Flipping the SMART Way

Last week I attended Allen ISD’s 2nd Annual Flipped Classroom Conference cohosted by Flipped Learning.  Jonathan Bergmann and Aaron Sams started out the day discussing the best practices in the Flipped Classroom and sharing their journey during the last six years.  You can check out their websites as well as some of the videos they shared by going to bit.ly/FlipAllen.   Bergmann and Sams suggested starting with a flipped lesson or recording your lessons and slowly working up to flipping your class.

6 year journey    Flip SMART presentation

I presented a breakout session during the day about flipping the classroom with SMART products.   I started flipping lessons in my 6th grade science classroom last year.  As a SMART Exemplary Educator and SMART Certified Trainer,  I love using my SMARTboard and SMART Response in my classroom and found engaging ways to incorporate them into the flipped model of learning.

The way I started becoming more familiar and comfortable with the flipped model is very similar to how Bergmann and Sams started out.  I would create interactive SMARTboard lessons to use in my class and would then record them and post them on my website.  This gave students that were absent a great way to get the missed concepts and for students that were in class a way to review.  My very first flipped lesson was on the concept of force and motion.  I used Notebook to create a lesson and then used the recorder feature to video it and then posted it on my website.   I used a learning contract to guide student activities that pertained to the concepts from the video.  Students could work at their own pace and I was available to support them as they learned through inquiry.   I slowly incorporated more flipped lessons throughout the year and also included aspects of Project-Based Learning.  My students started using SMART Notebook to create lessons and their own videos.  Students also enjoyed the immediate feedback they received from using SMART Response.

Smart Notebook to Flip    SONY DSC

Using the Flipped Model in my classroom last year was a huge success. The students loved the differentiation and personal attention I was able to provide and parents enjoyed knowing what their students were learning.  The most important thing I learned last year was that there is no right way to use the Flipped Model.  It can look different from one classroom to the next.  You have to decide what is the best use of your face to face class time (Bergmann & Sams).  For me, sometimes this means direct instruction and other times it was class discussion or lab activities.

My students were thrilled to share how they used SMART products during a SMART TX Virtual User Group Webinar.  The link to this recording and other resources from my classroom can be found at http://www.techwithmichelle.com.

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