The Innovative Educator: Five Reasons I’m Not Flipping Over The Flipped Classroom

If we really want transformation in education, one thing we must do is stop grouping students by date of manufacture, which the flipped classroom is ideally suited for, but have schools put the structures in place? Are they ready to let students move at a pace that meets their developmental readiness and come to the realization that not everyone at the same age needs to be at the same place at the same time? True flipping should include a careful redesign of learning environment, but this is often overlooked.

via The Innovative Educator: Five Reasons I’m Not Flipping Over The Flipped Classroom.

My past confusion about implementing a flipped classroom in an English class has been about the fact that I rarely lecture. The few lectures or presentations I give are made a part of my blended classroom (I can upload material to Google Docs and/or Moodle so students can access it again) but there is little to know lecture -> practice that takes place that would more correctly fit what we are coming to think of as a flipped classroom.

That said, I love the author’s point, quoted above, about allowing students to move at their own pace. I need to think about this more and what impact differentiation has, if any, on a flipped classroom.

Here is what I wrote to the AP Listserv about my own flipped classroom ideas:

‘ve been using a blended classroom model (though I didn’t realize it had a name) since the ’06-’07 school year. We used Wikispaces to post/make connections between what we read in class (like, if students read Nickel & Dimed then they would find articles that related and post them there) and then have preliminary/coaching types of discussions on the material.

Like everyone else, I know that being able to describe what is happening with a text but students feel like they need to memorize terms, so we’ve had a small project, also in Wikispaces, “teaching” rhetorical terms. Here’s an old one: It is far from perfect.

At our school I think I am the only one who has been moving toward a flipped model. Since I have been using a blended model for so long it has been an easy transition. I flipped my semester-long senior English elective, Teen Issues in Literature, right away last year. I then started planning the flip for AP Language. I worked on creating and expanding, not necessarily replacing, what I already teach since others are right that this is not a stretch for English teachers. I started with what I wanted the class to look like if a stranger came in and then began rearranging units to support that vision. I want more time for seminar, for expanding connections to text, for coaching older texts that students struggle with (like “On Want of Money” from a few years ago), debate, and multimedia projects that expand traditional rhetoric so student can see how the same types of arguments are used in everything from websites to YouTube videos.

I kept the same readings from PH Reader, but have Prentice Hall’s online quizzes embedded/linked from the Moodle for the class. Units contain “books” that review the notes and sources formerly given in class with comprehension quizzes to make sure students have actually read the material. Some of this I think is definitely worth covering in different ways both in class and on Moodle but having content online is invaluable to students who travel for sports, are absent due to illness, or just need to go over things one more time.

I attached screen shots of Moodle, including the “hidden” planning notes for myself.

Now, for full disclosure, I am not teaching AP Lang this year. I am still pissed about it. I have taught Lang for 6 years and have always had my average scores at or around 3.0 but, apparently, my other senior elective, Digital Composition, became too popular so I lost my Lang to pick up more Digi Comp. Digital Comp is being taught based on the rhetorical modes of composition so sometimes I don’t miss Lang as much. I adapted the REHUGO reinvention (CRAVE) to fit a semester-long class and it is relatively successful so far.
Argument – technology grant/research paper
Personal – digital portfolio
etc. Here is a link to show you how things look –
I have a lot of bright seniors, many of whom were very successful in AP Lang last year but didn’t want to take AP Lit.

I hope this is helpful. It’s been a rough morning and now class has started so I should get going. I visit the Vodcasting Ning quite a bit to follow how teachers in other subject areas are flipping their classes. and there is a lot of tech help in there as well.

I am more than happy to answer follow-up questions as I put a lot of work into flipping AP Language and the content is there for the whole first half of the year. I have AP Lang elements in both of the elective classes I teach and a fully blended Honors 9.



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