Let’s Start at the Very Beginning #flipblogs

--Originally published at Mrs. Gibbs Flips Algebra 1

Life happened, and I missed the first #flipblogs Twitter chat. I start school next Tuesday, so who knows what will be going on Wednesday evening? I hope to get to participate in the next #flipblogs Twitter chat, but even if I don't I can write a blog.

This week's #flipblogs prompts:

1) What inspired you to start flipping?

and

2) What was your first step to make the change?

I've shared this story before, but it's always good to reflect on "where it all began."


I first heard about flipped classrooms from our district tech guy as we were launching our 1:1 iPad initiative. The description of the methodology was basically, "Students watch the lecture via video at home and do homework in class."

I quickly dismissed the idea.

How on earth would I have time to make all those videos (because I wouldn't want to use videos others made)?

And the thought of trying to keep a classroom controlled while working "p. 222: 2 - 222 even" was a nightmare.

But the idea stayed in the back of my mind, for whatever reason.

Then one summer, while teaching summer school, I began to seriously consider it. I don't even remember the exact trigger. But sometime in the month of June, I thought, "I can do this."

I read Jon Bergmann and Aaron Sams' Flip Your Classroom. I figured out how to take aspects of a flipped classroom and make them work for me.

And I took the plunge. I decided to start with my Algebra 1 classes.

The first thing I did was begin to create guided notes. I stayed after Summer School sessions and worked on notes for the rest of June.

Then, in July, I began to record videos. I think I had a couple of weeks' worth recorded by the time school started.

So...that's where it all began. But I feel I need to address my two initial concerns.

Yes, it took TIME. Loads and loads of time. I still like to use my own videos (and my students and their parents appreciate that I do so). But I've always said every bit of time I've spent has been worth it. And I've gotten pretty quick at churning out videos when I need them.

And pages of book work with loads of problems? Fuhgetaboutit! I've learned (and continue to learn) how to choose activities for class time that keep students engaged, collaborating, and communicating. We can go weeks or months without referring to a textbook.

My flipped classroom today looks different than my flipped classroom that first year. It has evolved more than I ever thought possible (a topic for a different post). But every journey has to start somewhere, and I'm thankful decided to take the risk and start.

 

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