Welcome to the 2017-2018 school year and to Anderson 2's Gifted and Talented program. If you were a part of GT last year, things are going to look a little different. If you're new to GT this will be informative as well to how your year in GT will work. I will be using an new, technological, and innovative approach to teaching in all my Gifted & Talented classes across the district. It is called the “flipped” classroom. The basic concept behind a flipped classroom is that what was traditionally done in the classroom becomes is done at home and what was traditionally done at home (homework) is done in the classroom.
So what will this look like this year in my classroom? The direct instruction or lecture portion of the class will become the homework. This will primarily be in the form of watching videos that have been produced either by myself or occasionally someone else. All GT reading and math flipped assignments will be posted on Google Classroom and the GT website. Students will also be asked to try 1-3 problems/questions after watching most videos. As students watch the video, they should take notes on vocabulary, main concepts, and some examples (how they go about watching, rewinding, and taking notes will depend on the student and what they need. Encourage students to try different strategies until they find their “best fit.”) When students come to class the next day we will briefly discuss what they heard in the videos and answer any questions they may have. The rest of the class time will be used for practicing the concepts from the video (homework in the traditional setting), working with manipulatives, and doing activities intended to enrich the curriculum.
By moving the direct teach portion of the lesson to homework it frees up more time in the classroom so that I can interact more with my students and provide more individual help. There will still be assessment of student learning through a variety of assessment methods. There are some key benefits to flipped instruction:
1. It helps busy students. Many of our students are involved in activities outside of school and often have a hard time getting all their homework done. Students will be able to watch videos ahead of time from their home computer, smart phone, laptops, I-Pads or school/library computers at their convenience.
2. Parents do not have to worry that they can’t help their child with difficult above grade level homework. With this method, students are doing the work in the classroom and are able to get their questions answered immediately.
3. Flipping the instruction helps struggling students. By doing the work in the classroom, I will be able to monitor students more closely. I will be able to identify students needs quicker that have and provide more individualized instruction.
4. Learning is student-centered, not teacher-centered. Focus is not on the teacher teaching the content but on the student practicing and producing quality work. Since I won’t be spending the class time on instruction, there is more time for me to answer student questions, work with small groups, and guide the learning of each student individually. There will also be more emphasis on students working collaboratively with other students to facilitate the learning.
I am really excited about the flipped class approach in my classes! If you wish to learn more about the flipped classroom, I’ve provided additional links to online videos below. If you have any additional questions, as always, feel free to contact me.
1. What is the Flipped Classroom?
2. Flipping the Classroom: Explained
3. What the Flipped Class is Not...