Wednesday, August 10, 2011

The Flip

By Sean Wheeler

borrowing and stealing. a reflection on why homework and classwork should be flipped.
1. Present info in class (lecture, presentation, sage-on-stage, reading the chapter, taking notes, etc.)
2. Send students home to practice. (do the problems, answer the questions, write a response, reflect.)
3. Work with students' work. (grade the practice, fix corrections, have the discussion after the work has been turned in.)
4. "The Test" = Summative Assessment.
1. The teacher creates or finds info to present to the class. Posts it on the web or provides a link to the information. Send kids home to view or read a short introduction to the key concepts. I like to tell my students that I promise them that homework will only take 5:12 seconds tonight. (Because it's a Youtube video that I found and all I want them to do is watch it.)
2. Students come to class with the info already in their head. If they didn't do it, it only takes 5:12 to catch up! We then "do" stuff with the content. We ask things like what use the information is, why it might be important, what questions do we have? We might practice using the concepts, start a project, create a reflection or response on the topic, etc. The key is that the actual doing is taking place in the classroom. Since the teacher isn't presenting the information in class, there is way more time for the teacher to roam and help out on a 1:1 basis, group students together for further explanation or help, and to provide feedback while the learning is occurring. The teacher is there to immediately fix issues, and students who are "getting it" are there to help the students that aren't. The culture changes significantly when your classroom becomes a lab. Help is everywhere and the whole demeanor of the room changes to something dynamic.
3. Students continue work on projects. They get help when they need it, start to ask bigger questions, and work collaboratively to achieve classroom goals. They eventually come up with some kind of a product to show what they've learned. We then have class critiques and general feedback.
4. Final projects =Summative assessment.
It seems almost counter-intuitive, but the main thrust is that the teacher changes from the presenter to the collaborator and things become much more interesting for everyone.
Most of the ideas in this post aren't mine.  The experiences were, and I think we're on to something. 
Here's a site that contains source material.

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