Flipped Classroom in the Elementary Setting

“Flipped Classroom” can be heard all across my campus on a daily basis. What is the flipped classroom? Is it possible to have a flipped classroom in an elementary setting? Where do I even begin? All questions that flooded my mind when I first heard about this new, innovative way to teach.
A flipped classroom:

-inverts traditional teaching methods by delivering instruction online at home and doing homework in the classroom
-spend more time on application and less on delivery
-more student-led exploration
Typical scenario in a math class:

The teacher uses class time to introduce a new topic, let’s say “how to find the area of a rectangle.” A few minutes are spent on practice and then we send a worksheet home for the students to complete. What happens next? The students spend time looking up how to solve the problems on the page they are struggling with or they ask an adult for help. Kids come back to school with a “check plus” for their homework and the teacher assumes, “Great! They understood that concept!” When in reality, a worksheet that should have taken 15 minutes to complete, has now taken 40 minutes after some intense googling and parental assistance.
Flipped Classroom Scenario:
For homework: Student watches a short video on how to find the area of a rectangle at home. (Video can either come from Khan Academy or a teacher made video. When I make videos for my students to watch, I use the apps “Show Me” or “Explain Everything.”) I record the video in the same manner that I would have taught the lesson in class. The great thing about using an app like “Show Me” is that is does not record you in the sense of a camera. Rather, it records your voice AND it allows you to either add pictures or draw on the screen. If you are like me, you don’t love seeing yourself on video! After the students watch the short video (key word= short. My videos are usually less than 5 minutes to keep their attention.):
Option 1: complete a few sample problems to bring to school the next day
Option 2: Have each student write a sample problem to bring to school the next day for a classmate to solve.
Option 3: Leave it open-ended. At the end of your video say, “Now it is your job to prove to me that you know how to find the area of a rectangle. You can make a video, write a problem on paper, create a Pic Collage… You choose!”
My first time to attempt the “flipped classroom” idea I definitely had some reservations. I will be honest and say that it takes more front-end time to teach in this manner but it was worth it! Plus, you can save the videos for the following years. When I did assign homework to watch a video, my kids came back the next day with the biggest smiles on their faces.
Student quotes:
“We felt like you were there with us!”

“I paid way better attention to last nights homework than normal because it was fun!”
“I loved being able to use my iPad for homework and I liked that I could create my own homework assignment.”

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