Grandview’s “Flipped Classroom” definition:
A pedagogical approach in which direct instruction moves from the group learning space to the individual learning space, and the resulting group space is transformed into a dynamic, interactive learning environment where the educator guides students as they apply concepts and engage creatively in the subject matter. (Flipped Learning Network, 2004)
Grandview’s “Flipped” Philosophy:
At the Grandview R-II School District we have found a unique tool that teachers and students utilize in the form of a “Flipped Classroom” Model. Teachers are encouraged and supported in numerous ways that allows this model’s implementation into the classroom. In our dedication to foster lifelong learners, we found the benefits of the Flipped Classroom Model are: improved learning outcomes, improved insight into student learning, student-paced lectures, and the ability to reach more students with varying degrees of needed help.
Response to Intervention
Students are divided into three tier levels depending on the amount of educational remediation needed. Remediation is decided four (4) times per semester at progress report time. The students scoring below 70% cumulative in classes is then assigned to more one on one instruction time during the morning homeroom. Students who score between 71% and 85% are also assigned remediation in a group setting that involves a teacher and numerous students together. Students who score above 86% are then assigned to help facilitate teachers by tutoring and mentoring other students that fall below the 85% range.
During our Response to Intervention times, the teacher assigns flipped lessons to struggling students. The students watch a video, play an education based game, or participate in an animation explaining content concepts in the classes in which the student struggles.
Management School at Grandview
In 2013 Grandview R-II School District implemented a Management School Program. The program is designed to help students with or without special needs who may have a difficult time in the classroom. Issues that the Management school address are social interactions, positive behavior modifications and basic life skills that some students need. During the student’s time in Management school, the student can access many of the courses that they take through our flipped classroom approach. The student may watch a video, a lesson by a specific teacher, an animation or play an educational game that ties directly into the content instruction they miss while out of the class. The teacher in the Management school facilitates the learning process and provides any additional support necessary to help the student accomplish the course goals set by the flipped classroom teacher.
Although the district has found success after implementing the flipped classroom models, there are still challenges that we face. The Grandview R2 School District is located in a rural part of Missouri. Many of the students come from poor families. In a district where parents need to choose between food and internet for the family, many families struggle with finding the money for additional resources at home. When students leave the campus at night most do not have internet access at home, and Wi-Fi Hot Spots are rare. Teachers need to find time and creative ways to help the students while on campus gather all flipped classroom materials so work can be completed on time.
Student motivation is another concern teacher’s in the district face. When given the opportunity to watch a video, play an educational game or other flipped classroom activities, teachers are having a difficult time monitoring all students in larger classrooms. Many teachers designate a specific amount of time during class to download each video lesson onto his or her school appointed laptop before the day is over. The student is then able to watch the lesson at home. Each teacher has their own way of maneuvering around the situation.
Although the formats for the video lessons are relatively the same, every teacher teaches differently. Due to the numerous models of a flipped classroom, in conjunction with the numerous styles of teaching, the students face an issue of asynchronous lecturing. If a student learns from a specific teaching style over another style, there will be gaps in the education delivered. Devising a standard lesson template helps to a degree, but style is individual to a teacher.
The final challenge that the district faces in regards to flipped classroom models is technical in nature. The teachers and students all have a computer. With any computer, there will always be issues, hardware and software, related. By monitoring each computer, through the use of inventory systems, firewalls, and district specific software, the teachers can focus on delivering engaging flipped lessons. Although lessons may be engaging and the students are learning rich content, the fact that computers need maintenance is always going to be an issue. Webcams break and software fails. Preventative maintenance on the computers requires as much diligence and attention as does creation of the lessons for the students.