Weekly Tech Tip

Crazy Tech Tip #4

In this edition of Crazy Tech Tips, we will be talking about supporting families at home and how I flip my classroom.

While I do not consider what I do completely flipped classroom, there are definitely benefits to using teaching strategies that use a flipped classroom model. Flipped classrooms are a model of teaching where the student learns from videos, games, and other resources independently and then does the practice with the teacher in the classroom.

Over the past few years, I have differentiated my word work using both the school reading resource (we use Journeys) and Words Their Way. In any given year, I have up to 5 different word study groups! Crazy right?! So, managing that can become nutty. Without a co-teacher, this can become time consuming. So I started creating word study videos for my students. At the start of each week, I post the videos to Google Classroom. In Google Classroom, you can assign items to specific students, so only the students who should have each word list see their own word list. Creating videos has also worked out well because I now also place these videos on my website for students to refer to throughout the week when they are working on their word study homework.

I have also created math tutorials based on our math program to help parents at home. I also post these to my website.

So how did I create these videos? I use two different devices: an IPEVO P2V pen camera connected to my computer and Screencastify (I subscribe to the premium version for $24 a year so that I can create unlimited videos at unlimited lengths). I love these tools because I can focus the pen camera on my table top while I am modeling the sorts and Screencastify captures and saves my videos to Google Drive.

Is it time consuming? Yes, I suppose it is initially. Each video takes about 5 minutes to shoot. However, I can easily do these at home and I can use them year after year. Also, if you multiply 5 minutes per word list times 5 groups plus transition time, I am saving myself AT LEAST 40 minutes each week.

Word study is now a 15 minute block of my time at the beginning of the week in between the Daily 5 where the kids watch their videos, practice their sorts, and put their sorts into their word study notebooks. It works like a charm. Then I can take those 15 minutes and circulate to address any questions or help keep students on task.

So try it out and “sorta” flip your classroom… in this Crazy Teacher Life!

1 thought on “Crazy Tech Tip #4”

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