Just as there is no single method or approach to the teaching of a
second or foreign language, there’s no single way to flip a classroom.
First publication of this post and why it is now published here
This post was first published on the Sls Hallam Blog for English teachers on August, 5th 2014. It has now been adapted so that I can publish it on the Poppies Blog for three main reasons.
- I intend to make things easier for my students and readers so that if they don’t know what flipping is, they can easily find out. Then, they can decide whether to try it out.
- The idea is to join all the posts I published in the past on flipping and those I may publish in future. This way, they can be like chapters in a book.
- Eventually, all the posts on teaching English and/or for English teachers published by me will be transferred to the Poppies blog.
Flip a Classroom?
It was in 2013 when I first read the book “Flip Your Classroom” by John Bergman & Aaron Sams.
Reaching every student in every class every day
Actually, the complete title of the book is: “Flip your Classroom. Reach every student in every class, every day“. Now, that’s a tall order. Indeed, how is it possible to “personalise” your teaching when you have 150 students or more?
And yet, it would be great to be able to do it, wouldn’t it?
Different students, different needs
We all agree that all students are different and have, therefore, different learning needs and different situations and backgrounds.
- Some of them miss a lot of classes for a variety of reasons.
- Others are very good at “learning” for an exam and then, forget everything they learnt.
We do that ourselves, don’t we?
Hopefully not if you are following the Poppies Courses and implementing the techniques in the mini-course!
Remember what we said in the post 7 tips to ….?
By flipping your classroom, you can help ALL your students!
Bergman and Sams argue that by flipping your classroom you can help ALL your students, not just the brightest but also those who are struggling, to excel.
Indeed, several chapters in their book are devoted to explaining what flipped-mastery classrooms are, how to implement them and the rationale behind it.
We have already mentioned the concept of Mastery learning and some of you will be familiar with Benjamin Bloom. Indeed, those following classes with me had & will find Bloom’s taxonomy in the POPPIES B-learning courses.
I’ll talk about flipped-mastery classrooms in the next two posts.
Bergman & Sams also introduce the concept of UDL. This is something I’ll be dealing with in a later post.
Food for Thought for English teachers
To start with now, and to give you some food for thought, I’d like you to mull over the following questions:
- How do you organise your class-time?
- Could you, please, describe, what you do in class? (It may help if you keep a record or you follow a unit plan and tick what you actually do)
- What do you usually ask your students to do as homework? Please give detailed examples of activities or exercises.
- Do you think you could use the class time more efficiently? How?
- Do you have another teacher (preferably at the school you’re currently teaching at, but if not, at another one) you feel you could work with?
- Do you think it is possible to offer personalised learning when we are dealing with large classes (35-45 students) and several groups of different levels? If the answer is yes: How? If the answer is no: What do you think would be necessary?
and a message for my current students
These are some of the questions we’ll be discussing in your presentations.
And keep on questioning yourself and what you do.
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