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The Teacher Report: How Flipped Teaching Can Work in the Younger Grades

How Flipped Teaching Can Work at Every Grade LevelTeachers, what are your thoughts on the flipped teaching trend? (If you don’t know much about it, here’s a previous blog entry we wrote on the topic.) We have to admit, we get excited about the idea of reserving class time for hands-on projects, discussion and collaboration and saving reading and lectures for outside of school. But we’ve noticed that discussion around flipped teaching tends to focus on the junior high and high school level. In reality, flipped teaching is a philosophy that can work in the younger grades too. Here’s how:

In Grades K­–2
In the primary grades, students may not be doing as much work outside of class time. But there are still ways you can reinforce skills while students are not working directly with you: 

  • Send students home with audiobooks. Listening to audiobooks can help reinforce comprehension, fluency and vocabulary skills, giving emerging readers a big boost.
  • Provide parents with recommendations for online games. This is a win-win—families will feel better about screen time and students will practice the skills they need in school.
  • Make the best use of centers. Embed centers with a “flipped teaching” format by introducing skills through games and stations while you work on tackling individual challenges.

In Grades 3­­–5
At this level, students are increasingly independent and taking more control over the learning process—making it the perfect time to take advantage of the flipped teaching model: 

  • Establish independent reading goals. Set the stage for learning outside of class time by encouraging students to choose nightly reading goals (such as read for 30 minutes or 30 pages).
  • Challenge students to find their own teaching tools. When learning about fractions for example, ask kids to find a video or web resource that explains the material you’re learning in class.
  • Incorporate fun, animated videos into homework. Help reinforce concepts learned in class by having students watch videos from BrainPOP or PBS Kids. 

Question for you: What do you think? Can flipped teaching work in the elementary classroom? How so?

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