Hello teacher friends!
I’ve been intrigued by the idea of a flipped classroom and adding more technology into my room for some time now, but have been held back by two main problems. For one, I didn’t have much technology to use. Secondly, traditional flipped classrooms require students to watch videos and short lessons at home, complete some home task, and come to school ready to talk about it. Due to the demographics of my classroom, my students don’t have much internet access at home. So I started to think about ways to incorporate flipped learning in my classroom within the school day.
My school district recently adopted Lucy Calkins Units of Study as writing curriculum. For all the great things it does to teach kids how to be authors, it does nothing for teaching handwriting and the formation of letters. I was struggling to find a time to reach all kids in handwriting outside of our traditional writing time. It was driving me crazy to see kids write letters in such crazy ways but I couldn’t quite give them the attention it needed.
And so, out of two problems, one solution was born. I started creating short (1-2 minute) handwriting tutorials for each letter of the alphabet. I’m slowly creating them and adding them to my YouTube Channel. Now that I have a few iPads in my classroom, I can set up these videos as stations in my classroom, effectively going from having one teacher in the room to 5. Kids can start by working through rotations and, later on when they know how to access the videos, choose which letters they need help on and work independently during free times. If you have only one computer or one iPad in your room, you can still utilize this strategy. Also, since the videos are public online, parents who do want to use them at home will have access.
These videos are short and to the point. There are no bells and whistles; they are not sing-songy or cutesy. They are created to teach, not to entertain. They are, however, very prescribed. I use many of the same words and phrases in each video. I did this on purpose so that ELL and low-language students hear consistent verbiage and know when to tune in to the most important parts. I’m not super comfortable in front of a camera (it’s a good thing I didn’t choose to become an actress) but I’m sure they’ll get better as I progress through the alphabet. After I implement these for a little while, I’ll work on adding other videos for different subjects and skills.
Please feel free to use these videos. They are public on YouTube and open-sourced so that anybody can use them. The handwriting sheets you see in the videos are from Confessions of a Homeschooler and can be downloaded here.
Have fun! If you end up using these in your classroom or with your kiddo at home, let me know how it goes!