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Sunday, February 19, 2017

Why Flipping ELA Makes Sense

My English classes have been flipped for over two years, and my students love it! Participation and attendance are better than ever. Some of the advantages of my flipped classroom include:

1. Active participation in reading and writing assignments
2. In-class peer workshopping groups
3. One-on-one help from peers and teacher

My first was to add an adaptive learning software program to help students with grammar instruction outside of class time. I started with Connect by McGraw Hill. Then, when students arrived to class they compared their notes from out-of-class lectures.  

The next step was to make and add my own lectures using Educreations, a free program that works much like an interactive whiteboard that lets you easily add voiceover. I used my own PowerPoint presentation slides saved as jpegs then pulled these into the software program. I added voice and illustrations as I went along. Check out an Educreation example on The Three Kinds of Writing or Using I/Me

Finally, I added interactive, online polling tools, Kahoot and Poll Everywhere:

These tools let students interact by answering questions, polls, and surveys individually or in teams using their laptops, PCs, and smartphones. Some students ask to play every day, and it's possible to do so because you can do graphs, matching, pictures, polls, surveys, short answer, and more. You can collect and analyze data immediately to know when to reinforce areas of weakness. Students love them! Whether using competitive mode or doing surveys, individual participation is required and can be set to anonymous mode.

Another huge advantage is having time to coach and help students with peer workshoppings and rough drafts. My students write mostly academic research essays, and my class is a foundation English class with much-needed skills that can make or break their grades in other courses. We have time to colorcode, highlight, and go over citations, grammar issues, and formats (see the lecture example here for students who miss class or need to hear it more than once!) There is time to sit one-on-one for essay grading conferences, which students say is one of the most valuable parts of the class. Many students say none of their teachers ever had one-on-one grading conferences with them! And, there is time for project collaborations, such as our class blogspots and the college's required oral presentation Quality Enhancement Program (QEP). 

Flipping your English makes sense because lecturing is passive learning, and students learn through active learning and social interaction. Take the first step to flipping, and you'll see why it makes sense to flip your ELA class!

Happy Flipping!
Beth, Educator Helper

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