Flipping for Flipped Classroom

I had the wonderful opportunity to attend a workshop sponsored by CUE to You at the Orange County Department of Education. The workshop focused on flipping how learning occurs in the classroom.  I had heard the term “flipped classroom” for several years, and I knew it had to do something with videos and changing the idea of homework.  But I knew little else.

At ISTE in San Diego earlier this summer, I again came across the term several times in the various workshops I attended.  I wandered over to where the books were being sold and at every table Flip Your Classroom was sold out.  I figured I would peruse the book at a later time.  Then came the PD opportunity at OCDE.

First of all, let me just state that Jonathan Bergmann is hilarious.  It was easy to listen to his stories because they were honest and forthright.  But I needed to get to the meat of the matter.  I listened intently to the three other speakers and I tried to figure out how I could implement this into my history classes.  I have to admit that I was a bit frustrated that science, math, English, and even computer technology were represented, but there were no “experts” in history who could lend their voice to how this could be implemented in a social studies class.  But I signed up for The Flipped Class Network, and found a couple of resources for history teachers.

I bought the book.

Actually, I bought the eBook as I’m running out of space in my office and it was 50% cheaper than purchasing the hard copy.

I finished the book this afternoon and I have to say that I am excited to try this with my students.  I like the fact that the authors address differentiation and mastery and how those concepts can be supported in a flipped class.  What I especially liked is the fact that they repeatedly mentioned in the book that there is no one right way to flip a class.  At least it gives me room to breathe.  But more importantly,  it honors me as a professional because I rarely take anything as is.  I like to modify things to work with my teaching style, my personality, and ultimately the needs of my students.  So the concept of flipping my class, or more accurately, flipping my lessons is something that I’m really looking forward to trying with my students.

It seems as if each year there are new things that I want to try with my students (heck, I don’t call them my “guinea pigs” for nothing!)…but I like the idea of adding yet another tool to help my students take charge of their learning.  But I have to add that I’m also coming from a school with a very supportive principal who gives me the autonomy to work outside of the box.  Right now I’m marinating on all of the things that I need to do to flip my lessons, and I’m energized!  =)

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