Friday, 17 October 2014

New Academic Year - Flipped Teaching Continues

A new class and a new year group. A chance to develop further the concept of flipped teaching. I am now teaching Year 6 rather than Year 5 and am looking forward to involving them in the flipped classroom.

I am really pleased that my school has been so positive about the flipped teaching experiments last year and this year they have asked me to lead a research group of teachers to develop this further and extend flipped learning throughout the school.

As part of that I am very excited to be going on FlipCon Middle East and meeting Jon Bergmann himself.

I have created a new class blog for my new class  but I am also hoping that we can use the new and upcoming school website and app to communicate and distribute the flipped videos.

As the dust settles on the beginning of the new academic year, I shall be soon be back to developing some more flipped videos and lessons.

Thursday, 29 May 2014

Back to the Flip!

It's been a while since my last flipped lesson - report writing, assessment time all played  apart but, also, I felt my class had reached a saturation point with them. Therefore, I decided  to take a break, do some more research and reconsider where to take the project.

I found that fewer and fewer of the children were watching the flip videos and I wondered why this was. I believe it was partly due to there being too many in too short a time but also because I wasn't using the lesson time as effectively as I could.

I read a book called Flip your Classroom by Jonathan Bergmann and Aaron Sams and this really helped refocus my flipped teaching project - the flipped lesson itself has to be creative, stimulating or, at least, challenging. I think my videos became just another way to impart information than as a way to preserve time for an exciting learning experience in school.



Reading the book reignited my enthusiasm, but also made me more conscious of picking the lessons which I chose to flip more thoughtfully.

So, this week, I made a video all about the Water Cycle for our science lesson. All but 3 students watched it (it was exciting again!) and we spent our science lesson making dioramas about the cycle. The ones who missed the video had to go through the flipchart with me, while the others brainstormed everything they could remember from the video.

I would never have had the time for this in a traditional lesson. It was great - all on-task for the last 2 hours of the last day of the week, superb high-level conversation using scientific language, collaboration, creativity...we had a great time!








Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Children Producing a Flipped Video

At a recent parent-teacher interview, I suggested that the children who may be struggling with a concept, make a flip video about that concept to teach others. The idea behind this was that then they would have to revise and practise that concept so thoroughly that they themselves would understand it.

I have just received my first one - about equivalent fractions - and I thought it was brilliant. We actually all watched it in our maths lesson rather than as a flip video although I could have done either. Her it is - the glass analogy I thought was particularly clever...

video


Saturday, 8 March 2014

Short, Simple and Snappy!

The very clear feedback I am getting from the class is that the videos must be kept shorter.

The initial enthusiasm for watching the flip videos has gone now, so I think this is imperative if I am going to keep them watching. Therefore my next one about area and perimeter is only 1min 45s long.

It will be interesting to see how it is received and how useful it is - I am hoping that they will pause the video at certain points to practise the learning points and make sure they understand.

One of the great side-effects of the project has been my own learning about ICT and video-making. For this latest video, I used Corel's VideoStudio to make a flipchart (using one of the templates in the program). I just took screenshots of each of my flipchart pages then stuck them into the template. Added a few speech bubbles and that was that. Didn't take long at all...

The other great side-effect has been how it has led on to other great apps and programs - my class are now regularly using Animoto (to show their spelling lists, make animations for literacy etc). Presently, they are working on a 'glog' (from www.edu.glogster.com) project in science. I wouldn't have used any of these unless I had done this flip teaching project.

Here's the video:

video


Tuesday, 4 March 2014

More Flipped Lessons in Year 2

Two of our Year 2 teachers have been trying out flipped lessons.

The first one was in maths about interpreting data and was done as a Prezi - you can watch it here


The second one was in literacy and featured the children having access to a PDF file, which it was felt would be easier for the children (and parents) to access.



Read about their experiences here:

'"After the first flipped lesson ran fairly successfully in one class and was unable to take place in another (children had not been able to access the Prezi for a variety of reasons), we decided to do something quicker to produce, easier to distribute and was more easily shared with children along with their parents at home.
The second flipped lesson happened today and was a revelation.
Most children had completed the home based task prior to the lesson, and after a very brief introduction, many of the children went off to work on a task as soon as lesson started. Ten minutes in, all the children were working on the task. We were then able to get them working on another task which would lead into the work planned for tomorrow, although this was not included in the planning for the next lesson. This will allow them to really focus on the next piece of writing and hopefully allow them to produce something of a much higher quality than usual.
The result of this is that we will be able to add in an extra writing session with children conferencing with their peers, teacher or teaching assistant on uplevelling the writing they have produced so far this week." 






The Flipped PE lesson...

Our infant PE specialist teacher recently had a go at doing a flipped lesson with her Year 2 class in volleyball - focusing on the rules about serving. She produced a wonderful video using Lego figures to show the children what they needed to know.

You can watch it here Volleyball for Year 2 



This is her evaluation of the lesson:

' I definitely felt that having 2B watch the video beforehand enhanced the learning in the lesson. The serving rotation in Volleyball is a complicated concept and 2B coming to the lesson with some kind of understanding was great! They all went away with a better idea of how it works and the evaluation at the end showed that a good number (more, I feel, than in previous years) understood it better, with a low amount feeling like they were still unsure. It also enabled much more practical time and less teacher talk. . I continually questioned them through the lesson as well which helped.

I don’t think I would need to do this all the time, but for something that is tricky and difficult to understand it was of definite benefit.' 

Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Blogging...Glogging

Having bit of a rest over the half term holiday but I have been trying out Glogster as a medium for delivering flipped lessons and as a tool for the class to do their own projects. I think they could use it as a resource for delivering their own lessons too.

Loved making it - it helps to have lots of images and videos etc already saved ready to upload onto your Glog though. I like the idea of uploading a flipped video alongside some key facts and maybe some activities for the class to try before the lesson.

http://robvde.edu.glogster.com/seed-dispersal


So I'm making a flipped video next then going to try uploading it to a Glog with extra information...With a bit of luck, if it all works I may never actually have to get up and go to school again!

Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Saturday, 15 February 2014

Class Make First Attempts at Flip Video

I have had the first flip video submitted by a child in my class!

She decided that she should do one about mean, mode and median averages. She is a very confident mathematician so this was a topic she felt happy with.

We had a few problems as she used Moviemaker and I couldn't play it at fist as she did not attach the pictures and music which went with it in the memory stick. However, she then took it away and converted it into an Mpeg 4 and it worked brilliantly.

I think the video is great but it was also amazing how she had exactly the same thoughts as me - takes  along time to do the first one (took her 4 hours); steep learning curve about ICT but also that it is great fun! I really hope that it inspires other children to make one.

See the video below:

video

In other news, our Year 5 team of teachers have been making a video all about the story of Lord Lucan which is the basis for our Literacy topic on persuasive writing. Because of the confidence and knowledge I now have with video, I am making it using chromakey green screen techniques. Still working on it but I think it's going to be fantastic and the children will love it! It was certainly fun to make.


Tuesday, 11 February 2014

Flipped Teaching Evolving...

I think I'm beginning to really get the hang of video-making. Not saying the videos are any good but they are taking less time to film and edit.

I have become more self-critical of the videos and redo them if they don't look good to me. I have set my class one flip video to watch this week about our upcoming lesson on persuasive newspaper articles. I find that literacy requires longer videos but I am mindful of my children's feedback that they should be short and snappy!

I try to limit them to 12-13 minutes. I now realise how long I must drone on for in lessons!

I certainly feel that the process has led me to making other activities more creative and engaging. I dislike doing 'normal' lessons now, but I think there is still a place for the more traditional one alongside the videos.

I have been really pleased that a couple of my children have taken up the challenge to produce their own flipped videos. One has made a video about finding averages which is a topic coming up next week. Another child is making one about how to make a recorder from a drinking straw as part of our work on pitch in our sound topic in science.

There are technical problems with this - they are using software which doesn't run on the school equipment etc so I think I may do a lesson on producing videos so they can all have a go.



Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Latest Flip Video...after brutal feedback!

My class have been keen (a little too keen!) to say what they think of the flip videos.

Overall, they say that they like them, find them useful but they are too long. Also, one pupil said that I talked too much. Fair point.

So..my latest one on reflecting over a mirror line is 100-second one with no narration. I used Activepresenter to make a series of slides using screenshot capture I then added text bubbles to each slide to explain what was happening. So far, this one has gone down the best! It was hard to find any song to go with it featuring the word symmetry!

video


However, I actually taught my lesson on calculator word problems today following the video I made earlier in the week. I felt it went very well with over half of my class working on problems at a higher level than I would normally expect. Some also went on to design their own calculator word problem maths 'test'.

The Literacy one didn't work so well. I find it harder as it is a more open subject whereas maths has  a specific method. I think literacy flip videos might work with grammar and spelling.

Monday, 3 February 2014

Homework, Security Concerns and More

One of the side-effects of flipping the class has been to make all of us much more IT-literate. Suddenly, my class are having to read our blog, follow links to the video storage site and post comments back about the videos.

This has led to us thinking about internet safety and what they can and cannot post. I am definitely staying away from YouTube at the moment - there's nothing wrong with it but I like having a secure place where just my class can visit and where I know only work which I have placed there can be found.

My class have also been using the sharing function of Google Docs to show what they have done at home after watching these videos. I don't set work based on the videos as flipped teaching isn't about that but I have found that a lot of the children are keen to follow up the videos with some work of their own.

I really like the sharing nature of Google Docs and the class love the way they can collaborate with others in the class so easily. 

I was having lots of problems with Ezvid as we couldn't upload the videos to YouTube (this is the only export function of Ezvid) so we have now switched to Activepresenter. I really like this even though it is a bit more complex to use. It has a great function of being able to make slideshow captures and add annotations so you can make a video showing how to use a certain piece of software. It's really impressive.

Tomorrow is my first literacy flipped lesson so I am looking forward to seeing how that goes. I began thinking about how I am going to get the class involve din making videos themselves: at the moment I am thinking of putting them into groups of 4 and giving them one topic which we are covering in the near future.

I want the 4 children to consist of one subject specialist (for researching the topic), an ICT specialist (making the video), a writing specialist (script) and a creative specialist (artwork, titles etc). They then collaborate at home for their homework to make a video to show the class in that lesson.

Sounds exciting...

Saturday, 1 February 2014

Freshly-made Flip Videos

Just made a new maths and a new literacy flip video.

You can see these at http://5est-chris.mediacore.tv/

I like this site as my class can see the videos without visiting YouTube. I have set out some of my flipped videos in a  public folder so anyone can see them but there is also a password-protected section where just my class have access. I think it works well.

My maths one is about using a calculator and I know it is too long. However, I did learn how to insert 3rd party video clips into my own video and also how to trim these clips. I'm also experimenting with adding text.

The literacy one on persuasive writing is yet to be posted by Mediacore (they moderate all the videos - great thing!) but it is much simpler and to the point.

Really looking forward to next week's teaching and it's been a long time since I could genuinely say that!

One Thing Leads to Another...

Since starting this experiment on flipped teaching, I have also come across lots of other ideas for the creative classroom and different approaches to topics. I have lost track of all the conversations with colleagues about 'flipping' that have included the phrase, "Oooo, you could.." or "I wonder if you could...."

A lot of these ideas haven't been new and I am sure a lot of teachers are using them all the time but I seem to have placed them on the backburner. Flipped lessons make you think about using the lesson time more creatively and imaginatively - you have so much more of it!

Therefore this post is not about flipped teaching but about some of the ideas which I am now using/considering in my lessons.

I also like going to www.sparkyteaching.com as it has a fresh approach to the classroom and some wonderful resources. They always make me consider how I teach and questions that I ask. If you like their stuff, I'd also recommend http://www.independentthinking.co.uk/ which is the home of Ian Gilbert and others. To this day, he delivered the best INSET I have ever attended.

Anyway, following links from Sparky, I found Animoto which has to be the easiest animation slideshow program ever and it makes wonderful quick shows to share with your class. I tried the free trial first but you can only make 30 second videos with that and, after one go, I really wanted to do more so I went for the Plus account. You can see my first result below. One of our teachers came up with the great idea of teaching our Persuasive Texts unit around the case of Lord Lucan so I made a slideshow to introduce it.

video

Flipped learning/teaching has made me worry about coming up with exciting activities in lesson - I find it hard to do this consistently so I asked Jon Bergmann who is a leading figure in the 'Flipped' movement (I hope he doesn't mind being described as such!) via his website here. He reassured me that sometimes you can just focus on activities and stretch the learning - it doesn't always have to be designing a video game, making a film etc etc. Phew!

Anyway, I have some more links to explore and I am about to make another flip video for next week. If you do read this, please say hello or add any flipped stories of your own. Thanks.

Monday, 27 January 2014

Flipped Lesson Number 2

Did my second flipped lesson today, also in maths and focusing on proving/disproving a general statement. The video link is posted in a previous post.

At the beginning of the lesson, I asked who had watched the flip video and about 75% of the class had. I gave them the option of watching it again with those who hadn't seen it and half of those chose to do so.

It certainly enabled my more able to get stuck into tasks quicker and I think all the class faced a higher level of challenge than they would have in a 'normal' lesson.

However, I learnt that you can't rely on the class to watch the video and ensure they really understand it. They might watch it but won't necessarily explore areas of uncertainty on their own. For example, they didn't really understand square numbers which was mentioned on the video and this led to difficulties in the tasks later on, as some of the activities referred to square numbers.

Therefore, I think that you have to give some input as well as the video and really check for understanding. The children also fedback that it would be really useful for me to model an answer to one of the tasks on the video so they could see exactly what the expectations were.

I think that the flipped lessons might work best for more simple-concept lessons that deal with one skill. There was too much high-level mathematical vocabulary going on so they struggled working independently (some of them). I think with a short input session from me as well, it would have been a great success.

However, I think it was engaging and challenging and that the class gained a lot from it. It wasn't outstanding but also not a disaster.

Next time, I want to try an English lesson as I have done two maths now.

The Flip-Flop Lesson?

Another idea...

Instead of showing the children some information/video before the lesson, how about teaching them in the conventional way and then getting them to create a video and to upload for the teacher to assess... a flip-flop lesson if you will! :)

Saturday, 25 January 2014

Twitter: Top Ten Hashtags for Flipped Classrooms and Flipped Teaching

Twitter is a great resource for learning about flipped teaching. Everyday, people tweet hundreds of tips, resources, personal stories, pose questions, and float ideas about flipped teaching. Julie Schell picks out the top ten hashtags on Twitter. Have a look and do share anything of interest: Top Ten Hashtags for Flipped Teaching

Latest Flip Video and Video Editing Software Thoughts

Hi,
My latest flip video can be seen here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N1A0zemeyLg

This one features me trying to teach the topic to my cat which was an idea suggested by some members of my class. I like the personal nature of these videos as I think they make them more engaging for the class. I have had a chat with colleagues about building up a library of videos to share across the year group/school. I think there is great merit in this, but I do think that the younger children really enjoy seeing and hearing their own teacher. A parent also echoed this in some feedback which I received. Not sure about the webcam but we will see...

I am also trialling a video editing suite from Corel which you can see here VideoStudio Pro 6 I had a go at making the same video in that program which had the advantage that I could save it as an MP4 file and upload directly to my class blog rather than YouTube or www.mediacore.com

However, I am finding it really tricky to use, as it is so powerful and I have absolutely no experience of video-editing whatsoever. But it looks like it can make much more professional and engaging movies so I will stick with it and see if I can get any better at using it.

The lesson based on the flip video is on Monday and I am actually being observed by my line manager in that lesson as part of my annual appraisal so it better go well!

iPad Apps

Explain Everything
Educreations

Will update list as I find more.

Friday, 24 January 2014

Other teachers flipping their lessons

Interesting blog here about a UK teacher in Seoul who has started flipping his lessons. Slightly different perspective to the way we are doing it at the moment but still relevant

Thursday, 23 January 2014

Online Storage

www.mediacore.com is all sorted now. They can all log on via their Google accounts - much easier. After one week of this flipped classroom project, I'm exhausted!
My class are really enjoying the videos - I have also posted a video or two just for fun so it keeps them following the blog. This week I posted up a video taken from the cockpit of a Typhoon fighter jet which went down well!
Next week, I'm hoping to work with some colleagues to get their videos up and running too. I am keen to develop some collaboration on this as, at times, I feel a bit swamped with information. I'm also thinking of getting myself some better video software to give me more tools for making better videos. Someone also mentioned the possibility of green screen videos so I can stand in front of any background. Exciting possibilities...
Looking forward to the weekend and making a couple more videos!

Storing Videos

Now I am beginning to build up a bank of videos I need to consider where I am going to keep them. At the moment they are on YouTube. I'm not totally happy with this as YouTube has so many distractions and inappropriate content.
I found mediacore.tv which allows you to store and categorise videos and I think this would be better as it is designed for schools and is more secure. You can also add documents so it would good to add templates for mindmaps, notes etc to the videos. However, the website doesn't like my school's email addresses for some reason so I am having problems sending out invitations to join it! It is very frustrating to have this sort of thing happen as it creates an unnecessary delay.
However, hopefully it will be sorted soon.
I am also now thinking of getting better video editing software and maybe a camcorder so my videos are more...polished.
My latest video is an information video rather than a flipped video which is getting the class prepared for next week's geography lesson. You can see it here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AXyTLAjn9DE
I'm looking forward to making a new flipped video over the weekend.

Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Student response

Interesting response from one of my (very able) students about my flipped video. He said that he wanted it to be more challenging. I can see the point but I can't make videos tailored to every ability level. I responded by aking him to design and/or make his own video that would address the more able mathematicians.
However, I think I might incorporate links or demonstrate sites such as nrich.maths.org where children can take the learning further.
However, I don't want the videos to become task-setting but remain delivery of information. but there is a risk that they could become dull for the more able I think. 

Overview of Flipped teaching

This video here is one of the best introductions I have seen (especially for UK teachers) on flipped teaching.
I found it at the flipped institute which has loads of great information.

First Flipped Video

OK so yesterday I made my first flipped video in preparation for today's lesson on symmetry in triangles. The school have got me sorted out with Ezvid which seems to be easy to use.

It took me  4 minutes to start making my first video from scratch and then 10 minutes to make the first video.

The school firewall made it impossible (at the moment) to upload to YouTube and I learnt that you can't save Ezvid projects and move them from computer to computer - annoying!

Therefore, I made the video again at home and posted it up there. I then emailed my class parents and asked them to watch and give me feedback. You can see the video here.

Feedback has been overwhelmingly positive so far. ' The future of teaching' was one comment!

I am a bit worried about my maths lesson which I am doing in 2 hours time as I now think my children are going to way ahead of me. I will have to plan much more challenging activities as they are going to already armed with what they need to know.

I have also ' borrowed'  a webcam so I'm hoping to use that in my next video. I have realised that in making the video it makes me really consider what I say and how I say it. It also makes me very reflective about my own teaching style.

Looking forward to doing the next flipped lesson already!
 
Hi. I am a UK teacher presently teaching in Bahrain in a British-style school.
The purpose of this blog is to record a narrative about my experiences with the flipped classroom. It is a project which I have just undertaken and one which interests me a great deal. I hope, on this blog, to share what I and my critical friends do and what the results are.
It would be great to hear from other interested education professionals. More to come shortly (once I've completed all my marking).