The Flipped Classroom teaching style has been gaining momentum as it puts more responsibility of learning into the hands of the students and decreases student talk time.  The idea of creating mini-lectures in video form for students to watch at home before accessing content at school is very desirable – watching the videos may replace traditional homework while kids have more hands-on time in the classroom to apply their knowledge and create new learning.

One Scholastic article titled Flip Your Classroom drove home that videos will not replace good teachers.  Instead, teachers will be able to spend quality time helping kids to truly understand the concepts, apply their understanding, and participate in tasks that engage the higher order thinking skills of Bloom’s Taxonomy.  The article also mentions that it is not expected that teachers flip their classroom over night.  Start with one lesson or one unit.  Enact that unit, reflect upon its effectiveness, refine and try again.

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One main characteristic of a flipped classroom is that students watch videos at home.  Thinking of the demographics of my own classroom (100% free and reduced lunch, 50% ELL…) this shot up a red flag for me.  How will this ever work when my kids don’t have computers at home to use or, if they do, half of them don’t have parents that speak the language I teach in.  Although I supplement my teaching with Spanish, the main focus of kindergarten is to learn reading, writing, and math skills in English.  I allow my students in the classroom to talk with each other in Spanish if they are working, as long as they use key vocabulary words in English.  Initially I started thinking that I could make the lesson in Spanish as well as English so that parents could work with their students.  That might work – I’d need to make sure I use the same level of language in both.  However, the larger problem still exists – my students don’t have internet access at home – Most of the parents only have email on their phones.

Then I read a post on Edutopia, The Flipped-Learning Toolkit, Flipping the Un-Flippable Classes, that highlighted a teacher in Seattle who had kids watch the videos at school before starting to work.  Randy Brown has half of his students watching and learning on devices while the other half works with him or independently.  This is something that may work in my classroom!  Andrea Buehler has some great videos on YouTube that show a video kindergarten lesson:

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These are great to have on hand for students to check out while they are working on handwriting and phonemic awareness.  If students had a library of these videos on their devices, they could access them anytime they needed a reminder on sounds or letter formation.  These will be very beneficial in my room.  Additional videos on blending, writing, and specific reading/writing rules in English can be very helpful!

Due to the demographics of my classroom, I don’t honestly think it’ll ever be fully flipped, however the wheels are turning on how I can flip certain lessons and subjects and support students in higher level thinking and learning skills.


5 thoughts on “#flipclass

  1. I like how you point out that a flipped classroom is not something to replace good teachers. I believe it is more of a supplement and allows teachers to focus more on certain areas, all while putting more responsibility back on the students. It is also great that you pointed out everything doesn’t have to happen overnight and can be slowly integrated into the classroom.

    I can see how a flipped classroom could be a challenge for you. I love that you are willing to take that challenge on and see what you might be able to do. I think your idea of doing the lessons in Spanish and English is a good thought, I just worry a little that the students may revert back to using Spanish if that option is even present. I am sure there are ways around that though.

    I am happy you found another teacher who had similar issues as you do, with students no having technology at home. It seems like he has a unique perspective on how to make the classroom similar to a flipped one. I hope that you are able to incorporate some form of a flipped classroom into your own class.


    • I also have thought about kids reverting back to Spanish if they had the videos in Spanish, but if we are working in English in our groups for the content areas, they’ll progress in English. They may not progress quite as quickly. The Spanish in ELA would really be more for the parents if it was done at home. In class, Spanish would be more useful in math than reading. Now I just need all my technology to show up so that I can split my class up!

  2. Kathryn,

    It’s great to hear you brainstorming on how to meet the needs of your students. One advantage of splitting them up to watch videos/ work with you is that you have smaller groups to work with this way. -Melissa

  3. Kate,

    I have begun thinking of flipped learning in creative ways as well. Just now, you had me in problem solving mode. If I had to make flipped work some way in my classroom and start tomorrow, I would record myself giving the directions to our art project and put it on a loop. Then when a kid missed the directions when they were pulled from my class for remediation, they could come back and watch the directions again. I say loop it so I wouldn’t have to answer the same question over and over when they did not listen the first time. Just kidding on the last comment, mostly. I like video and hands on things because I am an art teacher. I do not do a project without a sample, visual on the big screen and a hands on demonstration. I think it would be interesting to record myself and have the students follow step by step and be able to walk around the room and help. I could be two places at once. I can not let go of the dual language video. When I took Spanish in high school, the oral part of exams were painful. I was not a good speaker of the language. I recorded myself speaking Spanish, reviewing for the test and the topic of the oral presentation. I would listen to it before I went to sleep. It helped with my speaking but also with my anxiety. Isolating the sound with headphones helped. Maybe you already do something like this. My friend learned English as an adult through closed caption TV so I guess anything is possible when you have a will and a way. Great ideas all the way around, Kate.


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