Blended learning – flip it
This teaching tip requires work. It is not straightforward as most of ours at the get-go. However, it is one that could save you a whole heap of time in class. It is not ground-breaking, but it has had a positive impact on my lessons.
Recording your lesson instruction and creating a video is a great way of creating an extra challenge in your classroom. In doing this you can get the students to access the learning before the lesson. In a very real sense, you are providing them with additional lessons. They would be able to come in and, in your lesson, you can have most of the students practising the lesson content.
An example of this would be in Computing in which students watch a video on loops as homework that teaches them about how loops work. In the lesson, they have questions on loops. If your lessons are one hour long, you now do not have to teach the most basic aspects of loops you can go right to the trickier content, this also helps differentiation, the students that watched the video and understand can get working right away, the students that need a little more help can come to you straight away if they watched the video and have explained that they do not understand any of it. Students are coming to your lessons fully prepared and ready to learn.
This is great for differentiation; you could record 2 or 3 different instructions for different parts of the lesson and direct students to them or allow them to choose their starting point. Once you have these parts recorded, if a student is making excellent progress you can move them on, or if a student is having issues with some of the content, they could re-watch parts. Your lessons would become less instruction and more facilitating and answering questions. Over time you will get quicker at this.
I have heard people not want to make their videos because “oh, tons of that on YouTube.” Correct, cannot deny that, but those teachers aren’t you and don’t teach in the way you do. Your students want to hear your voice helping them and explaining things to them, also you know your students, you know what they are likely to get stuck on. This will take you time, but from my experience, the progress the students make from this outweighs the time it takes, as all of the Rethink tips, is it about the consistency in doing this.