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Flipping your Classroom...when There is ONLY the Flip-Side!

Updated: Apr 11, 2020

Stop panicking! You suddenly have to flip your classroom, and you don't know where to start. Here are a few tips to help those of you who are in total lock-down and might be feeling over-whelmed about having to teach online:

  1. Slow down. Think about how much your brain is having to process right now. Students will be doing the same. They have a lot to deal with already. Don't add to the pressure.

  2. Don't overload students. Remember, all their other teachers are hounding them with emails, Google classroom activities, zoom conferences and more!

  3. Why not begin with getting them to set up a space to work in ... and then remember plenty of your students won't have that luxury of a space of their own.

  4. Think of this as an awesome opportunity to upskill! Remember, there's a bit of info on my Your Digital Classroom page that will help. If you're not already set up, now's a good time. Students will love you for giving them a break while you think carefully about what you want to give them and how you'll run your flipped classroom. Put your energy into that in the first few days. Then when you begin sending out work you'll feel organised and confident, and so will the students.

  5. Don't go thinking you have to use Google Classroom. I hate it with a passion! I prefer to set students up with Google folders they can put their work in. I also use Microsoft OneNote for resources but it would be tricky to get the students on this now without you guiding them in how to access it. Instead, create a folder set as view only, then put all worksheets in that. Students then go to that folder, make a copy of that worksheet, and save it into their own folder. This means you do NOT have to email every student or send out individual copies. As I said, check out Your Digital Classroom for a bit of help.

  6. Email me if you're worried. Perhaps I can help you then and there, or perhaps I could make one of my exciting YouTube videos (I know, I'm terrible at it) to help guide you through something so that everyone can benefit.

  7. Be the star that helps students get organised. Send them out something like my Term Planner for Students so that they can get organised with what they need to do each week for each subject. It's available free here. Alternately, we all know how the way a diary is set up is very personal - get them to design their own template. It would give you a bit of breathing space while they do that!

  8. If you want to speak to your students I suggest Zoom or an app they can use on their phones called House Party. The latter is something my own teenagers put me onto and it's awesome and easy. I would suggest breaking students into groups and speaking to them half a dozen at a time with that app. Alternatively, you could make little videos with Screencastify. This works seamlessly with Google (it comes as a chrome extension), so your videos will be easy to share with students. There are a million YouTube videos on how to use it - watch one. Guarantee you'll love it. Remember, if you're making videos - they don't have to be perfect!

  9. If you're creating handouts, insert hyperlinks to external websites - especially YouTube clips that will teach your students for you. YOU don't have to speak to your students or make your own clips at all - some lovely person has already done the work for you. Copy the URL and insert it as a hyperlink in your doc and boom!

  10. You do not have to be an overnight tech whiz. Just set up some Google folders (as previously mentioned), and you're good to go. As mentioned, have one folder for your resources (set as view only and which students come to to make copies of handouts), and one folder for each student. Make ONE student folder - set it up how you want it (eg folders for each assessment/unit within that master folder), then just MAKE A COPY for each student. Then share that student's folder with them (okay, that bit takes a bit of time, but it's not hard).

  11. Use resources that have already been created! I have on my Drive Resources website complete task booklets that take students from start to finish with activities such as creative writing, inquiry, personal responses etc, teaching them along the way. For Achievement Standards at Levels 1 and 2 you're pretty set. There are checkpoints along the way - students just need to hit SHARE to activate an email to you, telling you they're ready for feedback on the part they just completed. For Unit Standards at Level 1, check out this programme and the tasks available. The programme has been designed to get students their Level 1 literacy. If you're not from New Zealand, I have slowly begun making these more generic, and am loading them into my Teachers Pay Teachers store. In addition, things like this response journal is great because you can send it out to students and they complete it as they read or view a text. That response journal is organised so that their notes are automatically formatted two ways - as notes on the elements of the text (running down the columns) and as notes for each chapter/scene (running across the rows). It's in Google Sheets, all set up to send straight to your students, instructions and all! There are so many resources out there you can grab - from YouTube videos... to high quality resources from my fellow Teachers Pay Teachers sellers... to each other!

  12. Remember KISS. Keep It Simple Superwoman/man!

Hope this helps. As I said, see this as an opportunity to up-skill a little and enjoy the break from your students. We have to channel the positives right now!

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