Wednesday, June 13, 2012


Don't flip out! It is just a flipped class! (part2)

So after I listened to Jon and Aaron talk about flipping I checked out the flipped class tweets and saw that Crystal (Who Jon actually gave a shout out for her WSQ forms) was holding a webinar. So I thought...why not! (a recording is now available here: if you want to check it out yourself)

There were some technical difficulties so the webinar started 15 minutes late (5pm). I had an appointment at 6pm, so I hope I don't miss much at the end.

To start she used PREZI so I was happy :)

So Crystal is a high school math teacher (seems like she does some of the higher levels: (pre-calculus) and some of the basics (algebra).  She started flipped classes because:
  • She was having problems with the traditional class:
    • Her students worked at different paces (OK...mine too)
    • They miss different parts (zoning out or missing days) (Not so much here on physical, but mental ooooh yeah)
    • They do homework incorrectly or not at all since it is too long between class and homework and they don't have guidance. (Yep)
    • Too much teacher talk time with only 20-30 minutes for students to work in class. (Yep)
    • Lots of tutoring for students who didn't get it the first time. (Eh, my students don't show up to tutoring, but...I suppose)
She reviewed what a flipped class is. Basically we go from being a "Sage on the stage" to a "guide on the side" (who coined those terms? I am in love!)
  • So, why is flipping better that the traditional classes?
    • I can work one on one with each student each day I see them! (This seems ideal)
    • There is the dynamic, engaging, interactive classroom that she always wanted but never had (again, this sounds good)
    • Students without parents who can't help students with their homework can have the teacher's guidance and support in class (awesome, I remember calling my cousin Karen when I was younger for math help once I passed my parents)
    • My awesome 2nd Graders in Getafe!
    • It is easier to differentiate classes. (ahhh differentiation...always the goal)
  • What flipping let's students do:
    • Students can pause, rewind, and re-watch lessons at their own pace
    • Students don't have to worry about getting behind when they are absent due to illness or extracurricular activities
    • Students can access the content for their class anytime, anywhere on any device.
    • Students become active learners and self-reflective, knowing when they need to rewind, or pause the material to ensure their understanding. Basically students are in full control of their learning
    • Students aren't stuck on homework problems anymore because now the teacher is here when they need them.
    • They don't get as frustrated by homework assignments because they work on the problems in class where there is support.
    • Students can discuss and make meaning of the content (higher up on bloom's taxonomy)
    • Students who are proficient can work ahead on lessons and challenge themselves
    • They can review material from any time in the year without waiting to see the teacher (or a response from her e-mail)
    • Students learn to manage time and are held accountable for their time in class
    • They receive instant feedback
From my perspective here is why I like flipping. I encourage my students to realize that their actions have results. I don't give bathroom passes. If they want to leave they can, but I won't repeat myself. I hardly take away phone, if they want to text and lose out on the lesson then they need to realize they won't understand things.

Flipping a class allows students to be in charge of their own education! They can control if they need to watch it again. They can control if they need to pause to understand a concept. They can stop it and do jumping jacks if they need their blood flowing!

However, like Crystal, I do think that the videos should be engaging AND the students should be engaged. 

Whether this is through asking questions in the video, making students to KWL sheets in Crystal's case: having her students WSQ.

Have them huh? Her WSQ (pronounced whisk)
W They watch the 8-15 minute video and take notes in their Student Success Sheet packets.
S Students write a summary of the main points of the concept. They are either given sentence starters to use as support or key questions to answer to guide their summary. (The questions make sure that they know what you want them to know)
Q Finally like any good AVID student they question! They either need to ask something that they don't know the answer to, or a question that they want to challenge the class with. The questions should be HOT (Higher Order Thinking) as this leads to good quality discussions

Sometimes they use Google forms to submit the students answers (instant feedback wohoo!) and paperless (save the trees!) A teacher can read all the answers because they do it outside the class. I have used Google forms before but am always hesitant due to Google’s less than stellar privacy policy, but I may just need to suck it up and admit defeat. Especially because one of the attendees just introduced me to Flubaroo which looks very appealing for Concept Check assignments.

OK we're coming up to my favorite part. She, a math teacher, said that she wanted her students TWIRLING every day Thinking, Writing, Interacting, Reading and Listening! (she had speaking as well, but I am going to say that's covered in interacting). How great is that? She acknowledges the benefits of a well-rounded classroom! Why can't we all do that? I expect my students to calculate the totals on exams and figure out their percentages. I think whole brain learning is always best!

So, personally to me (after my 2 hour flipping crash course), I don't think I would want to flip classes every day but I do think that it will be helpful when working on essays, paragraph structure, grammar points etc. 

The other classes are usually interactive already (focusing on speaking and small groups) and flipping wouldn't be the best fit.

If you want to know more about how Crystal flipped check out her blog, you can also see her worksheets and samples of student’s work:

Do you flip? Did you have questions?  Do you know of a good alternative to Google forms?

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