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Flipped Out by the Flipped Classroom

Journey through the beginning and the middle of a shifting educational design that reorders priorities in teaching and learning.
by Jeff Eller on 1 March 2013

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Transcript of Flipped Out by the Flipped Classroom

KATE MATTHEWS, Fayette County Schools
ROBIN SCHIRMER, Rising Starr Middle
JEFF ELLER, J.C. Booth Middle FLIPPED OUT BY THE
FLIPPED CLASSROOM ROBIN'S JOURNEY Reflections JEFF'S JOURNEY Introductions RESOURCES FLIPPED OUT? WEEK ONE:

I have been inspired and challenged. As I announced this concept in class on Friday, the reaction was quite dichotomous where some students were, "Yeah, lets do this!", and others took the stance of, "You can't make me!". Well, I've learned some things about myself through this process and about the expanse of educational possibility. We are going to give this a shot and it is going to be a process of development for me and the students that I teach. It is really exciting but I must be realistic in my expectations ... THIS WILL BE A LOT OF WORK! But I think it will be worth it. The main realization is that this is a "tool-in-the-toolbox" not a "magic bullet". I have created a new page on the blog for Class Videos. We will be sharing most of our videos on the class Edmodo site in organized, topical folders but I'm still working on organization of the material.

I would like to thank Robin Schirmer from Rising Star Middle School for the close proximity of influence in sharing her classroom, also. The process is important and the reflection is out of this world. After all, we are here for the kids. Here are some notes I have gathered in researching this topic. WHAT CHALLENGES HAVE I EXPERIENCED? WHAT HAVE I LEARNED? WHAT HAVE BEEN THE BENEFITS? WHAT WILL I DO DIFFERENTLY? Finding the best way to create videos that can be viewed on ALL platforms
Students that do not have the technology at home to watch the videos
Parents & Family
Punishing students by limiting use of home computer
Students needing to use the computer just as much as a parent or sibling
Teaching students HOW to learn from videos Students respond differently to computer instruction compared to direct instruction
The computer has primarily been used for entertainment purposes or social networking.
They have to be "taught" how to learn from the computer
The video instruction HAS TO BE MEANINGFUL.
Do not rely on the video to be the only form of instruction.
Students have to see the connection between the activities that follow the video instruction or it is a waste of time.
Parents have to realize that the video instruction is a key component to their child's learning.
NEVER use and un-narrated PowerPoint!!! Students can pause, rewind, and re-view as often and as much as necessary
Parents cannot say "I have no idea how to do this new math."
Students that are absent can still learn the material
Students can use the videos to review and prepare for tests and quizzes
Meets many accommodations for students that are on a tier
Students can still learn the current lesson even when the teacher is absent Communicate to parents regarding the Flipped Classroom differently
Have a "Parent" night
Try to do a better job at getting parent "buy-in"
Do a better job on classroom activities
Creating the videos has been the focus & very time consuming
Focus more on developing supporting activities
Make myself more available to students during class
Improve the structure of the videos WEEK TWO:

I have a strong desire to make learning meaningful and deep. The implications that are required to follow the adage, “Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may learn, involve me and I remember” embody these intentions (Eltassa, 2013). Depth is very involved and it reminds me of an oil well and the work that a technician adopts when they step on the rig. The rig is my classroom and my new well began last week. Many hours are required and openness is a must for social and emotional health through the process. The level of intensity is high and it does not come in spurts but is constant. It was not more than expected but that means it is initially just as tough as I thought it would be.

I must agree with @jaafer_eltassa as she reflected on her experience in adopting the flipped classroom model. For some, motivation has increased and for some the motivation has tanked. The students are nonetheless challenged to move forward towards excellence. The students are asking much more complex questions (e.g. I understand this part, but after this calculation, I get confused, can you explain this part again (rather than) “What do I do now?” This is because the students had watched the video prior to coming to class) (Eltassa, 2013).

I have realized that some kids will really hate the whole experience. One student wrote a nasty letter that expressed these strong feelings in flowery language and poignant accusations of causing them to endure torturous pursuits of accountability and responsibility in their learning. The negative experience was not consistent, though. I run from bell to bell and shift from topic to topic. New challenges are now more paramount of moving students from "getting it done" to focusing on "real learning". The start-up time investment is high in consideration of having access to enough resources and time to find the resources. As I prepare for the next day I always have a thoughts of “what if this does not work out” and “what can I add or take away to make this more connected to the students and towards the content” through a lifestyle of flexibility and patience.

The clarity of making informed decisions about the direction of the lesson, as well as to differentiate learning for each child’ is preparing me to be more able to ‘focus’ on ALL the students. In essence, the model of student-centered, differentiated learning as essentially the ‘cloning of the teacher’, allowing the teacher to ‘focus’ on each students specifically, without compromising the quality and authenticity of learning for any student in the class. Thus I believe that the purpose of teaching in this differentiated manner has the potential of lifting student achievement well past the ‘race-to-mediocrity standard’ that is widespread in today’s educational system.

My goals for week three of the flipped classroom include several suggestions that I can work on to make the transition more founded for the future. I would like to thank these students for being honest with me. Much more than in public speaking, I have been challenged to talk slower, write neater, include references to ancillary print sources for background information, and to make the video clips shorter (all less than 7 minutes).

RESOURCE:
@jaafar_eltassa. (2013, November 11). Answers To The Biggest Questions About Flipped Classrooms. Retrieved from http://edudemic.com/2012/11/flipped-classrooms/ WEEK THREE:

The time to produce is a thin line to walk as late nights alternate between early mornings. The production line is becoming more efficient and opportunities to increase creativity are becoming more of a reality as something that is attainable. I found that I could balance the making of a video between Web 2.0 and device applications so that, if we are in class, I can use eInstruction tools to record procedural steps with the Mobi that are elements provided by the county for our classroom. Also, I may want to use certain Applications like ShowMe, Educreations, Sonic Pics, Audio Memos, Croak.it, and Notes Plus. The Mac also has a beneficial screen capturing tool through the QuickTime software. Screencastomatic lends itself to capturing items from my screen and then I will proceed to upload to SchoolTube for use so that the students can watch on the school Wi-Fi network through their devices. Edmodo has connected the class as we have embraced the communication and sharing of resources through sub-groups, resource folders, and calendar events to stay organized.

Facilitator vs. Counselor:

The dynamics of middle school have not reached new limits this week but more individuals have realized their true potential as actors in the field of pre-teen bliss. The role of being available is really important and making sure the connection stays connected as it should was realized this week as the process was epitomized through our Biome investigation. The groups were offered details about Biomes at home through the short video clips and then were to work together to create a lesson about a Biome to share with the other classes. We have three teams in 7th Grade so this unique in that we are able to split 9 Biomes between the three teams. Each team teaches 4 Science classes and each class period will end up presenting to each other each period. Each separate group has the challenge of creating a way to share an audio/visual element, a data set of the material, and also involve the audience in an interactive activity to all take place in a 15 minute time period. We will spend 4 days presenting to each class period so that would equate to 8 students presenting to approximately 60 students for each separate presentation.

That being said, the flipped model allows me to interact through the group postings through Edmodo and facilitate from home and also push out material that the groups or individuals need through short video clips in these different capacities. The foundation has been mixed as a true testament to the flipped classroom model of relying solely on the model as the students are still working through watching at the proper time to be ready for what comes next. Additionally, the groups are working through the dynamics of working together with other students that they may not have worked with before or who they have worked with before and have challenges with. I do feel the model allows me to focus on student connection more than before this was a major initiative on my end.

Going Viral:

Other teachers are catching on. Props to Mr. Matt Jackson for a couple of songs that are being produced which will really inspire many others to push forward with song production. I must say that the process is humbling and inspirational. He has some wonderful renditions in productions to some tunes that Eagles or Led Zeplin would be proud to call their own. I'm leaning more towards the rap / hip-hop style. Here is an example of my (amateur) skills in production with my Biome Rap. ACCESSIBLE TO EVERYONE?

HMMM ... MISTA ELLA'S BIOME RAP JEFF ELLER'S SCIENCE SITE: http://jeffellerlearning.edublogs.org ROBIN SCHIRMER'S MATH SITE: http://goo.gl/1eHxH URL'S TO VIDEOS
DIRECTION TO EDMODO FOLDERS
LOCATION REMINDER ON SCIENCE SITE http://goo.gl/4YeuU
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