Always looking for the next creative step to introduce to our classrooms, I discovered the concept of Blended Learning.
This seemed to be a way in which we could move onto the next stage from producing or finding short videos to support learning at home to enabling deeper learning within the classroom, to now being able to personalise learning for individual students.
The sheer number of resources available for both teacher and learner appears to be never ending – allowing teachers to consider their classes and how they could successfully introduce Blended Learning to their own learners.
After watching clips like this, our Creativity TLC started to really recognise how they could make ‘flipping’ work in their classrooms.
I have used the Flipped classroom technique in my year 10 class. I uploaded some YouTube clips about the context of 1930s America for the study for "Of Mice and Men.” When the next lesson took place, the whole class were engaged and by the middle of the lesson, I felt redundant in the class. The class were on task and taking charge of their own learning. By the end of the lesson, students had achieved the lesson objective as they had taken charge of their learning and finished the lesson more knowledgeable about the social, cultural and historical context of 1930s America.
- NAOMI VAN DER LITH
I have used flipped lessons by asking students to watch videos on different cooking skills or a demonstration of a dish being made at home. They then cooked the dish or used that skill in the next lesson. The video enables the students to watch the skills or demonstrations several times by the next lesson and therefore creates calmness and confidence during practical lessons. The boost in confidence will improve their grades/levels and makes me available to help the more needy students rather than answering the ‘what do I do next’ questions, as more capable students know that they are doing the right thing.
- LIEZEL HANSSON
My flipping adventure commenced before the TLCs started. I had had a few conversations about it with Jane and had been experimenting with it but the TLCs solidified my practice. Every one of my classes is now set up on Edmodo and I can post ‘lessons’ on there so the students have prior knowledge of what we will be doing in the lesson and can put in to practise the skills they have learned. Going forward I am writing an iTunes U course for next half term for one of my classes meaning I can ensure deep learning can happen in lessons.
- CHARLIE EVANS
The idea of flipping the classroom instantly appealed to me as a teacher of a practical subject. Too much time in lessons is taken up by the demonstration where students have to watch passively and then apply what they see and learn to create their own outcome. The trouble with a live demo is that they only take in a small percentage of what they watch and there is no pause or rewind button. The flipped classroom has allowed my students to watch the demonstrations at home and then recap in the lesson and apply what they learn. They no longer lose 10 minutes of practical learning time to watch a live demonstration. My next challenge is to use the flipped classroom to develop and differentiate the learning and the techniques that they are expected to master.
- AMANDA GOODYEAR
Students arrive to lesson with a clear understanding of the topic at hand and ready to apply
Students feel more able to explain things and think around the topic being flipped
Students tend to move on to higher level concepts and tasks more quickly
Students’ questions are more focussed
- IAN MCDOWELL
The flipped classroom has had an impact on my teaching as I am trying out different approaches in my classes. Implementing the flipped classroom techniques into my teaching allows for my students to become more independent thinkers and learners by responding to pieces of art and having the opportunity to take ownership in creating their own pieces of art.
- CLAIRE FRIEDNER
Once we had really started to build our confidence with flipping learning and recognising that the learners were keen to watch short videos to help with their learning, we then ventured onto the next stage – the ‘flipped-mastery classroom’.
The Learning Pyramid, may be 20 years old but it still demonstrates the 5 areas of learning that are needed in order for our young people to succeed.
Flipped Learning Pic
It’s clear that to become an ‘expert’ you need to do, rather than to watch or listen. Students need to become active rather than passive learners. Flipped learning enables this through flipping the traditional ‘Sage on a Stage’ classroom practitioner into preparing or finding short videos that can ‘lecture’ students at their own pace – where they can replay the clip in order to improve understanding. This then enables them to participate in the active aspect of learning enabling the active learning to take place.
Far too often we are allowing students to be ‘spoonfed’ providing them with the answer, starting their sentences, giving them heavy scaffolding. It is interesting to watch this video clip and see how a baby, ‘Taffy’, needs to solve problem, and uses independent thinking to solve the problem. Alone. Taffy could have just screamed for attention and help from an adult but instead is able to work it out and solve the problem. How can we continue to develop this virtual need for problem solving as a form of independent learning in our young people within our classrooms?
“The object of teaching a child is to enable him to get along without a teacher.”
‘Creativity’ is such a large umbrella, and so difficult to define – particularly in Education – so I have decided to take on one particular focus and look at how to turn traditional learning on its head by ‘Flipping the Classroom’.
This diagram shows how the flipped classroom works from the perspective of the student - where preparation and study outside the classroom, enables them to show their understanding of the key concepts through application of more difficult and longer tasks in the classroom.
The short clip below explores the possibilities of this strategy from the perspective of the teacher.
I also found this ‘How to...’ tutorial, which provides some explanation of possible tools that might be of help in developing practical strategies for integrating the ‘Flipped Classroom’ into regular classroom practice.
During my first TLC meeting, I put two questions to my group:
1) What is a Creative Teaching risk for you in the classroom?
2) What is a Creative Learning risk for your students in their classroom?
As teachers we were easily able to discuss what we thought might be a more creative approach to teaching and how we may perceive particular teaching styles or approaches as a ‘risk’ for ourselves. However, we found it really difficult to
assess what our learners might consider a ‘Creative Learning Risk’.
This discussion really made me think and I have found three really interesting TED talks, which can perhaps help with our exploration of what could be perceived as a Learning Risk for our students. After all, they will be living in (and creating) a future that we are unlikely to live to see.
Firstly, we have Adora Svitak’s What adults can learn from kids:
We then have Sir Ken Robinson’s Schools kill creativity:
And finally, I came across this talk by Dale Dougherty, We are makers:
I am not sure if these helped me in defining what a Creative Learning Risk would be but they have certainly made me evaluate how important it is that I actively encourage my learners to take ‘creative risks’ in their classroom in order to
engage and challenge them more in their learning and prepare them for their, as yet unknown, future.
‘Even though teens are heavily embedded in a tech-rich world, they do not believe that
communication over the Internet or text messaging is writing.’ Pew Research Centre, 2008
The recent storms and subsequent loss of electricity and Internet really made me
think about how we, and ultimately our students, contact and communicate with
each other. Having my mobile phone run out of battery charge, not being able to
pop to the shops to buy anything with my debit card and the inability to browse
the internet for news and updates on the ‘storm’ made me realise that technology
is now a vital part of our society.
The influence of technology on our students is massive, around 85% of teens engage
in some form of regular electronic personal communication (social networking
sites, emails, text messages etc.), yet only 60% of them see this as ‘writing’.
Students will often find it difficult to write down their ideas about a subject
or topic that they have been learning –yet, they are keen to share their latest
status updates with friends. Around 82% of students consider that they need
additional writing time in class, to help improve their writing skills and it is
this group that I have become keen to engage in their learning and sharing their
Teen bloggers are prolific writers on and offline, and blogging is seen as a very
influential method of putting across ideas and opinions with the safety net of
the computer screen to hide behind. Last term I started using a website
http://kidblog.org/home for my classes to see if blogging would work to increase
confidence in their ownwriting. The results were amazing. Students were writing much more, developing
their vocabulary choices and expressing their ideas with a more mature approach.
Taking this to the next stage I then introduced peer assessment,
through the use of the comments boxes. Instead of struggling to read each
other’s handwriting and having a limited singular peer assessment taking place,
they were now able to peer assess as many other students ideas as they could, I
would usually set a minimum, and they could give constructive clear advice to
each other about their work. A number of students have said that they prefer
this method of peer assessment as it allows them to see work of people that
they never would normally connect with and that they are generally surprised at
the ability of some in their classes.
For my #passmoresriskitweek task I decided to use kidblog to allow my
students to write their half termly assessment. Fantastic results! They were
able to peer assess and then improve upon their introductory piece, taking on
board honest and constructive peer assessment. They wrote much more than I would
have anticipated by handwriting and again attempted to expand their vocabulary
choices. Formal assessment marking has taken place by the usual handwritten
methods but I am sure that over time, I can adapt this. The class were really
pleased with their efforts and have asked that we use this method of assessment
again in future. With the positive results and the way in which they are keen to
write much more than usual, I will now be trialling this method with other
classes. They are also showing their clear understanding through the peer
assessment comments where their interpretations of expectations for levels or a
task are also thoughtfully written.
This coming week (4th November) is Risk It Week, I am hoping to encourage
as many people as possible to take a risk in their classroom – whether it be a
risk for the teacher or a risk for the students – and share it with others using
the hashtag #passmoresriskitweek.
It could be something small or something bigger that has been considered for
some time – whatever it is, it should be considered another marginal gain in
continually enjoying and engaging in our teaching and
'It is the supreme art of the teacher to
awaken joy in creative expression and knowledge' – Albert Einstein
Creativity is innovation, improvisation, thinking outside the box, risk taking
and developing passion. It allows professional growth and opportunity for both
the teacher and the learner.
Creativity can bring fun and confidence into the classroom through an improved and reciprocated attitude, mood, feeling, connection and choice.
In the Creativity TLC we will be considering new
and remodelled styles of teaching. We will allow ourselves the opportunity to
take risks, to 'cultivate creativity and acknowledge multiple types of
intelligence,' to accept and embrace creatively finding our own passions within
It is vital that we remember that we are teaching the future
generation; that we remember we have no knowledge of what the world will look
like in five, ten, fifteen years time; that we remember that we need to
cultivate and develop all aspects of every young person’s talents through their
learning. We have no knowledge if they will be the next Bill Gates, Steve Jobs,
Lee Evans, Walt Disney, Thomas Edison, Jessie J, Simon Cowell, Richard Branson
or Shakespeare. We need to be creative in our teaching to help our young people
embrace our subjects using their own talents and passions.
Within the Creativity TLC we will be looking at E. Paul Torance's Incubation Model and Osborne Parnes Model
of Creativity Development. We will also be considering how we can follow some of Ken Robinson's theories of
bringing creativity, happiness and passion into the classroom and discussing new
and exciting teaching and learning strategies that are being discussed daily on
twitter and by educational bloggers. We will be looking at how we can
break patterns, become innovative in our planning, bring the buzz into our
classrooms, whilst enabling our learners to become more creative and positive
about their own learning experience.
Through making small changes, then building upon those marginal gains, we will
find the confidence to take risks in our classrooms - supporting each other through our Creativity Triads.
'If you're not prepared to be wrong, you'll
never come up with anything original.' – Ken Robinson
So take off those De Bono Thinking Hats, flip yourself around and get creative! edit.