Some public schools are beginning to change the way students study. In the “Flipped School” method students complete their homework in class, and learn new information via video lectures at home. This in turn allows teachers to spend class time providing more personalized instruction and guidance for their students. Advocates say that the “flipped class” helps teachers distribute their teaching time more efficiently. Critics of the “flipped” method say it actually requires more time and energy from teachers and doesn’t really address crucial teaching or learning reform.
ESL Voices Lesson Plan for this post with Answer Key.
Excerpt: Turning Education Upside Down By T. Rosenberg, The New York Times
“Three years ago, Clintondale High School, just north of Detroit, became a “flipped school” — one where students watch teachers’ lectures at home and do what we’d otherwise call “homework” in class. Teachers record video lessons, which students watch on their smartphones, home computers or at lunch in the school’s tech lab. In class, they do projects, exercises or lab experiments in small groups while the teacher circulates.
It’s well known by now that online education is booming. You can study any subject free in a MOOC — a massive open online course — from single-digit addition to the history of Chinese architecture to flight vehicle aerodynamics. Courses are being offered by universities like Harvard and M.I.T. Among the best-known sources are the Khan Academy, Coursera and Udacity. But while online courses can make high-quality education available to anyone for the price of an Internet connection, they also have the potential to displace humans, with all that implies for teachers and students…Like everything disruptive, online education is highly controversial. But the flipped classroom is a strategy that nearly everyone agrees on. “It’s the only thing I write about as having broad positive agreement,” said Justin Reich, a fellow at the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard who studies technology and education.
Flipping is still in the early stages, with much experimentation about how to do it right. Its most important popularizers are not government officials or academic experts, but Aaron Sams and Jonathan Bergmann, a pair of high school chemistry teachers in Woodland Park, Colo., who wrote a book called “Flip Your Classroom: Reach Every Student in Every Class Every Day,” drawing almost completely on their own experience. It hasn’t been rigorously studied (most people cite only this one research paper.) Flipping’s track record in schools, while impressive, is anecdotal and short. But many people are holding it up as a potential model of how to use technology to humanize the classroom.
No school has taken flipping as far as Clintondale. It began because Greg Green, the principal, had been recording videos on baseball techniques and posting them on YouTube for his 11-year-old son’s team.
It gave him an idea, and in the spring of 2010, he set up an experiment: He had a social studies teacher, Andy Scheel, run two classes with identical material and assignments, but one was flipped. The flipped class had many students who had already failed the class — some multiple times.
After 20 weeks, Green said, Scheel’s flipped students, despite their disadvantages, were outperforming the students in the traditional classroom. No student in the flipped class received a grade lower than a C+. The previous semester 13 percent had failed. This semester, none did. In the traditional classroom, there was no change in achievement…
Flipping a classroom changes several things. One is what students do at home. ..Getting students to do homework is not, of course, a problem exclusive to flipping. Students who don’t watch videos are even less likely to do traditional homework problems. They may have no support or help at home or live in a chaotic house. If they get stuck on the first problem they are out of luck. The most serious critique of the flipped classroom is that it’s not a big enough change. One variation that goes further gives students more responsibility for their own learning, while personalizing education
Flipped classrooms require more creativity and energy from the teacher. “You are off your chair the entire hour and walking around,” said Dameron. “Lots of teachers who aren’t really good teachers are resistant to this — they like to build time into the day when kids are working to do their taxes or catch up on email.”
Level: Intermediate -Advanced
Language Skills: Reading, writing, speaking and listening. Vocabulary and grammar activities are included.
Time: Approximately 2 hours.
Materials: Student handouts (from this lesson) access to news article, and video.
Objective: Students will read the article with a focus on improving reading comprehension and learning new vocabulary. At the end of the lesson students will express their personal views on the topic through discussions, and writing.
I. Pre-Reading Activities
Stimulating background knowledge
Directions: Place students in groups, ask students to think about what they already know about the topic. Next, have students look at the picture(s) in the text and generate ideas or words that may be connected to the article. Debrief as a class and list these ideas on the board. Great Brainstorming chart from Kootation.com.
II. While Reading Activities
Directions: Students are to infer the meanings of the words in bold taken from the article. They may use a dictionary or thesaurus for assistance. They might find this vocabulary chart by Education Oasis useful as a guide.
- Students do projects, or lab experiments in small groups while the teacher circulates.
- It’s well known by now that online education is booming.
- Like everything disruptive, online education is highly controversial.
- Flipping’s track record in schools, while impressive, is anecdotal and short.
- Greg Green, the principal, had been recording videos on baseball techniques for his son’s basketball team.
- State education officials note that last year Clintondale had a large influx of students from Detroit.
- Due to an accounting quirk, some high-achieving students had their recent test scores counted as part of a school consortium.
- Recent test scores counted as part of a school consortium.
- Getting students to do homework is not, of course, a problem exclusive to flipping.
- Teachers can create interactive lessons and exciting content.
Directions: Review the following statements from the reading. If a statement is true they mark it T. If the statement is not applicable, they mark it NA. If the statement is false they mark it F and provide the correct answer.
- Essentially “flipping” means students teachers watch lectures at home and students complete homework in class.
- Clintondale High School, just north of Detroit was the first school in the United States to flip completely.
- Teachers at Clintondale High School receive high salaries for the lectures.
- Courses are being offered at schools like MIT and Harvard.
- The Khan Academy also offers online cooking courses.
- Everyone agrees with Online education.
- Flipping is still in the early stages, with much experimentation about how to do it right.
- The Flipping process began in Clintondale High because Greg Green, the principal, had been recording videos on baseball techniques and posting them on YouTube for his 11-year-old son’s team.
- Teachers assign videos that are one to three hours long to encourage students to re-watch the videos.
- Flipped classrooms do not require much creativity and energy from the teacher.
Structure and Usage
Directions: The following groups of sentences are from the article. One of the sentences in each group contains a grammatical error. Students are to identify the sentence (1, 2, or 3 ) from each group that contains the grammatical error.
- Three year ago, Clintondale High School, became a “flipped school.
- Students watch teachers’ lectures at home.
- Teachers record video lessons, which students watch.
- Like everything disruptive, online education is highly controversial.
- The flipped classroom is a strategy that nearly everyone agrees on.
- Flipping are still in the early stages.
- No school have taken flipping as far as Clintondale.
- No student in the flipped class received a grade lower than a C.
- Lots of teachers who aren’t really good teachers are resistant.
III. Post Reading Tasks
Reading Comprehension Check
Directions: Have students use the WH-question format to discuss or to write the main points from the article.
Who or What is the article about?
Where does the action/event take place?
When does the action/event take place?
Why did the action/event occur?
How did the action/event occur?
Directions: Place students in groups and have them answer the following questions. Afterwards, have the groups share their thoughts as a class. To reinforce the ideas, students can write an essay on one of the following discussion topics.
- The article states that, “Many students do not ask questions in class, worried they will look dumb. But they can watch a video over and over without fear.” Explain this statement in your own words.
- An example of how assignments work is the following: “Robert Townsend, who teaches ninth-grade physical science, gives students a week to watch a package of videos and requires students to do brief online quizzes about the videos or take notes to show to him in class.” What is your opinion of this type of assignment? Do you think the students are learning the subjects?
- According to the article some problems of Flipping are, “Students who don’t watch videos are even less likely to do traditional homework problems. They may have no support or help at home or live in a chaotic house. If they get stuck on the first problem they are out of luck.” How could these students be helped?
- With your group members make of list of the reasons you think a flipped classroom will (or will not) work better than a traditional one.
- What are some of the problems with the “flipped” classroom method?
IV. Listening Activity
Video Clip: Preparing Students for a Flipped Classroom
Introduction: “Published on Jan 4, 2013, this PD video was created to introduce teachers to the Flipped model.”
While Listening Activities
Directions: Review the statements with students before the watching the video. As students listen to the video if a statement is true they mark it T. If the statement is not applicable, they mark it NA. If the statement is false they mark it F and provide the correct answer.
- Many students will be used to a self-directed class.
- The first step is to teach students how to use the
content library for class preparation.
- Students will already know how to use the library from playing video games.
- Teachers should expect responses from a few students during class time.
- Teachers should ask questions about the content.
- Teachers can promote inquiry by having students write down questions.
- Students should be trained to ask lower-level questions.
- There should be no more than 20 students in a class.
- With the flip class teachers spend more time making videos.
- Students will love this new approach.
Questions for Discussion
Directions:Place students in groups and have them discuss the following questions.
1. After listening to this video has your personal idea of a “flipped” classroom changed in any way? If yes, describe in what way. If no, describe your original opinion.
2. Did you agree with everything the speaker said? Discuss which comments you agreed with and which ones you tended not to agree with or did not understand.
3. With your group members, make up questions that you would like to ask the speaker, or students who are already involved in a flipped class environment.