For those of you that have followed my blog for a while, you know that I am a huge fan of utilizing the flipped classroom strategy in classrooms. That being said, I worry that I haven’t talked enough about the tips and tricks to make a flipped classroom truly effective for students. Implementing a flipped classroom can be an amazing strategy – or it can be a complete trainwreck. If utilized properly, a flipped classroom can be an amazing way to open more time in your instructional day for deeper learning. However, if you don’t implement it properly, students are less likely to engage with and/or retain the material that was taught.
An effective flipped classroom is not simply sharing a video for students to watch. An effective flipped classroom is so much more than this. It is thoughtful, systematic, and continues to challenge and support students.
Ready to up your flipped classroom game? Check out these 5 tips! (Bonus: Check out the AWESOME infographic at the end and feel free to share out!)
Tip #1: Keep it Short
Gone are the days of 45+ minute lectures. Have you recently tried to sit through a long lecture or meeting? I swear my attention span is getting smaller as I am getting older. Imagine what is like for our students? As a middle school teacher, my flipped classroom lessons were never over 20 minutes. Usually, they were somewhere in the 10-15 minute range which was more than enough for my students. Remember, your students will have to account for writing time and checks for understanding. This means that they could be doing their flipped classroom for longer than the recorded time.
Pro-Tip: Use Screencastify to record your lessons. It keeps a timer of how long you have been recording to help you keep track of time.
Tip #2: Check for Understanding
Adding checks for understanding in your flipped lesson is one of the most important aspects of a flipped classroom lesson. It challenges students to stop, reflect, think, and apply the new knowledge they have learned. It doesn’t have to be a lot questions – just simple, quick checks. As a Math teacher, I usually added 3-5 problems per lesson to check for understanding that could be automatically graded within the system (EdPuzzle) I was using.
Pro-Tip: Utilize EdPuzzle to check for understanding. It can track how long the students have watched the video and grade questions that you embed into the lesson.
Tip #3: Allow Time to Reteach
Once you give your flipped lesson, please don’t move on until all of your students have a strong understanding of the material. After a flipped lesson, I would have students check their grade on EdPuzzle from the previous night’s lesson and have them break into groups based on their progress. For struggling students, I pulled them into small groups to reteach. For students that had done well, they could move onto the next assignment or an enrichment activity.
Pro-Tip: Utilize the grading feature in EdPuzzle to quickly grade and track student data to develop your groups.
Tip #4: Accessible to All Learners
This one is simple – check that the technology that you ask students to use is accessible across multiple platforms, even cell phones! More times than I could count, I have had students that lost internet access, or their Chromebook broke, or some other technology issue that prevented them from completing their assignment. However, EdPuzzle has an AMAZING mobile feature and I could always refer my students to that option.
Pro-Tip: Test out your flipped lesson on a mobile phone. If it works there, it will probably work anywhere.
Tip #5: Time to Apply Their Knowledge
Once students have completed their flipped lesson and you have followed up with them, challenge students to demonstrate their knowledge. Personally, I always assessed their skills and application of their knowledge. Simple, skills practice was completed in Google Forms where they could receive immediate feedback. The deeper application was done through projects, game-based learning, and other assignments. Make sure students have a chance to show what they know!
Pro-Tip: Need some new ideas? Check out this fun list from The Ed Advocate: 27 Ways to Have Students Demonstrate What They Have Learned.
What are some of your best flipped classroom tips and tricks? Share in the comments below!