How has flipping improved your use of class time?

The transformation of the group learning space is, by far, one of the best benefits of flipped learning. I decided to flip my first classroom because I can’t deal with students glazed eyes looking at me full of boredom. I am one of those teachers others call entertainers because I go all the way to create fun and engaging classes. Mea culpa!

However, never have I allowed myself to fall in the trap of doing meaningless activity after meaningless activity just to fill up my time slot. I have always worried about providing students with a communicative event at the end of the class where they can perform  and apply the language we are studying (thank you Centro Colombo Americano Bogota @ColomboBogota, for that lesson). Nonetheless, when you have to teach grammar, vocabulary, learning strategies; develop listening, writing, reading and speaking skills; foster critical thinking, assess students formatively, and favor autonomy (sigh), it is not easy to leave those 15 minutes at the end of the class for students to communicate authentically and show mastery. So, what do you do? You flip!

In my language and content classrooms, flipped learning has helped me excert the following changes:

  • Promote S-S Interaction
  • Provide opportunities for communication
  • Be available to give authentic feedback
  • Foster peer-instruction
  • Open up the space for in-class tutoring
  • In-class flip
  • Explore sketchnoting
  • Differentiate instruction
  • Solve language questions to a deeper level since students already come to class with the basics

Flipping my classes has also allowed my students to:

  • Monitor their own learning
  • Decide on activities they want to do
  • Help each other with difficult topics
  • Explore their artistic talent (via sketchnotes and other activities)
  • Work independently towards their own learning goals
  • Receive valuable one on one time with me
  • Deeply learn topics of their interest and needs
  • Be more aware of their learning process
  • Learn teaching techniques they can apply in their future classrooms (remember my students are pre-service teachers!)

Anyway, the transformation of my classrooms is one of the main benefits of flipping them, but…wait… I almost miss the question for this week’s #flipblogs chat! How has flipping improved your use of class time? Well, by taking the grammar, some writing steps in the writing process and some language learning strategies outside of class, I have been able to do all of the things above! My students and I have created a real Learning Culture where each person’s learning process is the most important (even more so than covering a curriculum, or just having grades at the end of the term).  As students come prepared to class, we can invest time together actually communicating! Students perform different communicative tasks every day.We have time to work on the difficult parts of the writing process while in class (drafting, revising and editing), we check grammar in depth because they watch the basics at home, so we practice with communicative activities. The  communicative event now takes 2 hours a day!!! And in my content course (I teach Pedagogy and Second Language) students get to discuss, to solve classroom problems, to solve cases and do simulations, to lesson plan and to micro-teach!  Students are improving their English level day by day, and also they are learning what to do in their own future language classrooms! Oh, and I get to do what I love the most: to have happy, engaged and involved students…who might feel entertained, okay, but who are doing lots of thinking and deep learning!


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