Saturday, October 25, 2014

You Ought to Know About...Semi-Flipping Your Classroom

I'm so excited again to link up with Mrs. McClain for the You Oughta Know Blog Hop! :)  I really enjoyed it last time, so it's great to do it again! :)

 This time I am talking about how you OUGHTA know about semi-flipping your classroom! :)
Now-here is a disclaimer...:)
1.  I am NOT a flipped classroom expert
2.  I know that this is not a TRUE flip by definition

However, in MY definition a flipped classroom is essentially where the STUDENTS do the teaching, engaging cooperative learning, and the problem solving, while I myself facilitate. :)  You could also look at this as project based learning.  I like to think the latest thing that I did in my classroom as a mix between the two--a mash-up you could say.  It was an AWESOME lesson, and I think that you OUGHTA know about it. :)

So, this year I am TOTALLY in love with our interactive notebooks.  Since I teach 6th grade math AND science, we have one for both.  I wanted to do something fun with our last science unit which was on Biomes and Ecosystems.  I wanted it to be HANDS ON, STUDENT DRIVEN, COOPERATIVE LEARNING, and ENGAGING...which it was ALL of the above and more!

The first thing that I had to learn was some new technology (I can thank my tech savvy teaching partner for that!).  He introduced me to the world of Edmodo.  It's essentially a Facebook type social media platform that is COMPLETELY managed by you.  You can monitor all student interactions (and as a bonus it sends you an e-mail EACH and EVERY TIME your students post something!).  

Here is what I used Edmodo for in my Flipped Classroom/PBL Unit:

I really liked using it!  I am not sure if there are any tutorials out there on it, but I would be happy to do one if there was a need.

The second thing that I did was create a MILLION foldables for their notebooks.  This is ironic because my last You Oughta Know was on saving copies.  Ha ha!  This time I made a million copies-it works out in the end, right??  I wanted these foldables to be how the students recorded all of the information that they were going to learn in the unit.  The students LOVE their notebooks, so I figured this was the way to go:
Foldables for vocabulary.  I had all of the vocabulary terms in a Powerpoint and the students put them in their 

The next thing I did was put ALL of the 8 Biomes that the students could choose from on the board:  Grassland, Marine, Fresh Water, Taiga, Tundra, Desert, Mountain/Alpine, and Rainforest.  I then pulled their student numbers out of a container, and had them pick what biome they wanted.  I did NOT let them pick partners, nor did I assign them a group. It was first come first serve.  I still had some students that didn't want to work with others, but there lies the life lesson. :)  


So, once that was cleared up, they got to work.  My school is lucky enough to have received a grant for Chromebooks, so I have 1:1 Chromebooks in my classroom.   My students either chose to do a Prezi or they used their Google accounts to do a presentation.  I gave them about 20 minutes in class each day to work on their presentations with their groups, but the rest was done at home.

I learned that my students were WAYYYY more tech savvy than I was with Prezi!  Their presentations were UNBELIEVABLE!!!!!  They taught ME a thing or to about Prezi.

Once the students were finished with their Prezi's (it took about 3 class periods over the course of 2 weeks--I see my students every other day for science), they PRESENTED!!  While they presented they taught the students the information needed for their foldables:

I then graded them on a rubric:

This was probably the most FUN unit I've done EVER!  We aren't even done yet-I made  a vocabulary match for them for their vocabulary words. 

I LOVED my experience trying to "flip"/PBL my classroom!  I think that the students enjoyed the teaching of their peers!  I also got a "now we know how you feel, Mrs. Sugg" when it came to students saying "wait, I'm not ready--don't change the slide yet!" They also talked about how it felt like FOREVER standing up there teaching the class.  ;)  I was just SO PROUD of the students!  It was great!

Want a chance to WIN an opportunity to use this unit with your class for FREE??  It would be great for grades 4-7!

Just enter the Rafflecopter below! :)  Contest runs through Halloween!  If I make it to 300 TPT followers, I will choose FIVE winners!!!!

Don't forget to head back to the hop to see what others teachers have to share that 
You OUGHTA Know :)


  1. Lori,

    This was an AMAZING post! I loved it! My previous grade-level team and I did something similar in 3rd where students chose their own animal or plant species. After researching about their adaptations and biome, they made a ppt to go with it and we invited parents to watch their presentations.

    A LoveLi Class

  2. Thanks so much for linking up!! I love your mix of technology and good ole paper and pencil instruction. It's great to see how your flipped classroom works. I've heard a bit about it, but I wonder if it can be done in the lower grades (or if it is even a good idea to try??). Any thoughts?


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