So we have one lesson down in our Flipped Learning experiment! Not ones to slack off, we have set about planning lesson two for early next week. The main reflections from planning the first lesson were that although the flipped model enabled us to effectively differentiate for mixed abilities within our groups, we perhaps took this a step too far and created too many activities for pupils who were too similar in ability. We are fortunate that in this particular population, the pupils are set in to four classes. We had aimed for four mini groups within each class of our flipped lesson - on reflection, this time we will go for three.
This is because, as expected, pupils require varying amounts of time in which to complete activities, ending up at slightly different points depending on how long it takes them to complete a reading, writing or speaking task. Having many activities to then get them through and have to micro manage only creates more confusion and in actual fact more work on the teacher's part. The concept of flipped learning is that the teacher should, through careful planning and structuring of the lesson, become a facilitator to the learning (or hopefully practising) taking place and therefore pinpoint their attention more accurately to those who need it. A lesson should effectively run itself, or at least that is how we envisage it in our planning stages. This is probably the part that as a languages teacher I will find more difficult to get to grips with and I suspect some of our students will feel this way too. They are so used to us being the expert, the source of knowledge in the class, that to have to rely on their own brains and the information available to them from a previous task will require a shift in attitude. I'm hoping this will build independence and, here's that Ofsted word again, resilience.
So this time through we are planing three groups - Purples, Ambers and Greens. The context of the lesson is future tense with year 8 Spanish on the topic of La Comida.Using the Explain Everything app for the iPad (that took a while to get to grips with, I'll be honest - this 'flipping' is nothing if not a steep learning curve!), we created a video demonstrating using the future tense. We introduced time phrases to stretch our most able and their preparation task was to complete a Google doc matching the translation of time phrases Spanish to English and then manipulate the language independently to create some future tense sentences of their own. We will then use the lesson itself to build confidence in using the future tense through reading and speaking activities.
As before, purples will be those who didn't complete the homework task and will start by watching the video on iPads. Ambers completed their homework but perhaps not grasping everything without some additional support and greens were those who from the Google task were most able to use what they have learned with some success. The tasks this time will be a card sort activity, putting a sentence into the correct order (we have prepared 3 to varying degrees of difficulty), a reading activity consisting comprehension questions and a verb finding task and finally some speaking practise. We are hoping to encourage those more able pupils to offer support to their peers in listening to pronunciation or peer assessing reading. Watch this space!