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Flipping out !!

I love teaching 6th form, some of my best lessons (from my POV and Ofsted’s) have been with 6th form students.

I can’t always explain why, but if you get it right you can latch on to their aspirations of maturity in those first few lessons and really harness that, developing it into some wonderful Q&A sessions, imaginative and heated debate, and they are often keenest to try out new technologies and new ways of developing teaching and their own learning.

It’s developing teaching and learning that this post is about.

…it’s called ‘The Flipped Class room’.

Explaining the Flip

I have a new group of year 12 BTEC students this year, and they are brilliant, some really bright students. When I thought about my lessons from the previous year (now yr13) I looked at how I was teaching, a huge percentage of lesson was taught by PowerPoint, me talking, them listening (or not) and then a task, then more talk, then a task.

Now I realise to some people this is fine, but to me, it isn’t!

I don’t feel I was getting anywhere developing independent enquiry skills, or encouraging a great deal of creativity in the students!

Helps to Differentiate!

I want to use a teaching and learning model that;

    • Creates opportunity to develop independent learning skills (there’s no point assuming that somehow in those magical 6 weeks a student has suddenly become one!)
    • Gives opportunity to develop thinking skills
    • Creates time to stop and develop higher order skills in students
    • Gives G&T students that opportunity to go beyond the basic subject knowledge AND, not ‘be stretched’ but stretch themselves!

So, in order to do all these, I’ve abandoned the ‘chalk and talk’ and flipped the classroom!

BEFORE LESSON TIME:

  • I record my lessons as interactive presentation videos, full of information, tasks, and links to further research videos, books and WebPages.

    Website students access work from

  • I post the recording online in advance of the week ahead
  • The students watch, make notes, complete the tasks, and engage in the wider reading.

IN LESSON TIME:

  • Groups take part in focused Q&A based on prior study
  • Students work in selected groups to ask questions based on their own study and research
  • More time is spent engaging in course work activities
  • Students can differentiate the work more easily through following their own lines or enquiring and level of understanding.
  • Time can be spent to support weaker learners, and easily encourage and engage with stronger ones

Review

The first week of lessons in this way ended with a review, and I’m happy to say that the students seem to have responded well to the new way of working and were able to highlight some improvements I could make.

  • Like my own target students suggested we work on both their questioning and my own technique to help them build on the work done at home.
  • Students asked me to set expected time lengths for revision tasks I set them at home
  • Students also asked that I change the video model from ‘pause now and do a task’ to simply adding all tasks and links to then end of the podcast.

We’ll see how the changes effect the next weeks lessons!

Link to further resources on the Flipped Class room Model

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