Flipping the Learning

Flipped learning within a classroom is something I have been interested in for quite some time. Two years ago as part of a working trio at my old school we decided that flipped learning was a common interest amongst ourselves and we decided to explore its effectiveness and benefit within different subject areas.

Our three subject areas were an eclectic mix of mathematics, computing and science. We met a few times to discuss differing methods in which we could deliver flipped learning and each decided a different route.

Science - Asking students to watch specific video clips from the web.

Computing - Making and designing a mini class website where tasks and videos were uploaded allowing students to interact.

Mathematics – Testing the impact of using video clips designed by myself vs those already available on the internet.

We each selected a class in which we felt comfortable to initially explore with and carried out student voice surveys throughout causing some very interesting results to come to light. Students preferred having access to the clips embedded through a miniature website/blog/VLE system and so did parents, feeling this provided the students with an extra element of safeguarding.

Assigning the tasks virtually became a must because students often complained that they struggled to access or find the documents, videos or resources cited to them. If tasks weren’t assign virtually and just written within a planner the success rate of the students the following lessons was lower. This often caused a need for a lot more teacher input and negated any benefits of the flipped learning.

Another benefit we found with providing the flipped learning aspect within a miniature blog for the class meant any students who were absent could access the lesson through home learning and it kept a useful revision tool for the students. As well as being able to track those students who have watched the clips or read the articles, it also allowed the students to enter debates and communicate with others from the class in a safe forum about the content and potential strategies.

A nice extension activity I found was to ask the students after the lesson to go back on and write a post about their learning, understanding and any mathematical tips or potholes they might have fallen into to help future classes and themselves when revising.

We held a lot of discussions over what to do about the student who doesn’t complete the flipped learning activity. In these scenarios we made sure to have tech devices available within the lesson for the student to complete the work and then they would later need to make up a set amount of time on the classwork. The students soon got the message and were more than enthusiastic to be involved.

The final thing we identified was the need to watch the clips in full before assigning them to students particularly with mathematical content. This is due to the teaching style and methods you wish for your students to learn such as solving equations can differ slightly from person to person. My main go to videos where off Hegarty Maths and Corbett Maths, with me also making a few of my own using explain everything when needed. Students preferred the mix up of styles and voices when watching their homework.

Impact though is what this comes down to, having one lesson a week designed as a flipped learning activity with my class provided me a lot more time to really allow the students to master their skills. The students hit the ground running literally. Learning how to manage this in the classroom took a little bit of time though.

I set up a buddy system within the classroom where peers discussed their notes and aspects they didn’t initially grasp within the first 5 minutes. This often happened while I was completing the class admin such as the register etc. Students would add to each other’s notes in different colour pens so when revising later on these elements stood out. The students often made detailed notes and learnt valuable revision skills.

Following this I then structured my classroom into the following activities and sections.

It is continually important that the students are able to grasp and become fluent with the basics which then in turn allows the students the ability to reason and problem solve. I found this basic model to be successful and developmental for my students and is partially what led to me making the differentiated worksheets.

The worksheets can be found here:

Number   Geometry    Algebra    Data Handling


Ultimately though flipped learning allows the students another opportunity to take ownership of their learning and provides them with many useful strategies to investigate, learn and revise. I haven’t ran flipped learning in my new school fully yet but I aim to do start again this half term now I am settled and know the students. I may find their preferences different but ultimately with the new GCSE and curriculum time so valuable I feel running flipped learning lessons will help my students in learning and becoming confident with the content. My aim is to later write a more detailed blog about how to create a safe site to share videos and creating flipped learning tasks.

Tags: Technology, Tech, Flipped Learning

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