Flipping a Classroom 101 / by Tyler Wood

At Cheongwon Elementary School, we have decided it would be too much of a time and energy burden to fully flip the classes all at once. This would also create problems for the students that are not prepared or parents who do not want sudden change. The preferred method that was decided upon was to use the gamification method of building knowledge lesson by lesson until a fully flipped unit later in the year. 

Lesson 1: Discussion Post Homework

The first lesson will be to introduce the students to our LMS (Schoology) and what it is capable of. We have already created accounts and given out the student login information. The students should be versed in logging into the LMS. This will be their first flip class related assignment, to post a response to the LMS.  

In our first discussion post, we will keep it simple. It should be a question or questions that do not need research to answer. For example: What did you do over vacation? Adjust the question to the level of the students. Later, we will be injecting much more critical thinking into the discussion requirements of our students, but for now the goal is not to get great answers to the questions, the goal is to make sure the students know how to use the discussion within the LMS and to make sure we, the teachers, know how to grade the posts. 

Make sure to enable grading and create a category for the first few posts that is weighted at zero, because this is a training exercise. Once we start using the posts for homework, we will categorize them as homework, but for now it will be weighted as zero. 

Lesson 2: LMS Quiz

The second level we will be creating in the curriculum is to have the students take an online quiz. This will be the following week from the previous discussion post homework. 

Our first quiz, much like the discussion previously, is going to be created for the sole purpose of showing the students how to take an online quiz and make sure they understand how it is done. Create a practice quiz for their vocabulary words for the current reading lesson. This should be from 8-10 words, so there can be up to 10 questions on the quiz. Make sure to play around with the settings and try many varying question types. Include pictures, but do not add links just yet. We should keep everything within the LMS for now, until the students are comfortable with the system. Much like the discussion, make sure the category is weighted as zero, this is just practice for the students to get used to the system we will be delivering our flipped lesson within later. 

Lesson 3: An Assignment

The third week we will be slowly introducing the flipped classroom to the students will involve submitting an assignment. You might be asking, why is an assignment third and not first, isn't that a more common thing to do? Yes and no. In a normal class, it is much more normal, but in a flipped class, we will be reducing the amount of assignments the students will be responsible for bringing into school (or submitting online) because we will be working on their practice in class with teacher guidance. Also, this is a harder lesson to learn for the students than the last two, so it is more logical to learn after the other two when they are starting to get comfortable with the LMS. 

I'm sure you are starting to see a pattern here, but I will reiterate that this assignment will be created for the sole purpose of allowing the students practice turning in an assignment. This will be one week after the previous level as well. We will be allowing paper and/or digital submissions. If the file is submitted physically, it will still be able to be added as a grade, just go into the gradebook instead of using the sidebar. This assignment should be very simple, relative to your students' level, so the hardest part is actually viewing and submitting the assignment. 

Tips on uploading a document - Make sure you view your document after submitting because I have had formatting issues when uploading MS Word documents. I have been using Google Docs and that has been better, though not fool proof either. The students probably do not have printers, or many of them will not, so avoid PDFs because they will not be able to edit the file at home and digitally submit it (Unless you have access to an Adobe PDF editor). There are ways of changing that, but we are not going to be able to send a list of software parents must download, so we will create assignments under the assumption that they do not have any special software.

Once we have finished this three week plan for teaching the first few skills needed for a flipped classroom, it is time to start adding these to regularly scheduled lesson plans and graded work for class. Just make sure you are talking with any teachers you share grade levels with to make sure each teacher is going at the same pace. Later we will be planning full lessons that are flipped once the students are comfortable with each element. 


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