How the In-Class Flip Transformed my Classroom
As a math teacher, one of the most important components of my classroom was the independent practice for my students. By implementing an in-class flip model, I was able to free up time for my students to get more independent practice while still in the classroom. This allowed classmates to support one another and allowed me to provide more personalized support. Previously, before iPads, I would teach a lesson for about 30-40 minutes, depending on questions, disruptions and distractions. Then, I would give my students 5-10 minutes to work on independent practice and they would take the rest home for homework and turn it in the next day. Sometimes I would go over the homework or I would have them turn it in and then I would grade it and give it back to the students the next day. This meant that at least 48 hours had passed from the time students learned a topic to the time they would receive feedback. No matter how hard I worked and how personalized and descriptive I made the feedback, it no longer had meaning. My students had then potentially spent two days doing their work wrong before receiving any feedback. This just did not work for me or for my students. By implementing the in-class flip, I was able to present that same 30-40 minute lesson in a 5-7 minute video, made using Explain Everything and uploaded to Schoology. The students watched these videos individually at the beginning of the class. This was great for every level of student. My students, who I sometimes went too fast for and those who struggled learning the content, were able to pause as often as they wanted, rewind and listen to the lesson as many times as they needed to understand the material. At the same time those students, who picked up on material quickly or had previous knowledge on the topic, did not have to sit for 30-40 minutes bored and not learning anything new. They were able to watch the video, move on and extend their learning by the end of the day.
This left me with just one question, how could I offer independent practice for my students and get them the personalized feedback they needed and deserved immediately? Getting that feedback immediately not only would allow me to see who is mastering the concepts and who is struggling, but the students would also get that information. This is where Classkick came in. This app quickly became my favorite and most used app. The app itself is almost like a PowerPoint presentation with multiple slides, but unlike a PowerPoint, this app is self paced and provides me real time data! This app simultaneously allows me to see students working while providing personalized and in the moment feedback. I was able to provide my students multiple practice problems and they could complete the work at their own pace. While students are working, I could look at my screen and see the work they were doing in REAL time! The app has a feature where I can not only see their screen in real time, but I can open their screen and collaboratively work on it with them. I was able to see students making mistakes and help fix those mistakes before they went onto the next problem, let alone the next day.
The app has a feature where the students can raise their hand if they need help or they can choose Please Check so I knew they wanted help from me or that they wanted me to check their answers. This helped me reach those students who always behave and are never a disruption, but are so quiet that sometimes their voice does not get heard. They were able to ask for help privately and no one in the class knew who was getting help or who I was working with. I was also able to pull my small group of students who needed extra help from me and I could still work with students all around the room. My students who picked up on the material quickly were able to go through the independent practice and, rather than waiting for the rest of the class or for me, they were able to move on to the rest of the agenda to extend their learning, which previously I never had time for.
Now, in one class period my students were learning a topic at their own pace, practicing that topic, getting immediate and personalized feedback on that topic and ensuring they knew it before leaving for the day. Classkick gave me the instant feedback I needed to see where my students were each day. I was then able to target my instruction using that formative data, know who I needed to work with individually, what small group I needed to pull, and what students needed extension materials. If the entire class struggled on a specific problem in Classkick, I knew that immediately, and was able to stop the entire class and reteach.
The in-class flip model was beneficial for my students and truly transformed my teaching. The mentality that every child learns the same way and at the same time was gone. I was able to personalize my student’s learning and provide real time feedback. The best part of this model was that it gave me the gift of time. It got me out of the front of the classroom and it allowed me to work side by side with my students while they mastered the concepts.