Sunday, August 12, 2012

If You Want to Flip Your Classroom...

There's been a concept tossed around for some time in education that shifts the instruction out of the classroom and the practice/skill work into the classroom. This concept, known as flipping the classroom, finally has a solid how-to guide for those of you either curious about the method or considering making the shift. Flip Your Classroom, by Jonathan Bergmann and Aaron Sams, should be in your toolkit if flipping your classroom has been something you've considered.

These two chemistry teachers from Colorado have put together a step-by-step handbook for how to transition from a traditional, direct-instruction classroom to one in which the teacher has time to talk to every kid, in every class, every day (their words, not mine - what a great concept). Rather than preaching to the reader about why every classroom should be flipped, Bergmann and Sams explain how they've made this model successful over the last several years. They even point out mistakes they've made so the reader can avoid the same pitfalls.

I'm not going to weigh in on whether flipping your classroom should be on your to-do list or not. Instead, I'm going to recommend that you read this book before you try it. Be sure to check out the Flipped Learning Network, too. Even if you have little or no interest in flipping your classroom, much of what they discuss simply falls into the categories of "just good teaching" and "what's best for kids." I think back to my dreadful experience with chemistry in high school... Where were Mr. Bergmann and Mr. Sams when I needed them?

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