Friday, 11 March 2016

Making Flipped Videos For The Primary Classroom

After a few years (how time flies!) of experimenting with this flipped teaching idea, I thought that I would summarise what I have learnt/discovered so far.

First of all, flipping your lessons in a primary environment does work and is worth it. However, us primary teachers have the same children all day, every day and it is not as if we teach the same lesson to groups of different students as our secondary colleagues, for whom flipped learning has more obvious benefits.

After reading this wonderful blog post by Chris Waterworth, I thought it was time I added my thoughts. I know some teachers lie to use videos that they find on the net,but I much prefer to make my own as I can tailor them to the exact requirements of my class. After a few tries, they are easy and quick to make and I would recommend this to all primary practitioners.

So here is my guide to making flipped videos for the primary classroom:

  1. Only consider it for lessons where the time saved in class is going to be put to something worthwhile not just extra or harder 'work' - use if you want the class to make something or create a play etc. Perfect to reach those higher levels of Bloom's Taxonomy which you might not normally have time for.
  2. Don't flip every lesson - everything gets dull after time. I aim to flip a lesson once a week but it depends on my lesson objectives.
  3. Videos need to be short and easy to make. they don't expect nor want The Force Awakens: The Fractions Sequel. I use screencast-o-matic to narrate over flipcharts and presentations - you can use it straight from the website or download the app. just plug in your mic and talk. No messing about with transitions, music, titles etc.
  4. Place videos somewhere safe: Google Drive, Edpuzzle or Blendspace (I love Blendspace) where they can watch safely. Avoid YouTube unless you are 100% sure that all they can see is your video. And even then...
  5. Add an interactive element - a quiz or feedback form so you can see what they have understood.
  6. It's OK to share in class rather than homework. Took me a while to get this but for younger students, you still save a lot of time if they watch a video individually in class. And they can refer back to it if they get stuck later.
  7. The videos make perfect revision resources and ways to inform parents of what is going on in their children's lessons.
We are now increasingly using flipped teaching for homework activities and I find it a very useful tool to create extra time in the classroom to embed and master the subject.

It is also great fun! 

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