Click here to see my flipped classroom!
The idea of a flipped classroom is very intriguing to me. I think it is a great way to make presentations more interactive and appealing for students. Flipped classrooms also create more working time in class the next day for the students to apply the knowledge they have learned. The teacher becomes more of a guide than the center of the lesson. However, there are also some factors that need to be considered when using a flipped classroom. For example, some children may not have Internet access or access to a computer at home, or they may not even watch it at all. The teacher would have to play the whole video during class the next day when it could have been used for the activity planned for that class. Considering all these factors, I have attempted to create my own flipped classroom about the life cycle of a butterfly. I would be interested to use it in my future classroom and see if my students were receptive to it or not. The flipped classroom is for a Kindergarten English as a Second Language classroom. I tried to make the lesson as simple and colorful as possible to try to engage a Kindergartener’s attention. I included a practice activity for the students to complete after the instructional portion of the lesson. I also included a handout for them to print at home and work on in the next class. I based this lesson around The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle thinking I would use it as my unit theme for my technology unit plan.
In beginning the process of creating my flipped classroom, I definitely knew I wanted to focus on a Kindergarten English as a Second Language lesson. I remembered our professor giving ideas for our flipped classrooms and one of them was life cycles. I figured that the life cycle of a butterfly was fairly straightforward. It also tied into The Very Hungry Caterpillar which is a popular book for the younger children and life cycles are also part of the VDOE Science SOLs for Kindergarten. I looked on the Internet and Pinterest for ideas on how to present the material of the life cycle of a butterfly. I narrowed the stages down to four basic stages, which I thought shouldn’t be too overwhelming for a Kindergartener learning English as a Second Language. As I started the process, I had in mind the principles that our professor taught us about presentations and filling each slide with a picture and putting no more than seven words on a slide. I tried to keep to those principles, however, I may have put more than seven words on a few slides. I tried to keep it simple and colorful and to the point. I actually had a lot of fun putting the slides together and creating the transitions and animations and things like that. I tried to be as creative as possible.
I knew I wanted to create my flipped classroom using Microsoft PowerPoint because I have the most experience using it. I just wasn’t sure of how to create a video from a PowerPoint without using Photo Story 3 to which I do not have access. I actually started creating my flipped classroom using PowToon, but I had a specific vision in mind that PowToon was not allowing me to create. I would however definitely use PowToon for another project or lesson. I thought it was a very engaging resource and pretty easy to use, just not for this particular lesson. In this project, I thought that by using Microsoft PowerPoint I could easily create slides and animations to suit what my end product should look like. To manipulate the images in my presentation I used Pixlr, which I had used before in my digital story. Pixlr is an extremely useful site to be able to manipulate pictures like putting someone’s head on a different body, deleting white space from a picture, etc. I am sure there is a ton more you can do with the resource, but it was extremely helpful while creating my flipped classroom. Another resource I used was Office Mix, which was one of the resources posted on our class blog that we could use. This tool created my video for me and I really liked it! It was free to download and I was able to record my voice on the presentation. When I was finished, Office Mix created a video that I could share publicly or privately and created a web address that I could share for people to access as well.
Overall, I had a great time creating my flipped classroom. However, I did have to record what I wanted to say a few times. The microphone I was using seemed to pick up every single background noise, which was a little frustrating. I also stumbled over my words a few times or completely blanked out on what I had to say. For that reason, I do like the flipped classroom because you can record it however many times you like. Another thing that was a little frustrating about the sound recording was that it did not flow from slide to slide. There was an option to click next slide or next animation and when it was time to go to the next slide it would completely stop the recording. As a result, my flipped classroom has pauses of when my recording ends and then you can tell when my recording begins again. I did not like the abrupt stops and starts. There were also a few times when it would completely cut off what I said. Another glitch that I experienced was after I created my video and the animations on one of the slides never showed up. I must have forgotten to click “next animation” when recording my voice. I just re-recorded that slide and remembered to click “next animation” though. It was an easy fix.
As a perfectionist it would probably take me a billion times until I thought I had the flipped classroom just right, as well as with the presentation itself, which could take hours or even days (much more time than planning one lesson to teach in class). On the other hand, I definitely think I would use this flipped classroom presentation in my future teaching. I would also like to create similar lessons using this method or create more interactive presentations for my students. I would definitely use all of the resources I used for this flipped classroom and would definitely be open to trying out a few more. I really think my students would find this interesting and engaging. I would also like to try to incorporate more sounds or songs into my presentation as well, which I know is possible using Office Mix. This experience was extremely helpful, and I feel a lot more knowledgeable about flipped classrooms and definitely not quite as intimidated by them. I feel confident that I can use them in my future classroom.