Thursday, 3 May 2012

When will my back flip occur?

cc licensed ( BY ) flickr photo shared by Pål Berge
It has been a very long time between blog posts indeed!  We are well into term two here at McDowall State School and life is certainly flying along.  I am eagerly anticipating the 15th of May  2012 as it is the highlight of my schooling life every year.  For those who are not in on my sarcastic attitude, the NAPLAN tests begin on 15th of May and finish on 17thof May.  I am not actually eagerly awaiting them: I am eagerly awaiting them to be finished.

For a while now, I have been tossing and turning how to best use the ‘Flip Classroom’ model with my learners.  I have stated numerous times before that I am a huge advocate of the flipped model and it fits really nicely into some key learning areas.  We have been using the flipped model with two key learning areas (Maths and Science) this year and the kids are massive fans of it.  When I explained the model to them, they were very excited.  Like most things that are new, learners engage at the beginning and fall away as time progresses.  I am happy to report that the enthusiasm that my leaners are demonstrating within the learning process has been infectious.  I feel that these two key learning areas lead themselves well to be ‘flipped’.

To those who are reluctant to engage in the flipped model, I would encourage you to consider it.  The key question to ask yourself when thinking about the model is this – When do the kids truly need you?  Do they need you whilst you back is to the board or do they need you whilst you are applying the knowledge that you have passed onto them?  Sometimes the answer may be both but in the majority of scenarios, I think you will agree with me that the need you when they are applying their knowledge.

With the advent of c2c, I really think that there are some fantastic opportunities for teachers to consider ‘flipping’ their classroom when the context is appropriate.  Next week, in Science, learners in my class are learning about scientific concepts that are very complicated and hard for my simple mind to understand.  I found some outstanding videos, emailed the owners of those videos and asked for permission to ‘mash them up’ to suit my context of learners and they agreed.  Tonight for homework, they will be preparing themselves for the learning that they will be undertaking next week.

I would be happy to hear your thoughts on this.  I am an advocate for this model of learning because it empowers my students to be active participants within the learning cycle. 

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