Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Science Anyone?

Flipping in Fifth
Last year was my first year flipping and I only flipped math lessons on a consistent basis.  Yea, I threw in a couple of content videos here and there but my main focus was math.  Hence the name:  "Mostly Math  . . . Sprinkled lightly . . ." This year I have noticed that I am assigning science and social studies videos on a more regular basis.  It seems that watching the videos at home or even independently in class has allowed me to make better use of my face-to-face time with my students. 

 Granted, I am using videos from Discovery Streaming, Wonderopolis, and  Study Jams to help teach content.  Discovery Streaming allows you to set up a class and give each child a username and password.  Last week I assigned a video about electricity and provided my students with guided notes to fill in as they watch the science videos.  I think the guided notes helps them to identify the important concepts they need to focus on as they are watching the video.

Watching the videos independently frees up more class time to devote to completing projects and conducting labs.  I have wonderful parents (we call them our Science buddies) who come in on Fridays.  After we briefly discuss the concepts from our video, the students spend their class time involved in hands-on activities.  I am finding that I have a lot more time to devote to labs than I did in previous years.  The kids love it!

The biggest change has been in my attitude about what it means to be a teacher. I find myself constantly telling my students I am not the "Keeper of Knowledge".  They understand there is a world of knowledge at their fingertips.  I give them a list of the content standards at the beginning of each unit which they keep in their interactive notebooks.  I let them know it is perfectly okay for them to find information on their own. I encourage it.  They don't have to wait for me. It's nice to see them taking the lead in their own learning.