As teachers, we want our students to thrive. We want them to know they are capable, we push them to work hard, and to grow as individuals. But with an extensive curriculum to work through, and range of student ability in each of our classrooms, we are spread thin. Often, we don’t have the time to address everything we would like to.
This year I had a Year 11 EAL and English composite class. After teaching them for a semester, I identified a range of needs to be addressed:
- Disparity in writing skills and English acquisition, without sufficient time to address them
- Inadequate time to comprehensively teach a text, and writing skills
But most concerning:
- Student’s lack of confidence to discuss or share ideas.
Colleagues at my previous school shared their success with Flipped Learning (Jonathan Bergmann and Aaron Sams) and in learning of it, I asked:
- Would I have time for this?
- Would the students like it?
- Would it work?
The answer? There were late nights, the students loved it, and it more than worked!
At the start of term 3, I decided to trial flip learning, anticipating resistance from my students. However, the girls were quick to adapt to the new class structure. They watched the videos I produced for homework, and our classes became a time to discuss, question, even disagree! My girls were coming to class sharing their new ideas, and further, they were consolidating their knowledge.
The best part? The girls who never share their thoughts spoke up. They were given time to let the content settle, to sleep on it, and in return, their minds had the opportunity to naturally mull over ideas.
- There was a new discussion culture, where every student offered their ideas
- The girls took ownership of their learning, asking for specific writing skills and content to be taught
- More writing practices were submitted
- Grades improved with Cs becoming Bs, and Bs becoming As.
But my favourite part was how the students’ confidence rose, I even received thank you emails from students who had re-established their confidence in English.
Reasons why this worked
We all agree that repetition, reteaching and consolidating is essential for our students. We tell students to revise their content and that revision is different from homework. But we know most of them won’t do it. With Flipped Learning, the videos allowed them to stop, rewind and replay the video as many times as they needed to.
Most of our students won’t ask us to repeat instructions or explanations in class (where everyone can hear), however they will click ‘replay’ on a video. In return, the students brought what they had learnt, their questions, and their new formed ideas to class.
All with a new-found confidence.