Monday, January 21, 2013

Why Would I Do That?

Why did I decide to flip other content areas?  Well for me it was an issue of time.  What would be best use of my face-to-face time with my students: watching educational videos in class or actually using class time to complete science labs and social studies projects?  For me that choice was easy.  So I did what made sense. I decided to flip some of those lessons as well.

Fortunately for me, there were some great online resources that I could use to deliver content to my students at home. I recently found out that Discovery Streaming now makes it possible for teachers to enroll their classes in a group.  That means each child will have a unique log in that they can use at home to watch the videos and take quizes.  Wonderopolis is another source that students can use at home.  I simply entered key words in the search bar and found introductory videos and passages that correlated with our Common Core Standards. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Rosie the Riveter, The Tuskegee Airmen, and The Wright Brothers are a few of the topics I have found to share with my students. 

So . . maybe instead of asking "Why would I want to flip other content areas?" a better question might be "Why would I not?"

Sunday, January 20, 2013

What's in a Name?

Parents eagerly anticipating a new addition to their families will spend many hours making preparation for their bundle of joy.  A lot of thought goes into things like picking the perfect crib or the perfect car seat.  Just as much, if not more, time is spent picking the perfect name.  A name which will, in most cases, stay with them forever.  When we picked names for our three boys we picked names that would represent who we wanted them to become.  Names that were distinguished.  Names that had been in our families.  Names that made a statement: Christopher Lloyd Fisher, Brian Howard Fisher, and William Drake Fisher. 

When I picked a name for my blog, I also wanted that name to make a statement.  I wanted it to reflect what this bog was about.  But unlike the names for my children, I could change the name of my blog and I have.  I started with "Flipping Out in Fifth Grade" because when I started flipping, I was flipping out!  I had questions like:  How am I going to do this?  Will this work in my class?  How do I make a video?  What is Edmodo?  What if my kids don't learn? What if it doesn't work? 

Then as time passed and I felt a little more comfortable, I took off the "out", just "Flipping in Fifth Grade".  I think that changed happened around about the same time I actually was able to post a video on Edmodo and the kids didn't send me messages saying they couldn't view it. 

Now there has been another change.  When I started flipping, I only flipped lesson in math.  What I have begun to realize is that I can flip lessons in other subjects as well. I don't have to entirely flip those content areas, just some of the lessons.  Which is what Jon Bergmann advises for teachers who want to begin flipping in Flipping the Elementary Classroom,  "Don't flip a class . . . flip a lesson".  So, to reflect my change, my blog's name has also changed.  I'm still "Flipping in Fifth" but now it's "Flipping in Fifth: mostly math sprinkled lightly with social studies, science, and language arts". Now that's a mouthful.