“I put my thing down, flip it, and reverse it!”

Of the three teaching methodologies presented in this week’s readings, I am intrigued with the idea of a flipped music room. In a hypothetical situation, if I were to teach older students, I would create video lectures on music theory (reading, writing, basic composition structure, etc.). Then, when the students returned to class, they could apply their knowledge and skills on a variety of instruments. Using Salman Khan’s Khan Academy framework, how then would I manage and monitor student progress? Since music is not yet available as one of the subjects covered in the academy, I would have to create my own via G Suite for Education (formerly known as Google Apps for Education). One scenario could be that based on the lecture, I could create a series of questions (using Google Forms) and read student responses. I would then focus on those who require more support. In addition, Noteflight Learn, a web based app on music composition, not only allows for students to compose, but for teachers to assign work, comment and assess. What’s more: it’s compatible with Google Classroom. Bonus!

Pros and cons

Even though hypothetical, I’m enjoying the idea of having the students come back to class with some knowledge base and be able to apply this knowledge on their instruments. Talk about differentiation and targeting students’ needs! However, if, for example, other subject teachers are following suit, can I justify a flipped classroom for a class that only meets once a week? Wouldn’t a student’s work load after school hours increase because of the many video lectures and not enough time for play and family time? Wouldn’t it be easier for me to say, “Hey, kid, go take your instrument home and practice!” How do we find this balance among the teaching team? How do we balance screen time for the children?


In Ramsey Musallam’s blog, she offers her perspective on the flipped classroom. From her experience, she has found that “merging aspects of inquiry learning and video-based instruction” a successful teaching approach for her content. Flipped classrooms are not the end all, be all of methods. It happens to be an option and one that may or may not suit your style as an educator.  

My turn

I recently attended an IB workshop on the Grade 5 Exhibition. Our facilitator emailed us prior to the start of the workshop, introduced herself and gave us an assignment. We had to watch videos, read articles and answer questions based on the videos and articles. Who WAS this woman and why was she already giving me homework?! I was immediately turned off because she added another task to my already hectic workload. Nevertheless, I made time to do my homework. Workshop weekend finally came, she again introduced herself, and we immediately dove into discussion on the videos and articles. Huh. We already had something to talk about. I heard many perspectives from the other workshop attendants and there was immediate conversation and collaboration based on our homework. I see what you did there, Suzanne. Upon reflection, it made sense for us to be familiar with the material prior to coming to the workshop. We were able to participate in those discussions because we were prepared. We didn’t waste any time studying. Our workshop lasted only two to three days, and yet, we were efficient and productive. It was great!  Would I have designed my own workshop in this manner? You bet!

Which method, flipped, game-based, play-based, works well for your content? Why?

2 Replies to ““I put my thing down, flip it, and reverse it!””

  1. Hey Kehri,

    I actually really love the idea of a flipped classroom. I am not entirely sure that putting it into practice is that easy. For one, you would have to be teaching in a community where access to technology and the internet at home is a given. The reality is many students don’t always have access to tech at home or parents who can support them in this way.

    However, I see what Suzanne did there, because everyone did their homework and the readings were done prior to attending the workshop, she could dive right into the important content of her workshop.

    There are some lessons where I can see this would work very well. But there are other lessons where I really love to see and understand what my students are thinking as we are discovering information together. I guess the trick is knowing when to flip it or not!


  2. Hey there Kheri!

    Great post and super catchy title! (That song is now stuck in my head, haha!)

    I loved reading your perspective on the Flipped Classroom. I have read about it and seen others do it successfully, but, like you mentioned here, I’ve often wondered if it’s worth giving my students so much homework and taking away from their play time. It’s still a question I battle often in my head, but I’ve let it go a lot saying that technology for my students is just too difficult to rely on (poor Internet being the biggest problem) and so it’s just not worth it, right now. However, I would like to try it out in the future when I’m in a different setting.

    I like that you pointed out that it’s something that works for some and might not work for others. I think that’s important to realize about most ideas and thoughts with teaching and specifically with technology. It’s worthwhile to try it out and give it an honest shot, but to also be open to saying it’s not what’s best for me if it just doesn’t work. I honestly think it’s something I would do sometimes but wouldn’t commit to it all the time for all lessons or even for every unit. I could see it being super helpful for building background knowledge at the beginning of a unit though to make sure everyone comes in on a similar page much like you had to do for the PD you attended.

    Another Flipped Classroom idea that I’ve read about is the idea of the modified flipped classroom (https://www.edutopia.org/blog/flipped-classroom-in-class-version-jennifer-gonzalez), which means flipping the classroom during class. I’ve suggested this model to some of my high school math teachers this year because we could make this work with the Internet we have at school (at least most of the time). It’s the idea that you run class in stations and have one group watching videos on the material that they would otherwise watch at home while some are in other groups working on various tasks and still others could be meeting with the teacher. I’ve also heard about it being done this way to help students who get behind with the normal flipped style of watching at home having this option to catch up in class. It also makes for less homework and keeps the class active and engaged in a similar manner.

    Maybe that’s something you could try to have a way to use the flipped model without having to assign extra homework?

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