Part of the Process

Thoughts on becoming a teacher.

Flipped

4 Comments

My dyad placement is at a Middle School that has folding walls between classrooms. Today, I had the opportunity to see some pros and cons of this design firsthand. Let me start by saying that the wall separating the room I’m in from one of the adjacent rooms is open on occasion to allow for team teaching and large group presentations. The majority of the time the wall is closed, or open during planning periods. One of the major downsides is that the noise from two other classrooms easily carries into ours. This afternoon, right as class was starting, it was discovered that the wall wouldn’t close. It was stuck.door The room was even louder than normal and it was tough for the kids to focus. My Cooperating Teacher tried to make it work, but eventually decided to call in help. The wall did end up getting fixed, but not before a big chunk of class time had gone by.

The very next period, I got to see some of the pros of these moveable walls. I observed a math class where the teachers team teach full-time and the wall is always open. This math class is also Flipped; the students watch instructional videos for homework and do their work in class. The teachers in this class utilized “clickers” (classroom/student response systems) that allowed them to see where students had errors in their work or whether or not they had started. One of the teachers used her ipad so she could monitor student answers as she circulated the room. I know that flipped classes have their pros and cons, but it was exciting to see teachers committed to collaboration and committed to using technology to enhance student learning and assessment.

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4 thoughts on “Flipped

  1. It’s really unfortunate that the wall got jammed…I wonder how it happened. I feel that sometimes there’s just too many things to cause a distraction.

    I’m curious about “Flipped” and the idea of doing their homework in class. Do you think this could hinder the students? My gut tells me that it could be precious class time for additional instruction or group work…

    What do you think? How do you feel about it?

    • In this particular class, the students were allowed to work together in groups. The teachers pull groups that are struggling with a particular concept, if needed. I think one of the benefits of this style is that the students are doing there work in an environment where there is a lot of help available if they get stuck. I observed students explaining concepts to each other, working together to figure things out and receiving help from both of the teachers.
      I think one of the downsides can be access to the technology to view the videos at home. This problem was addressed by one of the teachers by writing a grant to get portable video players for children to check out if they didn’t have internet at home. Another downside is whether or not students are actually watching the videos at home. The videos are between 5-15 minutes long, which probably helps.
      Most of the students I spoke with told me they liked the flipped class because it allows them to get more help when they need it. My dyad partner spoke with some students who didn’t like this style because they felt like they were teaching themselves.
      I plan to read more on this style of instruction, I still have questions!

  2. I love your ending sentence with seeing “teachers committed to collaboration and committed to using technology to enhance student learning and assessment” this is key i think, to this whole process to using technology in the classroom. We will all embark on this technology journey and will stumble and fall many time ( is there an app for that? 😉 ) BUT, staying committed to it and collaborating with other teachers and studetns will make the process of the journey much more rewarding.

  3. I’ve been thinking about how to work this idea of the Flipped Classroom into some of my practice and also how to increase students’ access to technology in general so that this can at least be an option for all teachers. I can sympathize with the idea that some students might not like it because they feel like they are “teaching themselves”. It sounds to me like they may not feel like they are being challenged and might benefit from a faster learning pace such that they can come to school and feel like they need some help to get their work done in class. At the end of the day, we just need to remember that some instructional methods will work well for some students and some will not. We just need to be perceptive enough to find out what works and flexible enough to implement it competently. Looking forward to hearing more about this!

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