A flipped classroom.
Curriculum Technology

5 Keys to Success for Beginning Flippers

Gaining in popularity, flipped classrooms can be achieved without a lot of resources.

Trying out a new approach in the classroom can be both exciting and overwhelming. While the flipped classroom has been a big buzzword in education over the past few years, you may still be standing on the sidelines. You’ve heard all the benefits and success stories, but the idea of a total shift in your instructional approach may leave you feeling flipped yourself. Taking the time to familiarize yourself with the approach will do wonders. With these five keys to success, you can regain your footing and get you and your students immersed in active learning.

  • Humble Beginnings: Don’t feel the need to completely immerse in the flipped concept from day one. While this is a powerful and engaging approach, it does not have to be the sole focus of learning inside and outside of the classroom. Tackling too much at once is a surefire way to become overwhelmed and toss in the towel. Try a lesson or two with the flipped approach and ease yourself and your students into the concept. As with any other new endeavor, practice your craft to find the methods that work best for you. Flipped Classroom Workshop offers three easy starting points, including embedding questions into preexisting YouTube videos.
  • Engagement: Students cannot be expected to “get it” when you assign a video for them to view. While the video is replacing the direct instruction element, simply viewing it doesn’t mean students will glean the concepts being shared. Students must be engaged with the content and given the opportunity to make meaningful connections through purposeful checkpoints. Taking the time to develop students’ skills in viewing is an imperative pre-flip step and one you must keep in mind whenever creating said videos. Vicki Davis’ interview with flipping pioneer Jon Bergman offers insight on the time frame for tackling video viewing strategies (i.e., 1-3 weeks), video length (i.e., 1-1.5 minutes per grade level; 6th grade= 6-9 minutes), and many more helpful tips for getting your flip underway.
  • Flipped Resources: You can’t be expected to delve into an entirely new project without the right tools in your toolbox. The 31 Tools to Flip Your Classroom on edshelf are the perfect mix to get you started. Click on the icons to find brief descriptions of the resources and determine those that can help you make the most of your flip. Whether it’s creating videos or communicating with students, these tools have you covered.
  • Personalize Learning: Just as every strategy you’ve used in the past wasn’t the perfect fit for all of your students, so may be the case with flipped learning. Don’t let this be a halting point. The beauty of the flipped design is that you have more one-on-one time with students to tackle this issue. If the video delivery isn’t working for a student, directing them to text or an interactive format is possible. ISTE notes that this ability to personalize learning, combined with the time to build relationships and utilize passion-based and project-based learning are the four learning strategies that thrive through flipping.
  • In-Flip: If students’ lack of at-home resources or outside of class work completion percentages have you fearing a flip flop, then the In-flip model is your perfect solution. While the video delivery of direct instruction is still in place, the engaged viewing actually occurs during students’ individualized time in class. The In-flip method is discussed in the Bergman interview and used by interviewer Vicki Davis in her own classes. While a portion of the class is individually viewing the direct instruction component, the teacher is free to work with other students on the group or individualized activities that make up the most valuable part of flipping. Any confusion with the video component can also be addressed immediately with this approach.

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