I am attempting to "flip" my first grade classroom this year making my classroom more accessible and purposeful. According to the Flipped Classroom Network, the definition of flipped learning is "a pedagogical approach in which direct instruction moves from the group learning space to the individual learning space, and the resulting group space is transformed into a dynamic, interactive learning environment where the educator guides students as they apply concepts and engage creatively in the subject matter". I truly feel that taking the pressure off 6 and 7 year olds from having to listen and retain all the important information they hear in 15-20 lesson is highly beneficial. By using dynamic and thoughtful video content, children can have multiple access points to the information. I can send the video lessons home a few days before the actual lesson for children to watch and process. This way our actual discussion of the topic will be more in depth and accessible to my students. I can also make the content readily available for children to view when they encounter questions and problems in class.
I teach first grade so the producing and locating quality video clips to support these lessons is quite the process. Jennifer Hillner from Edutopia writes "teachers all across the country are finding that judiciously chosen videos help students engage more deeply with the subject matter, and recall the information they've learned longer". I turn to YouTube all the time searching for video content. When approached with patience and a critical eye, YouTube can be an amazing resource. Here are some things I keep in mind as I search for content:
Length: I use the advance search feature to filter out videos over 4 minutes long. This is always a starting point for me.
Watch and take notes: I always watch the videos and jot down notes of the video's main points and objectives. If those clearly match what I am looking for, then I move to the next step.
Engaging, not distracting: I want my videos to be engaging and not distracting. Video creators on YouTubes are always searching for the best way to "hook" children. Some of those methods can be a little over the top and sometimes creepy. I tend to stay away from those videos.
What is the source?: I generally only like to take videos from fellow educators or educational institutions. However, if I watch a video and the content is really good and meets my above steps, I will probably still use it.
This year will be quite the journey and I look forward to sharing it with anyone else interested in "flipping out" in first grade.
Here is a link to learn more about Flipped Learning: http://www.flippedlearning.org/Page/1
Hillner, J. (2009). How to Use Online Video in Your Classroom. Edutopia. Retrieved from http://www.edutopia.org/youtube-educational-videos-classroom
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