21st century. Time for technological advancements. Time for change. Time to redesign our classrooms and the practices that we employ year after year. And flipped classroom is one of the most popular trends in education especially now that we are implementing K to 12 curriculum.
So, what exactly is FLIP? It means “Focus on your Learners and Involve them in the Process.” FLIP is a philosophy, a model and an approach that I adapted to use in my English class to engage my learners in higher level thinking.
When I plan to flip a lesson in my class, I always start with the question “What are my students going to DO in class today?” From this question, it shifts my focus of the physical learning environment and encourages me to think how my students can connect with each other, with our lesson and with me. It follows the question “What are they going to create today?” As a teacher, we need to intricately design our lessons so that our learners can analyze, apply or create something from what they learned. When I flip my class, I witness their expertise, skills and creativity to enhance the learning environment and this allows opportunities for them to learn from each other within and across disciplines as well. So, they are not just listening to me but they are involved in the process of sharing, analyzing and creating something.
The next question is, what are some in-class activities for a flipped classroom? There are some individual and group activities that I believe are awesome to employ in English class. As teachers, our primary roles are to monitor, guide and support the learning process of our students. From these, they will have varied levels of understanding and comprehension.
In individual activities, the number one that I can suggest is the use of iClickers or Plickers. It is a method of polling a class, which includes asking students to hold up a piece of paper with a letter on it to indicate their answer or a different colored piece of paper. You can pose multiple-choice questions and poll students to gauge the variance in answers. What’s wonderful is that you can get whose answers are correct and incorrect instantly.
Another notable activity is the use of word webs or concept maps. Its use reinforces concepts learned in class and out of class and build connections between and among topics. They can also map out how these concepts, ideas and theories are thematically related in a visual manner.
For large class sizes, Think-Pair-Share or its variations can be used in group activities. A central concept or a question is posed, students reflect on it and there will be think-phase where students work independently work on their thoughts, pair-phase where students discuss responses with a partner, and share-phase where I, the teacher, elicit responses from all members of the class and engage them to a wider discussion.
One more activity that I like best when dealing with groups is Team Matrix. This can be employed when new concepts have been introduced that are quite similar to one another. You use it by presenting students a list of characteristics that may or may not be shared between concepts and students have to figure out which characteristic belongs and do not. Then, the whole class discuss the answers to check understanding.
Aside from what I mentioned, there are myriads of in-class activities that teachers can use if they are willing to flip the flops in teaching. We are living in the 21st century, thus, flipping our classrooms is the best way to cope with the changes brought by K-12 curriculum and how we see fit in our class. Happy teaching!
Barkley, E.F., Cross, K.P., & Major, C.H. (2005). Collaborative Learning Techniques. San
Flipping a Class: an online resource from the Faculty Innovation Centre, University of
Texas at Austin