In which I decide whether or not to defy my principal, who isn’t on social media, and flip my classes.

Before I get into exactly what I need to decide, this story deserves a little backstory. Feel free to skip, if you already know about flipping your classes.

Last year, I started building my PLN on Twitter by chatting with #flipclass. The idea of putting my students in the center of my classroom appealed to me. I loved the idea of creating interactive notes for my students and using our time in class to discuss and apply those concepts. I read Flipping 2.0 compiled by Jason Bretzmann, in which teachers who have successfully flipped their classes explain how they did it. And I tried it out, using Touchcast. I thought I was on my way to deeper interactions with my students.

And then my principal stepped in.

He had wandered through my room a few times. Every time he came in, everything was well in hand. Some students were…

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My ‘like’ is not a recommendation of any kind. I have no idea what you should do. This is a really interesting post though. Can you describe flipping a class?

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There are two ways to think about flipping. Flipping 1.0 is the idea that you have students take notes at home (the thing they usually do in a traditional classroom during the school day) and do all practice of skills in class, with the teacher on hand to help. This is what I was trying, except I was splitting the class into two groups, with one taking notes on Monday in class while I worked with the other group on practicing a skill. The next day, the groups switched. Flipping 2.0 is the idea that students work to master a set of skills at their own pace, and every student is doing something different during the school day. I haven’t quite gotten the courage to try this out. Regardless of 1.0 or 2.0, the idea is that the students are at the center of class, with the teacher “guiding” the students to deeper understanding.

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I’m not sure how I would feel about that. I think it would depend on what I was doing and what the goal was. I’m also pretty sure I’m not normal, so I’m not sure what it’s worth to you. In high school I hated working in class in math and English. Hated it! I wished teachers didn’t give us any time to work on math homework or read in class, but they always did. I was very conscious about my speed. It made me so nervous I couldn’t concentrate. I would just stare at my book and do nothing. It was the worst kind of torture. Here’s the kicker: I was valedictorian of my class. Go figure. I did all of my homework at home. On the other hand, I liked working in class in Speech and Debate and Yearbook. It was the apples to apples comparison of working on the exact same assignment at the exact same time that I couldn’t handle.

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Sounds like you’d have enjoyed the mastery flipping more than the “notes at home” kind. It’s interesting to hear from something thinking about this from the perspective of a student who disliked when everyone did the same thing at the the same time!

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