No homework? No Worries! – Flipping the norm

Sure, the flipped learning model is brilliant when students complete some video content at home prior to the lesson. It means we can go deeper in lesson time and it utilises the teacher’s full potential…

But does flipped learning have to be dependent on homework? I think not.

Last night was our Year 12 Formal. Not ideal having it on a Thursday night but our school is a busy, busy place and it was the best fit on our calendar. So today, after the dust had settled from frocking up and dancing the night away, Biology attendance in Lesson 4 was a little down. I had anticipated this so I hadn’t planned to progress too much further during the lesson. However the students who showed up (roughly half) were all up to date and ready to move forward with new content. It was at that point where I had a decision to make. Do I… a) teach the new content ‘lecture-style’ (which I never do anymore), or b) have the students view the relevant flipped video lessons in class (which I hardly ever do). I opted for b) and I’m so glad I did.

Here is a photo of what unfolded:

IMG_2383

I gave the students the links to these three flipped videos that I have made for the topic:

1. http://www.anytimeeducation.com/the-importance-of-energy-for-cells/

2. http://www.anytimeeducation.com/autotrophs-and-heterotrophs/

3. http://www.anytimeeducation.com/the-atp-cycle/

They grabbed their headphones and their exercise books and set about viewing the content just like they do at home.

Here’s what worked well:

  • They could all work at their own pace which meant the lesson was perfectly differentiated. If I went for lecture-style it would have been a one-size-fits all approach. It would have been too fast for some and too slow for others. I know this for a fact because the pace in which they moved through the video content varied significantly.
  • When they reached a point where they needed further clarification or didn’t understand something, I was on hand for immediate support. They also had each other to discuss their question with too. Normally they have to write down these questions and then ask me the next time they see me. I actually found there was an increase in the amount of questions students asked which was great.
  • Using my recorded content rather than a live lecture-style instruction really streamlined the lesson. I don’t know about you, but I’m prone to going off on the occasional tangent during direct instruction. Utilising the videos meant the students were getting exactly what they needed in a clear and concise manner that I was happy with.

So all in all, it was a great experience. Sure, most of the time I’m still going to stick to the traditional ‘flipped model’ and set the videos for homework. However, I’m more confident than ever that flipping within class time can be very beneficial too.

Happy Friday! Here’s to a productive lesson and a great weekend 🙂

 

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