How We Flip Social Studies
WHAT IS FLIPPING?!
(revised February 2015)
"Flipped teaching" has various definitions, and that might not be the best name for it. This is a technique for presenting information effectively, efficiently, conveniently, and appropriately.
There are lots of ways to do this. Here is the most common element: Flipped classes provide most or all direct instruction outside the classroom to be accessed on the students' time. Inside the classroom teachers spend most time to address deeper levels of learning, to correct students' misunderstandings, and/or let students practice a concept or skill.
Digital technology capabilities have finally caught up to meet some fundamental hopes and needs of many school teachers. This method could be as revolutionary as the photocopying machine was for schools in the 1970s -- imagine how much teachers needed to rely on pre-printed textbooks/workbooks and blank paper before they could create and easily reproduce their own printouts!
No, it's not super-easy, and mine is surely not a perfect model. I am still working through that process, which only began in September 2013. This is the 7th draft of my efforts at flipping instruction. There are many nitty-gritty elements to address, like the style and quality of videos, the selection of objectives, the necessity of modifying / accommodating for students with special needs, etc.
I must say that this model makes me feel like a better teacher and a better person. I work deeper 'in the trenches' than I did when I followed other teaching models. Also I felt less burned-out last June than I have for many years. That's enough to keep me going for at least another school year!
HOW DOES IT WORK?!
Here is a typical week in my classroom:
* analyzing primary source(s) about the topic
* rotating workstations to explore subtopics
* independent work while I meet struggling students