Wednesday, February 25, 2015

"FLIPPED" Classroom Is All About The Relationships

“FLIPPED” Classroom Is All About The Relationships

Most educators who consider flipping develop angst beginning with the fear of making videos. The concerns typically center on the time necessary to make the videos, the technological skills to produce the videos or the where with all to put voice and/or face on public display.  And of course there is the option to use the million or so videos that are already available through, YouTube, Vimeo, Teacher Tube, etc… But I shout from the highest blog post, IT IS NOT ABOUT THE VIDEO!!!

 While videos do play a roll in most “Flipped” classrooms, the videos are simply a tool that can be employed for delivery of content.  Articles, documentaries, textbooks, websites are also valuable tools to disseminate content.

The success of any classroom but specially a “Flipped” classroom is in the building of relationships.  There are three primary relationships that are central to the success of the flipped classroom.  These are, in no particular order: Student to Subject, Student to Student and Student to Teacher.

The Student to Subject Relationship.

Just because I now flip my class, I still get the occasional, “When am I going to use this in real life?” response from a student. However, this has diminished significantly as a result of focusing my classroom on three key aspects, a more inquiry based hands on approach, more peer teaching and learning and more exposure to the subject matter in the real world.  Each of these aspects have immersed students in the material in a way that they see greater value in the subject. 

Students who experience learning and are encouraged seek answers to their own questions are very seldom bored with the subject.  They find the content delivered outside of class time as more valuable to their success in class. 

Students who are responsible for their peer’s learning success tend to develop an understanding that their own success is dependent upon the success of those who surround them.  They become more responsible not only for themselves but also for their peers.  Their need to fit in becomes dependent upon their preparation and therefore they value the subject more.

Providing resources outside of class to experience how the subject works in the world brings light to the importance of the subject content.  Providing personal experience, guest speakers in person or through virtual content, and projects that connect the content and student to their world brings value to the subject.

The Student to Student Relationship

In 1981 Dr. Gary Phillips conducted research for the National School improvement Project.  While his results brought about some minor changes in educational circles in the decade of the eighties, there is one piece of his data that stands out.  Three months after we have learned some thing, we will remember 92% of what we have taught to someone else.  It is in the process of gathering information, taking ownership of the knowledge and then taking responsibility for sharing that material with someone else that we solidify our own understanding of the subject.  Students who can develop a trust in themselves and their peers for the process of learning will master material at a greater rate and consistency than those who learn on their own.
While the “Flipped” model provides opportunity for individualized instruction and the possibility for a mastery level approach. However, the true value of the flipped model comes from the opportunities for greater student interaction and more peer to peer teaching .  It is in building those students relationships that students develop accountability for themselves and to their peers.

The Student to Teacher Relationship

The “Flipped” classroom is best structured as a student centered learning environment. This means that the educator must transition from the deliverer of content to the facilitator of learning; the “Sage on the Stage” becomes the “Guide on the Side”.  It is in this role that the flipped educator can interact with students in a way that provides opportunities for assessment, remediation, and inspiration.

The flipped educator creates the path for learning and allows the student the opportunity to take ownership of their mastery of the subject.  As the facilitator of learning the educator acts as guide and mentor taking advantage of teachable moments and learning opportunities that will enhance the student experience in the subject.

When students return for their 20 year reunion, the discussion will never begin with, “Oh man, I remember that great packet of 10 problems you gave us for gas laws.” The conversation will always be about the relationships tended. How they felt, and what they experienced.     

While the videos may play a pivotal role in providing delivery of content outside of the classroom, it is the time created in the classroom that becomes invaluable to developing the relationships that allow students to take ownership of their learning path and provide value to the subject matter.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

“Flip” Your Science Instruction Workshop

Flipping Your Science Classroom

This seminar was organized, thought provoking and practical! Brian is an engaging teacher and I'm taking away more than just ideas about flipping my instruction!"
Nichole Benson
High School  Instructional Coach

Practical Strategies and the Best New Tools to Successfully “Flip” your Science Instruction. (Grades 6-12)

Seminar Presented by BRIAN MILLER
Outstanding Science Educator and National Presenter

Specifically Designed for Educators Who Teach Science in Grades 6-12:
Classroom Teachers, Special Education Staff, Title I Staff, Science Specialist and Coaches, Technology Specialists and Administrators. 

·      Learn the key components to successfully flip you’re your classroom instruction for science in grades (6-12).
·      Step-by-step ideas for creating flipped science lessons that fully engage your students and enhance their learning.
·      Powerful websites, apps and educational innovations that shaping the future of effective science instruction and reaching all students. 
·      Strategies, tips and timesaving tools to meet the needs of all of your students in science by using the best technology tools to flip your science instruction.
·      Innovative, engaging, accessible apps and outstanding tech tools – including virtual manipulatives – to create engaging, differentiated science lessons.
·      Receive an extensive resource handbook filled with dozens of resources, strategies and ready-to-use tips to begin flipping your science instruction. 

"You can tell Brian is a teacher, and not just a presenter. 
He gave us ownership of this seminar in the same way he 
encouraged us to give our students ownership of their learning!"
Kathy Buck
8th Grade Science Teacher


Discover the Key Components for Flipping Your Science Classroom. 
Learn from an experienced and enthusiastic secondary science educator and national presenter about the essential components for creating a flipped learning environment for science in grades 6-12…Practical tips to get you started in implementing this powerful approach to teaching. 

Make Your Class Time More Student Centered.
By having students access science lessons outside of class, you will free up valuable class time for laboratory work, experimental demonstrations, hands on collaboration, small group work, and opportunities for students to practice and master key science skills and processes…See how to do this in ways that will enhance student learning. 

Tap into Highly Effective Apps and Free Tools to Bring New Life to Your Science Lessons.
Learn step-by-step strategies for using apps, free software programs and outstanding tools – including virtual manipulatives – to create short videos that introduce         students to new concepts and skills..See  how to create multimedia presentations that keep students engaged and allow them multiple opportunities to view your introductory lessons.

Maximize Every Student’s Science Learning.
Enhance your science program by flipping your classroom for any science discipline…Discover dozens of highly motivating activities designed to engage all types of learners both within and outside the classroom.

Meet Your Students on Their Terms and Through Their Media.
Students today are highly skilled in using technology and they learn best by using the tools they love to use…Discover cutting-edge technology techniques to get students fully involved in learning science.

Increase Student-to-Teacher Interaction Time.
Learn how flipping for science increases student-to-teacher interaction, which leads to greater student achievement…Practical ideas to focus on students’ specific needs and to make learning math more enjoyable and more successful.

 See the Results from Using Today’s Best Technology Resources.
Engage your students in motivating “just right” activities that will positively influence their performance on high-stakes testing, including those associated with the Next Generation Science Standards…Take advantage of the power of flipping your classroom to help your students succeed.

Use Apps and Online Resources for Formative Assessment

See multiple ways to use today’s best apps and web-based resources to quickly and efficiently gauge your students’ progress in science... Timesaving tools you can use immediately to assess students’ learning and best address their needs 

Create Differentiated Activities Based on Students’ Needs

See how to use the flipped classroom model to work with your struggling students as well as to provide opportunities for advanced students to achieve more in-depth levels of understanding ... Proven strategies that students love and effective techniques that will significantly decrease their stress or boredom in learning math. 

Receive an Extensive Resource Handbook Focused on Flipping Your Science Classroom 
Each participant will receive a comprehensive resource handbook filled with practical ideas, apps, websites, and valuable strategies for creating, finding and managing flipped lessons for math in grades 6-12 ... Dozens of practical ideas, information and resources to help you get started immediately! 

"I have been teaching for non years and I can honestly say this was the most helpful and useful seminar I have attended! Brian enlightened and inspired me to try flipping my instruction!"
Matt PereKupka
Chemistry Teacher

Friday, February 6, 2015

10 Reasons To Make Your Own Flipped Videos

10 Reasons To Make Your Own Flipped Videos

I believe that the Flipped Classroom model is less about the videos and more about the environment created in your classroom.  I do however, believe strongly that you should 
make your own videos.  

1. Trust

  • While online presenters like Paul Anderson (Bozeman Science), Tyler Dewitt (Tyler DeWitt) and Hank Green (Crash Course) are wonderful and their materials are well done, IT'S NOT YOU. Your students need to feel secure in their understanding, that the material being presented is the same material upon which they are going to be assessed.  I would however, encourage educators to take advantage of some of the tremendous work that is  available to back-up ad supplement the work you produce for your students.   

2. Familiarity

  • Your students know you. They are familiar with your expectations and the modes of learning that take place in your classroom. This familiarity plays hand in hand with the issue of trust mentioned above.  If students feel comfortable they are more likely to hear your message. 

3. Language and Vocabulary

  • The language and vocabulary for your state, district, school and classroom varies.  Even with the new NGSS, interpretation of language may differ.  Therefore, students need to see and hear the terms and phrasing used in the assessment process in the presentation of the material. 

4. Rituals and Cues

  • Students are comfortable with rituals. There are certain aspects of your classroom, pedagogy, phrasing, cues and clues are a necessary aspect of the learning process.  You may have certain means of delivering information or terms used to help students understand important concepts, topics, formulas that will assist them in preparing for quizzes, tests and otter forms of assessment.  

5. Examples and Stories 

  • The examples and stories used in other presenters work may not always be the same as the samples and information that you find important to share with your students. The story is never the same with a different narrator. It is your personal touch that makes the examples and stories come alive for your audience.     

6. Owning the Learning

  • You can give something away unless you own it first.  In creating your own videos you are giving the students the knowledge you own.  It becomes a gift and therefore is valued more by your students as they take ownership. 

7. Your Time is Valued

  • Students will appreciate and value the information more because you put in the time and energy to create this for for them.  

8. Personal Connection

  • The value of the flipped lesson is not in the videos but in the pedagogy of the classroom. It is the Personal connection that is created in the classroom through the Inquiry Based, Project Based, Mastery and  Gamification Learning that is enhanced through the connection to the information delivered in the video. Students build rapport with people they are familiar with, trust and appreciate.  

9. Because it is Your Classroom

  • Your Classroom, Their Learning.  Whether you are the "Sage on the Stage" or the"Guide on the Side", it is your classroom and you are ultimately responsible for the process of their learning.  

10. Empowers You

  • We all have egos and their is nothing more empowering than creating something of value.  Whether you are validated by your own students, your colleagues or a student from Pakistan who watched and learned from the video you uploaded to YouTube, we all love to be valued. 

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

What I Learned from Watching Student Produced Chemistry Videos

Assignment: Balance Word Equations Video

Use iMovie, Explain Everything or any software or app, you are comfortable with, to create a YouTube video explaining how to balance a chemical equation from a word problem including determining classification of the type of reaction taking place..  You may use any means necessary to explain the process, white boards, table tops, presentation software, pen and paper.  

Upon completing your video, post it on the class YouTube Site. 

email: $%$$%$%%$%$%$
password: %#$%#%$%$

Please copy and paste the url for your YouTube video in the WRITE SUBMISSION box below.

(We use BlackBoard as our LMS)

A   aluminum bromide + chlorine gas yields aluminum chloride and bromine gas
B   sodium phosphate + calcium chloride yields calcium phosphate + sodium chloride
C   potassium phosphate + aluminum nitrate yields potassium nitrate + aluminum phosphate
D   sulfuric acid + sodium hydroxide yields water + sodium sulfate 
E   zinc metal reacts with lead nitrate to yield zinc nitrate and lead

Your reaction is determined by where you are seated at your tables.

^Front of Room
Door SideLab TablesWindow Side 

In years past, I would have assigned a worksheet of 20 problems of balancing word equations for students to complete at home.  I wish I could say that I am the type of teacher that would have sat down and corrected each of the 20 balancing equations for each of my 50 Honor Chemistry students, complete with corrections and personal notes to help the students understand their mistakes, but I am a realist and like most of you this would have been a check your answers   with your partners and turn it in, check mark and record assignment. 

However, this year I am having students post videos on our class YouTube Channel. These videos are meant as a means of students demonstrating their understanding of the process of solving problems. Although it takes just as much time to sit down and watch fifty 4 to 5 minute videos as it would to correct the papers, I have found the time more beneficial for both me as an educator and my students. 

I have learned more about what my students understand and what I may need to evaluate in my own teaching as a result of students completing these videos. Not to mention that students now have a library videos demonstrating both good and bad problem solving as a resource for learning and review. 

Benefits of the Video Assignment

- Students make a more honest attempt to understand because their work will be on public display. 
- Students become more aware of the importance of process versus just finding the right answer.
- Students take greater ownership of their learning.
- Students can teach and learn from other. 
- Students are immersed in the technology.
- Students are creating their own learning resource.
- Students gain skills in organization and planning.
- Students develop presentation skills.
- Students utilize proper vocabulary
- Students self assess work. 

For me as an educator, I gain more from listening to a student solve one problem than I would correcting twenty problems.  I can see and hear where students demonstrate a thorough understanding and where there may be gaps in their comprehension of the material. I can determine which areas of the topic I need to re-teach and which students I need to pull aside for additional instruction. 

Every student has a movie studio in their pocket or backpack between all of the software and apps that allow students to make their own videos.  Putting this to use as a means of creating a teaching and learning assignment is almost a no-brainer.  The benefits in my classroom have been tremendous.