How I Structure My Flipped Class

My “flipping” method has evolved over the past 3 years. This is my current approach for a flipped class. For reference, I teach on a traditional schedule of 55 minutes per day. For research, best practices, advice, and computer access, read this post.

Notes at Home on Video

I recorded all my sticky-note videos for my textbook (Environment, the Science Behind the Stories by Withgott and Laposata). The videos are about 30-45 minutes of per chapter (broken up into smaller videos). Students watch at home and sticky-note their own book (there are other options for students that you can read on my sticky-note post). The time is typically 1 to 2 nights of homework depending on length of chapter. Students will pause the video and write so it takes them 60-90 minutes at home. Students watch these videos on Edpuzzle with questions that I embedded. Students get their first “notes” grade for their accuracy on Edpuzzle questions as a homework grade. Students do this assignment first to introduce the chapter.

This is my own son doing his sticky-notes at home.

Reading and Edpuzzles at Home

Homework other nights during the chapter consists of reading 1-2 sections of the chapter (The Withgott book typically has 4 sections per chapter). Along with this, they are assigned several mini-videos (2-5 minutes each) from YouTube, Bozeman, National Geographic orTed-Ed that are found on Edpuzzle. These mini-videos help reinforce what is read. Students are graded for accuracy on answering questions embedded in Edpuzzle as a homework grade.

These are the mini-videos assigned with readings for chapter 22 in my textbook.

Reading Quizzes in Class

After 1-2 nights of readings and Edpuzzle homework assignments, students take an online reading quiz. Usually 2-3 quizzes per chapter. The quizzes are on my textbook’s companion website “Mastering Environmental Science” by Pearson. I give 11 questions for 10 points (they get a freebie point) in 7 minutes. Randomized and not every student gets the same 11 questions. Accuracy counts and it is a quiz grade. Some students do not read and only watch Edpuzzles, but they don’t do well on the quizzes and they soon learn as their grade in the class slowly drops.

Physical Note Check in Class

I check notes for 2 chapters at a time the day before an exam. Students can bring in their books with sticky-notes, or the same information written on lined paper or show me their virtual sticky notes on an e-book. I go around the room and flip through the pages or stamp papers and mark on my seating chart. I do not collect. This is their second “notes” grade in my flipped class and is a homework grade (or sometimes a lab/activity grade if I want more compliance).

Note Check

What Do We Do During Class Time?

I often remind students of the items that used to be homework that I now allow during class. This helps them understand why notes are at home and gets it out of their brains that they have more homework in a flipped class. They actually have LESS homework and notes at home are easy. The hard stuff is now done during class. Its kind of funny, but I actually still run out of time in class for everything I want to do.

  • Labs and Activities-My labs are not as rushed with a flipped class and students have time to think and process data.
  • Time to discuss difficult analysis questions based on science practices with groups and finish lab reports in class. Prevents copying and much stronger reports turned in by students.
  • Time to do group lab reports on Flipgrid for a few labs (like EcoColumns).
  • Math is done in class so students can get help and I can make sure they’re doing their own work instead of copying. I can afford lots of days in class for math which really helps kids on the AP Exam.
  • Online tutorials on the Mastering program. This used to be homework, but students would screenshot the answers in group texts. Now in class, they do authentic work and learn the material for the exam.
  • An important film that reinforces content.
  • Difficult content such as El Nino, Air Pollution or making graphic organizers.
  • Graphing practice or other new skill such as LD-50.
El Nino Notes

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