In a time of distance learning where teachers are flying by the seat of their pants, and essentially building the plane while in the air when it comes to teaching online, we all are feeling the effects of working our butts off and yet not having the same impact we did when in the classroom.
Except for flipped classroom teachers.
Teachers who had previously flipped their classrooms, in many ways were prepared for a unpredictable setting like this one, as well as their students, because of how the flipped classroom functions.
Please hear me when I say that I am not trying to throw flipped teachers' success during distance learning in the face of teachers who had not previously flipped. NOT AT ALL. I'm not here to shame or guilt anyone (see my posts on these topics here and here).
But I do want to use those teachers who had flipped before the pandemic-induced school closures as a story of success when it comes to building accessible and sustainable classrooms. And...
A very common question I get from teachers about flipping is about the videos themselves. Particularly best practices in making them and what happens when students DON'T watch them.
These are SUPER important questions that you want to be crystal clear about before venturing into flipping. You don't want to put all kinds of time and energy into making these videos just for them to be boring, poor quality, and your students rarely watch them. What a waste.
When I hear teachers ask these questions about flipped video, here's what they are really asking...
Is all the work and time investment in making these videos going to be worth it?
Teachers want to know upfront, as they should.
Now that we have a clear understanding of what we're all dying to know before we start flipping, we can give it an equally clear answer.
I'll answer this question by pointing out the power of flipped videos because it will help clarify the impact we will have as flipped teachers,...
A few weeks ago when the world seemed to all but shut down completely - I admit that statement seems a bit dramatic given all major media companies including the life-giving Netflix and Disney+ are still available, but when schools shut down, to me, that seems like a pretty big shut down and huge shift for most homes - teachers lives shifted in a way unique to few other occupations.
Instead of just spending time at home, teachers are sometimes working more hours than they were in the classroom given the new demands of distance learning and all that it takes to meet each of their students' needs while not in their physical presence.
This is not a newsflash for anyone reading this blog right now.
I state the obvious, though, because I want to put a stake in the ground here and say something that I hope all teachers hear and ponder for a bit before eventually responding, and ultimately making a slight shift that will benefit them in the long run.
In all this work you're doing right...
Within about one week’s time, the entire nation’s population of teachers went from teaching in-class to teaching online. Take into account the varying degrees of tech-experience amongst teachers, some who have built online lessons for years and others who still keep a paper-pencil gradebook, and we’ve got ourselves a uniquely exhilarating and terrifying situation when all the nation’s schools simultaneously closed their doors.
In this post, my goal is to put words to what most teachers are experiencing right now as they wrap their minds around the molded-together, modge-podge position they now hold as an online, work-from-home teacher. Identifying what we are experiencing is the first step, but then I hope to provide effective and efficient strategies for this new dual role.
I want to take a moment and give a huge shout out to all teachers. Because we have a career in common, you are my people, and today I stand...
*This post includes affiliate links to tools I have used and loved for years. All of the opinions in this post are completely mine and if you choose to purchase anything from a link in this post I will get a small commission.*
By far the most frequently asked question I get about the flipped classroom, next to what do I do when students don't watch the videos (stay tuned for a post on that), is how to make the videos. Specifically, what tool can I use to make my flipped videos that won't take me a ton of time to learn how to use it and will have a fairly easy process of getting the job done?
I LOVE this question because I LOVE telling teachers that making the flipped videos will be the easiest thing they do when building their flipped classroom.
For some of you that might actually be rather scary because you have no idea where to begin or might call yourselves technologically impaired. Stick with me here for a second though, because I assure you that videoing...
A Student’s Story
She walks into class and other students look twice because she’s actually there, for the first time in weeks. They give her curious looks, and try not to be rude, but she can’t help but notice how her presence throws off the balance of the room.
She’s glad to be back, though, and she’s so thankful for the warm greeting her teacher gives her. It helps her through the fact that the last month has been pretty touch and go for her with all kinds of doctor’s appointments and various medical issues. It wasn’t her fault she was absent - sometimes life takes higher priority than even school.
She’s glad to be back, but being back means she’s got some major catch up to do. Just after one day back at school she feels this immense pressure and weight on her chest that eventually exacerbates her existing medical condition, compounding its effects both physically and in her education....
The LAST unit of the content (if you follow College Board's CED which is not mandatory)... can you even believe it?
But I do love rounding out new content with this unit, social psychology. The reason being twofold.
So you'll want to present the unit in exactly those two ways... the foundational concepts with notes and readings (as usual), and then application through demonstration, simulation, and reflection.
And, I'd like to provide you with some resources to help you do all of that for the social psychology unit.
First, be sure to have...
We are wrapping up our How-To for Teachers series this week, and I'm excited to bring you a tutorial on a topic that was a crucial part of my classroom as well as one that I think you'll like to start incorporate no matter what level you teach.
Often times stations, or centers, are underrated and underused the higher up in grade level you go. I think this is a super disservice to teachers because the possibilities are awesome.
First, it's important to explain the set up a bit and how I used stations in my classroom.
When I first implemented stations in my high school (AP Psychology, juniors and seniors) classroom, I heard moans and groans very quickly about how I was making them move about the room. After resisting their complaining, I realized that having about 25-30 moving bodies (rather large, adult bodies at that) in my room wasn't a great cost to reward ratio. Too much time was taken up by the transitions and there really was no point to it...
Welcome back for the second installation of our How-To Series for teachers we're currently in the middle of. I'm excited you're back, but if you didn't catch part one yet, I encourage you to check out how to make student guided notes.
In today's How-To, we'll focus on a digital resource. It's one that can be done on paper, with scissors and glue, but assigning it digitally furthers the benefits I sought out after when creating these types of resources.
I can explain.
Practice is a super important part of the learning process, as you know, but it also can take a lot of grading and feedback that I simply didn't have the time to provide. There had to be a better way than assigning the activity, students completing it, I collect, grade, and provide feedback on, then return.
It was just way too long of a process for what should be quick turn on around for students on knowing if they, well, know the material or not based on how well they did applying the concepts.
Even as a high school teacher, providing guided notes to my students is always something I have done. I do NOT remember that being a tool I was given as a student, and I never thought I would like or appreciate giving students that type of scaffolding as a teacher, but it has been something I've done since day ONE of teaching.
When I first started, I probably couldn't even tell you why I did - it was probably a control thing. I wanted to control exactly what they got out of the slides I worked so hard to create. But as I progressed in my career I realized students appreciated these notes, and not just students who truly needed the accommodation, but almost all students.
Students appreciated the structure of guided notes because,