9. A New York City Teacher Flips Her English Classes
In this AMLE Magazine article, New York City educator Pooja Patel describes how she and her colleagues successfully “flipped” their classes. In her seventh-grade English course, Patel decided to flip all the instructional lessons on essay writing. She created 5-10 minute podcasts on each essential element of the essay (e.g., What is a thesis statement? Where is the thesis statement in an essay?) and posted them online (www.mspatel.podomatic.com). Many of the podcasts required students to bring a completed activity to class for discussion. For example, after listening to the podcast on connecting body paragraphs, students had to write a conclusion sentence or sentences for each paragraph that connected it to the next one and then create a concluding paragraph that met specific criteria. Class time was used discussing students’ products, answering questions, and honing skills.
Students reacted favorably to the flipping, saying the podcasts were a powerful resource, there was more time for processing information, more time to write, and class time was used better. Patel concludes with several pointers:
- Don’t reinvent the wheel. Lots of information on flipping is available on the Web.
- Keep podcasts short and simple.
- Link videos to classroom instruction. Podcasts should have a specific purpose.
- Hold students accountable for watching and following up on the podcasts.