Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Flip Your Classroom - Hangout with Jonathan Bergmann


Flip Your Classroom

On January 7th, the Flip Your Classroom book study group met together for a Google Hangout with Jonathan Bergmann. It was an awesome experience as teachers were able to get their questions answered straight from the author. I'm extremely grateful for the opportunity to meet with Mr. Bergmann as were my teachers.


Takeaways

Small Steps

The biggest takeaway that my teachers took from the experience is to start small. Jon's recommendation was to start with one class. Try to flip a lesson once a week. That way you and your students can get a feel for the format. Flipping a few lessons also helps breakup the routine. Often times students need some variety and a change of pace to keep the learning experience fresh. 

The Elementary Flip

Many of my teachers had questions regarding what the flipped model looks like for elementary students. Especially when the students do not take their devices home. Jon viewed it as a great opportunity for differentiation. Use videos to differentiate learning so that you can work with small groups of students while another group of students get started through a video format. You more independent learners can especially benefit from this method as the faster pace of a video lesson may allow these students to do a more in depth study. Another term one could use for this format is a "blended learning" model where students learn through traditional and digital modes. 

Homework

One of the main reason for considering a flipped model is the issue of homework. In the traditional sense, we teach a lesson and send students home with more work. Work they more than likely cannot do independently. This causes much frustration for all parties (student, teacher, and parent) as the amount of time on homework varies depending upon the student's ability to demonstrate the concept.

Through the flipped model, homework is based upon a video (podcast, article, website, etc). The materials should take each student roughly the same amount of time as they are receiving the content in a short, concise format. The heavy lifting is then done in class where they can receive the support they need. This eliminates the frustration of completing a pile of homework with little support.

It is about the Students

Shawn Snyder, Angola Middle School math teacher, summarized the entire experience well as she ultimately decided that it would be what is best for her students. 
"It is all about what is best for our students.  I can see this having a big impact in the way I teach.  I have been dissatisfied with whole class lecture for a long time, but struggle to use other methods exclusively because some students still need direct instruction.  This will hopefully help me find a solution that works.  It will be a lot of work, but I will start small and see how it goes."

Other Flipped Classroom Resources


A Final Thoughts about Online Book Studies

The Flip Your Classroom book study is actually my first book study I've ever lead. I really enjoyed the opportunity it provided for teachers to receive PD in a convenient format. We only met physically one time. It worked great for teachers across the district to participate and collaborate as they were able to do so on their own timeline. The fewer time constraints, the better. I will be looking to do another Book Study this year.