One Teacher, Many Students. How Do You Address All of Their Needs?
One teacher, many students, lots of different levels and needs. For many teachers, differentiation is the answer and a flipped classroom model can be an effective technique for differentiation. But face-to-face learning is essential in the earlier grades. Younger students need an in-person connection in order to develop bonds with their teachers, and to build a supportive and safe learning space.
So, how can a primary grade teacher take advantage of the benefits of flipping, while preserving the structure necessary to build independence, communication, and collaboration skills? This was the driving question behind my research.
In Class Flipping and the SAMR Model
Another essential element of my research was using technology purposefully, not simply using "technology for technology's sake." The goal of technology use in the classroom isn't just to enhance the learning experience; it's to transform it. This ties directly into the SAMR Model.
The SAMR Model describes a pathway for using technology so that students will have higher achievement because of the technology. The ladder begins with substitution (using technology to as a new tool to perform an old task in the same way) and ends with redefinition (using technology to perform new, previously unachievable tasks).
While my research into an in-class flip isn't transformative (it falls into the "Augmentation" category of SAMR), it makes learning better for the students and teaching better for me.
This video from Cult of Pedagogy describes the mechanics of a blended learning classroom. My in-class flip is a variation of this model.
In a blended learning classroom, online learning is integrated with face-to-face learning. As with an in-class flip, students can control the pace at which they learn online, allowing them to self-differentiate. The difference is that, in an in-class flip, the online learning is optional. Students can opt in or out of the videos, depending upon what they need.
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