Yesterday, Dana and I celebrated the publication of our second book: Flip Your Writing Workshop: A Blended Learning Approach. We are enthusiastic about sharing with you the ways that flipped learning has been instrumental in our writing workshops.
In previous blogs, we’ve discussed two of the major reasons we’ve turned to flipped learning in our writing workshops: Individualization and Efficiency. Today we’d like to spotlight another reason: Engagement.
At the TCRWP Digital Learning Day, Heidi Hayes Jacobs asked, “What pedagogy best serves engagement?” This is a question Dana and I have asked ourselves over the years as we strive to reach every learner in our classrooms. Patty Vitalle-Reily explains that, “Engagement is the act of being invested in learning. Engaged learners are passionate, hardy, persistent, thoughtful, committed, and connected to their work” (Engaging Every Learner: Classroom Principles, Strategies, and Tools – Heinemann, 2015). It has been our experience that flipped learning is such pedagogy that motivates students to become active participants in their own learning, demonstrating greater independence and agency in the learning process.
Example #1 – How many of us have had students exclaim during our writing workshops, “I’m done! What do I do next?” Taking a flipped learning approach in our writing workshops results in students never having to ask this question. As teachers create flipped lessons in anticipation of the various needs of our classrooms, students access these lessons and move seamlessly throughout the writing process from generating ideas to publication. If, for example, five students are ready to move on to editing when the rest of the class isn’t, this is no longer a problem. A flipped lesson on capitalization or tense agreement can help students move on to the editing process when they’re ready.
Example #2 – When we have students who are stuck on a particular step during the writing process, we can help them to demonstrate persistence with flipped lessons. Students can work with their teacher during a conference or in a small group, and they can continue practicing a strategy at home using a flipped lesson. They can even review the lesson in class the next day if needed. In this way, teachers can emphasize the importance of perseverance while students make use of the support they need to make progress.
One of the key factors of engagement in classrooms in 2016 is technology. Students are using devices regularly outside of school as part of their daily lives. If we want to engage students and create enthusiasm in the classroom about curriculum, a blended learning approach is essential. For these reasons and more, we’ve turned to flipped learning and have been thrilled by the difference it has made in our writing workshops.
Next week we’ll reveal our #4 and #5 reasons for flipping lessons in our writing workshops!