Simple. Send students home to watch videos (Videos don’t even have to be yours! Just find some random You Tube video!) Better yet, assign these videos for HOMEWORK, as in they MUST be done for next day. Then when students come back to class have them fill out gobs of WORKSHEETS.
Done. Easy peasy lemon squeezy. You have yourself a full-fledged flip class.
Except: THIS. IS. NOT. ACCURATE.
This is not the flip class I know, see, hear, or read about.
This is a reductive picture that some critics are painting. These critics seem hell-bent on reducing flip class to “It’s ALL about homework and therefore is WRONG. It’s all about random video, so it is WRONG. It is all about WORKSHEETS so that makes it wrong.
Sorry fellows but I am not, nor is my practice a cheap balsamic vinegar that reduction will improve and thicken.
My practice is full-bodied, reflective, eclectic, intense, always changing and does not lend well to reduction. When you show up NOW and reduce my practice to one thing such as homework and then proceed demonize it, I feel confused.
You don’t even know me, you have never stepped foot into my work space, nor have you even asked me two simple questions that easily fit into 140 characters: “Do you use homework in your flip class?” and “Do you use worksheets?”
Have you ever renovated a major room in your house? Say your kitchen or bathroom?
Do you remember the chaos and disarray, the feeling of being off-balance as your daily routines vanished. If you did the renovation yourself you know the time, energy and passion that went in and the months it took to decide on all the key components of this new space, let alone decide on the finishes. Have you every renovated to beat the band and then a friend shows up and says “Huh, I thought you renovated? Isn’t that the OLD faucet from the OLD kitchen?” And you as the chief renovator feel all the work and effort is reduced to this: the OLD faucet.
Last year I renovated the inner workings of my practice. I pulled everything out; I got rid of 20 years of multiple choice tests; I emptied a 20 year treasure trove filing cabinet into the recycling; I pulled out every activity, every lab, every lesson and examined each to decide if they should stay or they should go; I moved away from a points driven system to a mastery standard based model; I read teacher blogs to track down and discover new activities that I could put in to my renovated practice; I re-invented my role in the classroom; I lobbied to attend more ProD; I began blogging on a regular basis; I could go on!
But what I need you to know, need you to know right now, is that the flip class teachers I know and who I collaborate with in the Flip Class community are educators who are 110% committed to renovating their practices out in the open, transparently; regardless of the disruption and stress that comes with such a major and public renovation. These are teachers who are reflecting on, sharing and revising their practices EVERYDAY.
I am not trying to equate effort to excellence. What I do want to make clear is that this change is not static, nor is it a one time application; it is a constant and evolving renovation.
These are not teachers who are stuck and are blindly, reflexively assigning homework and gobs of worksheets just to keep students busy, quiet and maintain control.
Could we perhaps talk about homework and worksheets in general and not attach them to flip class like we invented them or something? And can we stop assuming that we teachers using the flip class model are all worksheet and homework addicts and pushers alike?
Do I have vestiges and remains from my OLD practice. YES.
Is there more I want to change? YES.
Do I assign and mandate homework and worksheets? NO.
And if you would like to know what I do within this still under renovation flip class, just ask.