Deliberate Practice: 5 Key Advantages to Flip-Flop Teaching

Student engagement, better classroom monitoring, and effective collaboration are just the beginning.

No, I am not talking about teaching in flip-flops … even though it would be more comfortable.

Flip-flop teaching, or reverse teaching, flipped classroom, flipped learning, and iinverted learning, is an instructional strategy that commonly involves deliberately planning to introduce new information as homework instead of teaching it in class. (There are plenty of other names. Include them in your comments; I am excited to see what else is out there.)

Flip-flop teachers use homework, delivered in a variety of ways, to introduce new critical information in a fairly short time period, saving the meaty instructional time for the classroom.

In “Flipping for Beginners,” Dave Saltman notes that one school that conducted a two-year pilot on flip-flop teaching showed a ten percent increase in students’ math proficiency with flipped instruction. Flipped instruction often employs visual media to keep students engaged.

Keeping Students Learning at Home
The next time you plan to lecture or have students copy notes, be creative and make it homework. Turn critical information into an engaging video or presentation that students will enjoy. Consider filming yourself. Add voice, music and/or audio to your PowerPoint. Create an avatar that can speak for you. Or you can use third-party video: Saltman mentions that some teachers use TED videos or lectures from Kahn Academy.

Here are Five Key Advantages to Flip-flop Learning:1. It increases student engagement and parental support
If you use video or other media, students can review critical information at their own pace. They don’t have to feel rushed to listen and take notes at the same time. For example, use a video embedded in YouTube, your class website, wiki, or blog. Students can rewind the videos at their leisure for their learning needs. Your clips will result in a digital learning library, which students can access at any time. And parents will have fun watching with their children. (Bergman and Sam, 2012).

2. Multi-media homework engages all learning modalities
All students can benefit, but students who process visual or auditory information best will love flipped teaching. Your videos may even motivate students to create their own clips or enhance the ones you’ve created.

3. Flipped media homework engages low expectancy students
If you offer recorded presentations, ESOL/ELL students will have a catalog of critical information in your voice that they can access at any time. They can seek additional support from family members to assist them in their learning.

4. Flip-flop teaching increases time for monitoring of learning
Because students are introduced to new content at home, you save valuable instructional time. You may use the time saved to monitor students’ understanding of the critical information. An effective teacher will make adaptations for students who need more teacher support, while students who are proficient can work on planned macro strategies that allow them to deepen their knowledge.

5. Flip-flop teaching increases the effectiveness of collaborative groups
Based on students’ learning needs, teachers can better organize their students for group learning opportunities. Jigsaw, think-pair-share, and debating can occur more quickly and can be planned based on student needs.

Don’t forget
Students will not completely get the content by watching a video for homework. Effective teachers will couple homework learning with monitoring before they begin to practice content. As you monitor student learning, you may have to “reteach” or address learning needs during class.

Also remember: Homework content doesn’t have to be new information. You may create videos and presentations to allow students to practice and deepen their new knowledge (If you’re using Marzano Framework strategies, see Design Question 3).

To assist students in generating hypothesis about their new knowledge (Marzano Design Question 4, and a key strategy for implementing Common Core), teachers can assign web-based resources as material for students to consider before tackling a class project.

Take time, be creative, and engage your students. Use your savvy digital skills for flip-flop teaching.  It’s the new “norm.”

Please share your thoughts and experiences with flip-flop teaching. Comment about the web-based tools you use to present information to students.

Technology with Intention
Flipping for Beginners: Inside the New Classroom Craze
Flip Your Classroom: Reach Every Student in Every Class Every Day, by Jonathan Bergmann and Aaron Sams

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