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WHAT WORKS IN EDUCATION The George Lucas Educational Foundation
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The Flipped Classroom: Pro and Con

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A closeup of a kid sitting, reading Dr. Seuss on a tablet.
Edutopia blogger Mary Beth Hertz presents a balanced look at the flipped-classroom model: what it is, what it isn't, why it works or doesn't work, and why it matters.
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Kirk Humphreys's picture

I've flipped my classroom for over 4 years and I would never go back. I teach 6-8th grade math and I have fully flipped. All of my lectures are taught at home and I haven't taught a lecture in class for 4 years. Students have autonomy of what they do in my class and choose what they want to do for that day. I love it and so do they. I keep track of what I do on my blog at www.kirkhumphreys.net

Kirk Humphreys's picture

I fully flip my math classroom in junior high and my students spend less than 10-20 minutes at home each night. I teach 6-8th grade. It seems like the flipped model in your case is one in the teacher ended up making more work to do at home which caused more stress than what it should be.

AmKukla03's picture

In order for Flipped Learning to occur in my district, I am proposing a few ideas to ensure validity and success. System-wide professional development and necessary instructional resources (e.g. technological devices) should be provided to all staff interested in piloting or fully implementing this approach. For online direct instruction accessibility, educators need to provide alternative ways for students to view the content. This may mean they access the content at school (e.g. beginning or end of a school day). Students can stay after school using equipment that is not available at home with staff supervision. Lastly, students may purchase/rent devices that schools supply. In order to meet all learning styles, students would be provided with a variety of tools, such as textbook readings, lecture videos, Power Point presentations with voice-over, and printable Power Point presentations (to name a few). Stakeholders play a key role in the implementation of instructional practices and their support would be beneficial. Educators would need exposure to model classrooms, access to necessary resources, time to plan, implement, and reflect, and especially, opportunity to improve. An initiative as Flipped Learning does not happen overnight and educator evaluators must accept this reality and be supportive of such endeavors.

Ms. Nay's picture
Ms. Nay
5th grade Head Teacher and Academic Leader at ITJ Queretaro, Mexico. Passionate about Science & Tech. Currently piloting a paperless classroom under PBL.

I'm currently piloting a paperless classroom in 5th grade under PBL. One of the most valuable resources I've come across is Flipped Learning. Planning is definitely the key for a productive class and a positive outcome. My students love finding out about the new topic on their own instead of through the teacher.
You can follow our classroom on Twitter @5Aonline, where I post our finding with tools and resources.

WaldenKR's picture

I believe that a flipped classroom would be very beneficial to my students. My school is going towards a PBL model and we have begun to move in that direction already. By going to a flipped classroom my students can easily collaborate on their projects outside of the school day, they can easily gather the information that they need, and students who miss a day can easily check what their groups members did while they were gone. I would also love to move towards a flipped classroom because it can really individualize student learning. If a student really struggled with an assignment they can go back and relearn the information at anytime or if the student needs to be reminded of something this will give the easy access to the content. I also do not think that it would be a hard thing for my school to move towards given that students already have their own Google logins that we access on a daily basis to gain access to certain apps, to collaboratively work on presentations, to publish our papers on Google Docs and many other tools. However, one big draw back is that many of my students are low-income, therefore, gaining access outside of class is not applicable to many of my students. Also I do not want students lives to turn into staring only at technology 24-7. I'm very technology smart and love using it, but at times I have to print things out and physically hold, highlight, and read a paper to truly understand something!

Tabby Riley's picture

Ms. Nay,

I made my classes paperless years ago and use Blackboard as a supplemental for the students to access lectures, homework, Power Points and case studies on their own. The materials taught in my classes have to be remembered and applied until the students graduate and take their national credentialing exam.

Patricia FitzGerald's picture

Hi,
I am beginning to look into using a flipped classroom approach for the next school year. I currently teach 3rd grade and have 1:1 Chromebooks in my classroom. Does anyone have any professional development resources or tips they are willing to share?
Thanks!

Ms. Nay's picture
Ms. Nay
5th grade Head Teacher and Academic Leader at ITJ Queretaro, Mexico. Passionate about Science & Tech. Currently piloting a paperless classroom under PBL.

Thanks Tabby. I've been using slides (PP Google Docs version) and it works wonders!

Ms. Nay's picture
Ms. Nay
5th grade Head Teacher and Academic Leader at ITJ Queretaro, Mexico. Passionate about Science & Tech. Currently piloting a paperless classroom under PBL.

Hi Patricia,
I recommend you open a gmail account for each chrome, without providing any student info since they're under 13, for example: student01@... and assign them permanently to each ss. Once you do that, you have endless possibilities to work with flipped learning. I prepare my lessons via Slides and share them through a link or QR code. Digital worksheets, questionnaires, quizzes, etc... can be assigned through Google Forms. I've also created a classroom site with a -Google calendar to display the daily lessons and assignments.
You can check out our site here https://sites.google.com/a/itjqro.edu.mx/5-a-bad-habits/ or follow our classroom account in Twitter @5Aonline to get more ideas for your classroom.
Hope it helps!

Patricia FitzGerald's picture

Hi Ms. Nay,
Thank you so much for responding! My district assigns students an email through our partnership with Google. I've been utilizing Google Classroom all year, as well as the other Google Apps for Education. However, I find myself, too often just making an assignment "electronic" in a Google Doc or Google Slide and not truly flipping my classroom to truly utilize the amazing 1:1 capacity I have in my classroom.
Thanks for the tips!
Patricia

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Open Educational Resources (OER): Resource Roundup

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Graphic of an open padlock
Explore this educator's guide to open educational resources for information about online repositories, curriculum-sharing websites, sources for lesson plans and activities, and open alternatives to textbooks.

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Science teaching Resources's picture

Hi This is too good. Education of educator's guide to open educational resources for information about online repositories which you provide us is really helpful.It is a great resources and it can also be used for improvement.

Thank you.

Mark Collard's picture
Mark Collard
Experiential Trainer, author & keynote speaker. Founder & director of playmeo

For those educators looking to integrate group activities which help students strengthen relationships and develop interpersonal skills, check out all the free downloadable stuff on http://www.playmeo.com - step-by-step instructions, video tutorials, leadership tips, etc.

Abigail Pollak's picture
Abigail Pollak
Marketing Assistant

OER is important because it provides affordable material to students, allows faculty to enhance their own work, and provides faculty with content for classes.

Marisela's picture

Wow I gain so many great FREE resources. I think this is something every educators, or individual who works with children should read. Given that it provides everyone with free or low cost material it will make it easy on the teachers pockets, when they want to update lesson plans. I also think this guide will help educators improve their instruction, and be more effective.

Jim Kelly's picture
Jim Kelly
Providing OER resource links to improve k-12th grade mathematics.

Why is it so difficult to find information on the adding of decimals for a fifth grader in the resources listed above? Especially resources that are for the learner? Obviously the resources listed above must have it in their large databases, yet why is it difficult to locate? Maybe the UNESCO is right that the user interfaces, that is, how one locates information in a resource, needs to be redesigned and that maybe nontext based approaches need to be employed. Also to be fair to anyone providing information to those resources, more detail information needs to be provided.

Jim Kelly
www.k-12math.info
(a United Nations 2016 WSIS nominee in e-learning)

LSahr's picture

Have you tried Khan Academy? I have used it with 2nd and 3rd graders and parents seem to love it as well. There are also videos and activities for kids to complete. It can be sorted by grade level as well. Best of all it is free!

Jim Kelly's picture
Jim Kelly
Providing OER resource links to improve k-12th grade mathematics.

For an easy way to find grade level organized mathematics materials in Khan Academy you might want to go to https://www.khanacademy.org/commoncore/grade-K-CC , which gives you links into the different grade levels and video approaches to topics. Someday we hope Sal will create a series of student textbook to go along with the videos.

Jim Kelly
www.k-12math.info
(A United Nations 2016 WSIS nominee in e-learning)

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Resources From Connected Educator Month 2015

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Connected Educator Month graphic
Explore Edutopia's guide to websites, events, tools, and other resources from Connected Educator Month.

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TODD SENTELL's picture
TODD SENTELL
Author of the hilarious schoolhouse memoir, "Can't Wait to Get There. Can't Wait to Leave"

Connect with what your first year of teaching Georgia history might look like at ... www.adixiediary.com

You may now rebel yell.

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Teachers: 10 Tips for Slowing Down

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Check out these ten tips to assist teachers in taking a break and a breath much more often.
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Chrisoula's picture

These tips were wonderful! I will do my best to improve on not taking on so much. I need to take baby steps and not be afraid to say 'no' once in a while. Thank you, for all the great suggestions!

Veneshaw's picture
Veneshaw
High school teacher in Anguilla (The Caribbean)

It is indeed true that we as teachers never have enough time or always have too much on our plate, but are we doing ourselves an injustice when we try so hard to do right by others? The efforts that we so badly want to exhibit is basically an action that will eventually cancel itself out because you can no longer keep the momentum or the efforts you output are so mediocre that you might as well don't.

I will have to agree with the tips Elena shared. It is imperative that teachers slow down and really reflect on things being down or things being said. Just take a day, say forget school and everything related to it and treat yourself to something you enjoy most. These things are the only way you can truly be re-energized. For me personally, as a secretary and coordinator of groups, I found the first few tips very helpful and hopefully they give an improvement to future meetings.

In observation, I have noticed that many teachers have a big problem with time management. With effective time management and knowing how to give oneself an honest break and just slow down, one will have the space in their schedule to do much more. Many if not all the teachers that truly love their profession have ideas that that can improve their classroom, their school and student learning, but it's always, "I just don't have the time."

I am no different and will definitely be putting these tips into effect! A teacher recently passed away from my school and was no sooner replaced. I then realized that we are replaceable and although some may mourn for a while, life goes on. So, I have to preserve myself in order to do the great things that I have in mind.

Kelly's picture
Kelly
first grade teacher

I love your ideas for slowing down. As teachers this is something we have a hard time doing. I know this week is crazy busy with all the stuff that is due at school this week. This article helped me to take a breather and enjoy the moment. Thanks!!!!!
Kelly

Sami's picture

Each of these tips are amazing. The tips can truly help a teacher become a better teacher. Each tip also helps a teacher become a better leader. Like the meetings, a teacher leader needs to be in charge and make sure everything is covered. It could change who is in charge each time instead of always the same person. Another thing a teacher leader is great at doing is planning and creating goals. These two tips are great and very useful in the classroom. By doing these few things, it helps teacher leaders become better and not as overwhelmed.

Kathy Morlan's picture
Kathy Morlan
High School English Teacher

I have 5 personal goals for myself this year:
1. Keep my desk/work area neat
2. Bring lunch 3/5 days
3. Drink more water and less caffeine
4. Eat Breakfast at home
5. Leave work within an hour of the last bell 3/5 days
I had the same goals last year and the last four were hardly ever met. But HEY my desk was mostly neat!

Pat's picture

Great list which raises lots of discussion points. My first is how we are able to reduce stress, workload and time pressure when SLT keep adding additional pressure for rigorous progress and often 'unmanageable' targets?

cpenner's picture

I must admit I have been guilty of not taking a sick day. My excuse? Sometimes planning for a sub (especially if you are at home) is harder than just going in. But I'm given a certain amount of sick days per school year and never come close to using them all... so when I start feeling sick I'm going to take the 30 minutes to plan a day from home so that I can get better!

Confessions of a Modern Day [ex] Substitute Teacher

Abigael Rourke's picture

This is such valuable information. With overwhelming standards playing such a large part of teachers day to day routines, time for reflection is easily lost. That reflection can not only be beneficial for the wellbeing of the teacher, but also to foster growth for students. You talked about pruning goals, calendars, and agendas. Do you have any thoughts on using different forms of technology to help make space and prune these? For example, should we be eliminating some meetings and communicating through google classroom, etc.?

John S. Thomas's picture
John S. Thomas
First & Second Grade Teacher/Adjunct faculty Antioch University New England, former Elementary Principal

My school has worked to eliminate some meetings as well as prune down meeting agendas by doing more communication through Google docs and email. We found that we were having so many nuts and bolts type meetings about things that didn't always involve the whole staff. We thoughtfully talked about how much of a time waster it is, and have worked to minimize the impact of some conversations by moving them online through email dialogues or into a Google doc. We were having 4-5 staff meetings a month and 2-3 were typically nuts and bolts type meetings. Now with the online tools, we are down to 1 at most a month. This has freed up our staff meeting times to now become PLC/instructional practice meetings which are a basically a combination of small group collaboration and professional development meetings.

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Laura Bradley, MA, NBCT's picture
Laura Bradley, MA, NBCT
Middle school English/Digital Media teacher

Hi Abigael,
Yes, our school has also used Google Docs (and Forms and Sites) to better communicate so that our meetings can be more productive. However, I heard an interesting response to that strategy. I was going to be attending a meeting with some teachers and admin from across my district. We were going to be talking about some concerns that a number of teachers had. I was worried that we would spend too much of the meeting on one or two topics and wouldn't get to our whole list, so I created a table in a shared Google Doc, listed some concerns and asked all the attendees to add theirs so we would be ready to meet. One of the teachers said that communication like that frustrated him because it meant that he had to take time to read and respond to the email and doc, which meant that our "meeting" time was pushing into his time outside of the meeting. I think that's a danger of our ability to always be connected -- we end up working more when we think we'll be working less.

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Restorative Justice: Resources for Schools

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In the multipurpose room, a large group of middle school students fill one side of the bleachers, some clapping.
Explore resources and case studies that demonstrate how to bring restorative justice to your school or classroom.
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zep's picture
zep
Education Specialist

Sadly these noble efforts are caged in an adult controlled building. If these efforts are to be authentic they must be implemented within a democratic school. What makes a school democratic? Start with absolutely no coercion, this includes grad requirements, and then empower students and staff, 1 person 1 vote to make all school decisions. Lastly, this system cannot be undermined by an autocratic district office. Blend restorative justice into one of those schools and it takes on an entirely different context. This is similar to the functioning of most student councils around the nation; they are nice opportunities for kids to choose the theme of homecoming, but really no exercises in real democracy with meaning. Student Council sadly often becomes a nice add on to the college bound students' application.

Lynn Jones's picture

As a parent I have one experience of "restorative justice" - a policy used by teenage son's high school. I cannot support it for some students. Our son is "gifted visual spatial learner with learning difficulties". When faced with bullying or other stresses at school he "shuts down". We reported the bullying and were told of the restorative justice approach. I pointed out that it would be impossible for our son to talk to the bully in such an environment and would only increase his anxiety. The solution we preferred was for a "safe haven" where there is adult supervision. A place where our son could go during breaks where he felt safe and comfortable. We had limited success in this. There was a games room established but the school complained of not being able to staff it. He is now removed from the school system and we are now learning at home. My feeling is there was no culture of democracy at the school, there was no overall discussion with the school community about restorative justice and there was no second option in place when it didn't work. My reason for commenting is simply to point out that the process doesn't work for all students.

zep's picture
zep
Education Specialist

Lynn, I applaud your efforts to create an educational system which works best for your son; sadly your experience seems to echo my concern of having a student based justice system within a system wherein students have no real power. Best of luck with your endeavors, I would strongly recommend a book on unschooling, a "twist" on homeschooling, The Teenage Liberation Handbook: How to Quit School and Get a Real Life and Education, by Grace Llewellyn.

Deborah Asher, Ed.S.'s picture
Deborah Asher, Ed.S.
Equity Advocate, Consultant, High School Principal, District Administrator, Teacher

I agree that there needs to be extensive changes in our educational systems. However, I do not agree that authentic restorative practices can only be achieved in the above defined "democratic school". That is why restorative practices focus on restoring people not implementing rules, programs, and/or having power. Every step taken is a step in the right direction and the results can be a powerful force for change.

It is unfortunate, Ms. Jones, that these practices were seen and implemented as "a policy" in your son's school.

Thanks Matt for a valuable resource. Thanks zep for the book recommendation.

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Five-Minute Film Festival: The Best Cat Videos for Educators

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Need a break from the pressure of the school year? This Five-Minute Film Festival gives you something to laugh about, with a round-up of entertaining animal videos.
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VickyDewald's picture

These videos were just what I needed - pets are great stress reducers, funny pets are better! Thanks for the laugh!

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Assistive Technology: Resource Roundup

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Discover websites, blogs, articles, and videos that provide information and tools related to understanding, selecting, and assessing assistive technology.

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Ashley Cronin's picture
Ashley Cronin
Digital Resource Curator

Looks like a great set of resources. Thanks for sharing the details about the website launch!

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5 Tips for Avoiding Teacher Burnout

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photo of a woman running through the sprinklers
Edutopia blogger Mary Beth Hertz addresses teacher burnout with suggestions for both educators and administrators. Her tips include an ongoing attitude of professional development, including all stakeholders when things change, and maintaining a personal life.
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L.Keith,Psy.D.'s picture

Shawn, I can really relate...I did it for 20 or so years and now am at the University level. You may want to consider being a mentor or teaching as an adjunct, or something in a related field. I hope that you find something that ignites that spark once again!

Leona Hinton's picture

Totally agree with your points, Mary. "Always keep learning. Always keep it fresh" - such a true words. It's all about your mind and soul, if you love what you do you won't burnout. Sure, sometimes it's hard to keep balance and be strong, sometimes we feel no passion to move on. We are humans not robots so if you are tired just take a break and breathe. When you feel better, return to your routine and change something. I've recently read another nice article about teacher's stress and how to manage it. I guess it might be helpful:
https://unplag.com/blog/teacher-stress-8-strategies-to-manage-work-press...
Honestly, I have my own technique that helps me not to burnout - I climb mountains 3-4 times a year. There is no better place to clear your mind.

MotivatedTeacher's picture

I find your points very refreshing and as a reminder that being a teacher doesn't have to mean to not have a personal life. I remember when I first started teaching that my nights and weekends were an extended school time that got in the way of having family time and "me" time. Once I learned how to create a balance and use my time efficiently at work I realized that I didn't have to bring too much home with me. My husband and child also appreciate not having to see piles of essays and papers to grade covering the dining room table.

CandySnacker16's picture
CandySnacker16
Making Differences One Child at a Time

Hi Mary
I really enjoyed reading the 5 tips of this article to avoid burnout. I think since I will be a beginning teacher that #1 would be my main concern. I already tend to know that if I am really excited about something (teaching) then I pour everything I have in it, and I could foresee myself getting burned out because the level of energy is so high and then of course there's the crash after. But I think #1 and #3 go hand in hand in order to prevent #1, #3 should be used. Thank you for this list and as I become a teacher I will keep this list in mind.

Jessica Ann's picture

Hello Ms. Hertz!
Thank you so much for sharing! This article provides wonderful advice that I wish I would have heard as a new teacher. My first year, I was the teacher you described, first in and last out, not to mention weekends. I poured all my energy into my students and it paid off at school, but not as much at home. There were many times that my administrator told me to remember myself, but then the expectations didn't seem to fit that statement. What advice do you have for new teachers that receive mixed messages regarding home and work life? Thank you for your time and thoughts.

Laura Bradley, MA, NBCT's picture
Laura Bradley, MA, NBCT
Middle school English/Digital Media teacher

Hi Jessica Ann! I can sure relate... I love to remind teachers to set boundaries and take care of themselves, yet I am the first to blur the boundaries and work, work, work when I should be exercising, reading, relaxing... It's a never-ending battle! I think one problem is that for some of us, we have a hard time differentiating between the work we have to do and the work we feel like we need to do. Our lessons are never quite good enough, right? So we keep revising them, we keep looking for better resources, we are forever trying to be the best teacher we can. And while that's honorable, it also leads to burnout and resentment. A valuable mentor in my early career told me to make a list of work tasks I knew I HAD to do, and then another list of work tasks I would LIKE to do. And from that list, I could better organize my time. It's really frustrating to let go of some of the "want to" tasks, but it can lead to better self-care, which can lead to more energy for the work. We have to learn to say "no" to expectations that push us to work too hard.

LucyHasMyHeart's picture

Hi Mary,

I really enjoyed this article on how to avoid the teacher burnout. I have wanted to be a teacher since I was a little girl and I am really excited I am getting close to my dream job, but I have heard of teacher's who have so much passion for teaching and children that get burnt out or end up changing their career because it is too much and that worries me. I have always been the type to get overly excited about something and plan a ton, whether it's a party, vacation, or a new school semester and end up doing nothing but that until I accomplished it (which can be hard because I have been know to be a perfectionist). I can see myself making teaching my life and losing my "other" life so I will have to remember to maintain my "other" life! I also love #2 and #3 about being a team leader and keeping people informed. I have always been known to lead so I will remember to use that tip too. Thanks so much for helping all of us avoid the burnout!

A.Tello's picture

Thank you so much for sharing this. As a future teacher I can take all the advice possible. I really would not want to burn myself out because it has been my dream to be a teacher ever since I was six years old. I would hate to have worked so hard all my life in school just to end up burning myself out the first year I teach. Your tips are really helpful especially the first one because I can see myself trying to be the best teacher I can be and making it my whole life, which I know would cause me to burnout pretty fast. I appreciate all your tips and will definitely keep them in mind when I start teaching!

iris's picture

I enjoy reading about teacher burnout it was wonderful article that I will consider in my teaching career.

billitsa's picture

Hello everyone!
Those tips are so helpfull!!! I should have noticed them earlier this year when I was having a hard time at school. It is my first year teaching after all ; )

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6 Baseball-Themed Classroom Activities for the World Series

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Photo of baseballs against a fence
Explore some resources for using the World Series to bring history, math, social studies, music, and visual arts to your classroom.
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Guest's picture

"Baseball: The National Pastime in the National Archives," an eBook available in ibooks, epub, and PDF file formats, tells the story of our national pastime through documents, photographs, audio, video, and other records preserved at the National Archives: http://www.archives.gov/publications/ebooks/baseball.html

It covers of the role of baseball during the two world wars, contract disputes, civil rights, equal access and opportunity on and off the playing field, the steroids era, the universal appeal of the game to players and fans, Presidential involvement, improvements to the sport, Little League, Spring Training, Opening Day, and celebrations along the way.

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