroom?

I am currently in the process of moving from a blended classroom, one that incorporates the use of the videos, but is still quite teacher driven, to the flipped classroom, one that has students essentially working on their own, with my guidance.  As stated by others, my role is changing from the "Sage on the Stage" to the "Guide on the Side".

My next step now is to create "La Semana a la Vista" (A week at a glance).  I have divided it up into three categories; Packet activities, Tutorials and Things to study and to pass in (all in Spanish).  I have created packet activities that include, reading, writing and summarizing activities.  (Right now I only have my Spanish 4 class done.)  This is going to be called the PHREEL sheet.  This is loosely based off of Crystal Kirch's AMAZING WSQ sheet in which she has her students Write, Summarize and Question each week (she teaches math).  PHREEL is the Spanish translated version of her WSQ sheet with some additions for the four essential language skills.  Essentially each week students will be asked to practice with the grammar, speak, read, listen, and summarize what they have viewed in the tutorials in their own words, and be asked to ask high level questions about the topic.

My concerns; will I have enough activities to sustain them through the week?  Will they be challenging enough?  Can I really do this?  Can I give up the control?  That remains to be seen!
¡Qué pasen un feliz día de acción de gracias!  (Happy Thanksgiving!)


  1. Hi Kristin. I used to do something similar when I started teaching out of a sort of desperation that all the kids were learning at different paces. I gave them a checklist of things they had to accomplish after a week. A lot of this was ancillary material from the textbook. I found that the fast students finished it really quickly, even if it seemed like I had given them plenty to do, and the slow (or lazy) students never got it all done. There were some big mistakes with how I did it; I think more authentic and tailored activities were needed to keep the interest (which, unfortunately, takes all of our time to create), and it isn't necessarily about every student completing everything, but about each one doing whatever task it is to the best of his or her ability. It creates grading hardships to give excused for certain students on different assignments, but I think that's how it would have to be. (And you know my position on grades, anyway.) I also didn't have the flipped video portion back then, either. In the group work I do now, I notice some kids just take well to having me as an "adviser" while others still need that bottom-down "teach me how to do it" approach. In the ideal world they all become self-motivated but there is a big paradigm shift to overcome! Good luck!

  2. Thanks for the input, Ben! I have started to differentiate some of the activities that I am putting in the packets for students who feel like they can be challenged and for those that need more guided practice. Hopefully they all become independent learners!