Flipped style type classroom – helping small groups everywhere

Today's Contributor - Katie Moccia
I teach 7th science, am the CIC on-campus & coach cheerleading and pep! Whew, I’m tired thinking about it. I’m always trying to keep students excited about science and up and moving. I live for the light bulb or “ah-ha” moments in class. My husband and I have been together since middle school and we have one tiny human.

When I think of a flipped style classroom, I’m torn between two definitions that I have heard around the water cooler. 

  1. Take the notes at home/via video conference and then elaborate/practice in the classroom
  2. Small group instruction on one side of the class while the other practices/learns individually

I can see the pros and cons of each of the definitions. However, I have mixed the two together to come up with what works for my classroom and my students. I have attempted more small group instruction on one side of the class, while the other does independent work or pre-teach a lesson from a video conference I created prior to the lesson. For example, instead of doing class notes and a video to reinforce the new topic, I put the video in BLEND and had two small sessions. These small sessions have allowed me more one on one time with students. It has allowed me to modify the lesson if needed, based on my ELL or SPED students. It has enabled students to answer questions, which they may have overlooked or allowed others to answer for them. No more “I don’t know”. In small groups, you can’t hide like you can in a class of 32. I’m just starting to dabble in small groups and more technology-based lessons. Students are asking questions that they may not have gotten the chance in a large group setting. I have noticed quiz grades have risen, not dramatically, but I also don’t have enough data to conclude yet.  I have tried Nearpod twice, and I am learning how to make a more interactive PowerPoint. Nearpod allows students to answer questions, draw pictures and/or have class polls. Students seem to be more receptive to “student voice & choice” and taking control of their learning. 

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