Flipping out: the new craze of teaching

Flipping out: the new craze of teaching
Flipped learning first popped up back in 2012, a simple idea by Bergmanns and Sam to help those students who had missed class, to catch up on work they had missed that lesson. However, they soon realised that this was really benefiting those students who were attending class, giving them more confidence on the content and the ability to provide differentiated learning in a whole new way. The idea soon became providing students with the basic concepts of a topic prior to class, via visual media such as videos and podcasts, then applying this within class with the assistance of peers and the class teacher. Traditionally, students have been left to struggle with the high order thinking for homework, with little support, meaning those who may not feel so confident in a topic are left behind. Thus, this provided an opportunity to support all learners at their own pace. The classroom now focuses on spending time working independently or in small groups to apply this knowledge, identify solutions and address misunderstandings.
There has been a prominent issue with students struggling with the jump between GCCSE and A-level (Battin-Pearson et al., 2000). Therefore, this pedagogy stood out for me as a way of promoting engagement in my A-level students, an unmotivated group, who were unsure of where they were heading. These pupils were happy to be passive in class and unsure of how to independently learn. Additionally, these students were not aware of how they could support themselves through their A-level, with all their apparent “free-time” to decide what to best use it for. Therefore, over a few weeks I implemented this approach using a variety of videos discussing the different approaches within Psychology. Students were asked to complete a small worksheet for homework, which highlighted the main ideas they needed to identify from the videos and brought this to class to support their work. Students then completed a variety of worksheets and tasks within class, applying their knowledge of the systems of the body to explain the fight or flight response or how neurons function within our body.
The student questionnaires, suggested that they were engaged in the topics more and felt confident to apply their knowledge, having set their own pace on understanding the topic. However, I also chose to focus my data collection on qualitative approaches, as little research had provided knowledge of students and teachers perceptions in any particular
“I liked having prior knowledge of the lesson”
depth (Abeysekera and Dawson, 2015). Additionally, in a more in-depth focus group with some of the pupils, they indicated that the videos gave them confidence to ask and answer questions within class and discussions became a more prominent feature of the lesson. The pupils also suggested that the videos gave them the ability to rewind and pause their learning, which a classroom does not provide. This is something Tucker (2012) found, he suggests that this provides students with tailored differentiation whereby students at all levels can are catered for and can work at the pace which suits them. Furthermore, a teacher noted that the students immediately became independent learners within the classroom, whereby they were able to start class immediately, with little assistance and when questioned had a clear understanding of the topic. From the start students engaged well with this new method of learning and the vast majority preferred this to the traditional approach. Overall, there was a positive perception of the new approach from both staff and students and provided benefits more than engagement alone, although this was the focus of the study.

Although this research was only produced over a short period of time, I felt it had an immediate effect on student’s engagement both in and outside the classroom. However, I would like to continue to use this method of teaching, over the next few months to see how this has a positive influence on the students. For those thinking of implementing this into their classroom, I would advice that they try it, I was extremely surprised by the immediate positive impact on the students, but am so glad that I have risen to the challenge. Additionally, I would recommend finding the selection of videos prior to the start of your topic, carefully selecting which areas of your subject need face-to-face support and which areas are students generally able to self-support their learning. As the Department for Education (2011) suggest, it is important to cater to the needs of all students in your class, flipped teaching provides this opportunity, customized to each students learning needs in a student-centred, engaging manner.

Abeysekera, L. & Dawson, P. (2015) Motivation and cognitive load in the flipped classroom: definition, rationale and a call for research. Higher Education Research & Development, [Online] 34(1), 1-14. Available from: http://philldawson.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/Flipped-classroom-post-print.pdf [Accessed 9 June 2016].
Bergmann, J. and Sams, A. (2012) Flip your classroom: Reach Every Student in Every Class Every Day. [e-book]Washington, DC, International Society for Technology in Education. Available from: https://books.google.co.uk/books?hl=en&lr=&id=-YOZCgAAQBAJ&oi=fnd&pg=PR7&dq=A.+Flip+your+classroom:+Reach+Every+Student+in+Every+Class+Every+Day%3B+&ots=AEiePJrpkf&sig=2BUFJm0RyEbt-qypZeii57EuvNw#v=onepage&q=A.%20Flip%20your%20classroom%3A%20Reach%20Every%20Student%20in%20Every%20Class%20Every%20Day%3B&f=false [Accessed 6 June 2016].
Battin-Pearson, S. Newcomb, M.D. Abbott, R.D. Hill, K.G. Catalano, R.F. and Hawkins, J.D.(2000) Predictors of early high school dropout: A test of five theories. Journal of Educational Psychology.[Online] 92(3), 568. Available from: http://cat.inist.fr/?aModele=afficheN&cpsidt=1505548%5BAccessed 9 June 2016].
Department for Education (2011) Teachers’ Standards. [Online] Available from: http://www.gov.uk [Accessed 15May 2016].
Tucker, B. (2012) The flipped classroom. Education Next.[Online] 12(1) 13-15. Available From: http://www.msuedtechsandbox.com/MAETELy2-2015/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/the_flipped_classroom_article_2.pdf%5BAccessed 6 June 2016].


Best Buy Yet!

20151229_221841 At the end of last placement i purchased an expandable file in order to speed up the start and end of each lesson by not having piles of sheets of kids work and resources! 

This has been my best purchase of the year so far!

How I use it:

I have 2 sections for each class: 1. ‘Name of the class’ which includes all the worksheets for the lesson and any lesson resources 2. ‘Extras’ this includes any worksheets from the previous week that kids who havent been there or who have lost it may need and homework to give back.

This has been really useful for a couple of reasons:

1. Quick and easy to see if students need any work back

2. Always have the worksheets that the student who says “miss i lost your sheet” or “miss i wasnt here last Tuesday” and i don’t have to run back up to the office and trawl through a pile of paper on my desk.

Definitely something I would give a go if you have a chance! Hope the January slog isnt to bad!


First Post


As I sit here procrastinating from a 3000 word essay, I feel it is a good opportunity to reflect on my PGCE year so far.

Before starting my PGCE I read many blogs and their main tips before starting the course were:

  • Sleep lots
  • See your friends and family
  • Get fit
  • Enjoy your summer

With the resumption that all these things would not be possible during the PGCE.

In my ignorance I thought that I would be fine and that the challenges that many others have faced just wouldn’t hit me, however I can tell you that they are right!

As the Christmas holidays approached and all my friends on undergraduate courses took their month long holidays before exams in January, I still had one more week at university to go and I was shattered before it had even started! However, my body clock was now programmed to get up at 6.30 every morning so a lay in was looking unlikely! Since the Christmas holidays finally began for me, my body clock has readjusted to its teenage self and I managed to have a good 13 hours sleep (catching up on all those missed hours during the term!) and I feel a lot better.

However, I thought I would use this post to reflect on the key things I have learnt in my first term on the course and identify some things I would like to consider  implementing in my second placement.

Firstly the successes..

No. 1 – I got a job!! It is very early in the year but I saw a post on TES and decided to go for it. It was a long interview day but it was a great experience and it paid off taking a risk.

No. 2 – My first placement school was brilliant – everyone really worries about where they are going to be placed and whether they are going to have a nice mentor or not, but from speaking to some of the PGCE students in my subject, everyone was sad to leave their mentors and move on to another placement.

No. 3 – I passed my first assignment – the worries of how to use a new referencing system, alongside the differing expectations of a new university set us all on edge when we had to hand in our assignments, but luckily the majority of us passed. The university were way more supportive than my previous university in assignment help and I feel more confident in completing this next essay although this one is at masters level!

N0. 4 – I have made some great friends on my course which I hope to stay in contact for a long time to come. It has great being able to meet so many like minded people who all have very different methods of approaching teaching and I have learnt so much from them!

But what would I like to do differently next term?

Next term I start a new placement, in a completely different environment, it is a school rather than a college so  I will have to remember the students will call me ”Miss”, also the ability range of the students is very different.

No. 1. – Make better use of planning my lesson – although we do have to create a lesson plan for every lesson we do, I made them feel like a burden to me and that they weren’t of any benefit. I read a great blog on lesson planning which made me rethink lesson planning and I would like to give more time to it in the future: TeachAndLearnWithGeorgia

No. 2. – Start using lollipop sticks to select students for questioning – I used this in my interview and it worked brilliantly, it meant that nearly every student in a 30 minute lesson answered a question and they all felt responsible for coming up with an answer.

No. 3 – Creating a bank of resources – this will happen over time but I never keep a list of some of the great idea’s that I come up with or have seen other people use (mainly on pintrest!) so I have already started creating a list of ‘I’m stuck’ idea’s on word for when I really have no clue what to do for a lesson. I am also going to upload them to the blog when I think I have found something particularly special for anyone struggling for idea’s.

In the meantime have a lovely Christmas!