The GrammarFlip Story: Significant Assessment Improvements in the Flipped ELA Classroom

--Originally published at FLN Hub Syndicated Posts – Emerging Education Technologies

GrammarFlip took shape in my middle-school English/Language Arts classroom when I was awarded a grant to develop an online curriculum that leveraged the use of instructional videos outside of the classroom.  When it came to teaching grammar and its application in writing, I always had students who understood and could apply the concepts cold, and at the same time, I had students who had never even encountered those exact same concepts.  As I looked up from the whiteboard during one of my lessons, I noticed one portion of my students were bored to tears while others struggled to keep up.  It seemed the way I was teaching wasn’t really serving anyone.

I had read about flipped classrooms and thought that if I could use instructional video lessons to put each student on his or her own learning path, I could make more efficient use of both my students’ time and mine, and if I could complement each video lesson with a set of online practice exercises whereby I could see my students’ results, I could monitor who was learning and who needed my help.  And finally, I knew that for students to truly demonstrate an understanding of the material, they needed to apply the concepts into their own writing.  So, I set out to design a program that would do these exact things.

I decided that pre-test diagnostic assessments would determine a baseline understanding of where each student was in his or her learning, and instructional videos would guide students through concise, yet thorough lessons.  Practice exercises with instant feedback would provide students with an opportunity to learn from their mistakes while writing application activities would give students the chance to demonstrate their mastery of the topics.  An integration with a popular review game program would allow students to compete with one another while reviewing what they had learned before taking their final post-evaluation on each topic.  All the while, detailed progress reports would allow teachers to monitor student progress so they could step in at any moment.  And after all was said and done, that’s how GrammarFlip was born.

I became more effective, more efficient, and more engaging as I covered grammar topics.  Students who needed to be challenged were being challenged, and students who needed remediation were being assisted.  No one fell through the cracks anymore.  I used it for several years with my students, and then during my last year of teaching, I made GrammarFlip available to the public.

Four years later, 8 out of every 10 students who use GrammarFlip show a 183% improvement rate from their baseline diagnostic score to their final post-evaluation assessment, and teachers remark about the improvements they see in their students’ writing, not to mention how much time they save in their classrooms which they now use more productively for collaborative projects and discussion-based activities.

I’ve found the GrammarFlip community to be a group of highly enthusiastic and engaged teachers who want to improve their teaching.  They love providing feedback and suggestions on ways to improve the program, and I love this.  GrammarFlip’s goal is to provide an effective, efficient, and engaging grammar and writing resource that gets the results that teachers need and that provides the learning experience that students want.


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