Innovative Classrooms

To look up innovate in the dictionary your find:  to introduce something new; make changes in anything established.  What does that look like in the classroom?  It can look like so many different things.  Technology is a great way to innovate the classroom, but it’s not the ONLY way.  I’ve been using technology for years to innovate my classroom.  Years ago, I was the first of the teachers in my school to allow students to use my classroom computer to create content.  Back in the late 90’s my students created PowerPoints to showcase research.  I created Jeopardy games that engaged my students.   I purchased computer software with my own money that would help students to deepen their learning.  And it worked! Students were excited about learning and it showed!

For me, the Flipped Classroom would definitely be considered innovation in my classroom.  In recent years, I have continued to use technology.  We had access to netbooks and my students were able blog and connect with other students.  We also used ActivExpression devices which allowed me keep all students engaged; but once I heard about the Flipped Classroom I felt that was the game changer for me.

Now students are actively engaged, but they do so at their own pace.  If they didn’t understand the information, they can always rewind the video or go back and review their materials without hindering another student.  This time of year, I get really proud because they have learned to be pretty much self-sufficient.  They spend the majority of their time figuring out their problems on their own; they don’t come to me until they’ve exhausted their own repertoire.  Plus it really frees up my time to work with students in small groups and on an individual basis.

Since there are only a few of us flipping in our district, I think that would be a great way to change instruction.  It’s definitely where I plan on starting!

Until the next time,

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