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Flipped Classroom Series: What is it and how do I start?

by Andi Diaz on July 21, 2020

What does a flipped classroom look like, and what are tips to help educators get started?

Less conventional teaching methods are on all of our minds. With the closure of schools due to COVID-19, many educators have had to move toward new ways of delivering instruction while still making time to differentiate instruction for their students.

When we return to school this fall, we may see many versions of hybrid approaches that deliver classroom instruction in school, at home, or both. The flipped classroom concept is perfect for promoting home-based instruction and gives educators more time in the classroom to address the needs of all students.

What is a flipped classroom?

A flipped classroom can look many different ways based on a teacher’s style and preference. The most common way to explain it is that it is the reverse of the regular classroom structure. In most classrooms, students are delivered the instruction during the school day and given homework to practice a skill at home.

In the flipped-classroom approach, students learn at home by completing tasks on their own or with their families. Then when they return to school, they practice the skills they learned.

The at-home instructional task is most commonly a video that delivers the foundation of the lesson. Videos should be kept short, not exceeding 15 minutes. When students return to class the next day, the practice can be conducted in many different ways, including worksheet practice, a group discussion, or an extension activity for that lesson. The main thing is that students get to do this part at school with their teacher and their peers.

According to Bloom’s taxonomy, focusing on the more complex task (i.e., application) is best served in a rich, social environment with peers and a teacher working together (source).

How do I get started?

If you are an educator wanting to get started with a flipped classroom, check out what others like you have successfully done!

Listen to Istation CEO Richard Collins interview well-known educator, author, and speaker Todd Nesloney in a podcast about a flipped-classroom style that worked for him and his students.

Read how one rural school district in Idaho developed a new take on the flipped-classroom concept here.

Consider these simple steps mentioned in our video below to get started:

  1. Decide what source of media you will be using for technology. There are several free tools available for teachers, families, and students. Most educators use what is provided to them in their district. Make sure what you choose is simple and easy to use.
  2. Don’t be afraid to start small with fun, short lessons. You don’t have to assign a video assignment every single day.
  3. Communicate with parents and students before starting the process and continue to do so along the way.

Lori Lynch, Istation’s Senior Vice President of Customer Success, speaks with Joyce Cullop and Alicia Pruitt, two Istation professional development specialists in Virginia who work with implementation across the country.

Istation offers many resources for educators to share with parents working with students at home. Visit our school closures website as well as our YouTube playlists for more information.

Read part 2 here!

Topics: Blended Learning, Adaptive Instruction, Educator Tips