Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Reflections on Flipping Kindergarten

The other day I received an email from Kristin, who asked for an update on how Flipped Learning was going in my classroom, and I realized I have not been as reflective on the process as I should be. So here is my answer to her: what I've seen and experienced so far in my flipped kindergarten.

Hi! I am happy to answer your questions with what I've done so far.

The biggest (and best!) thing I've done is to take those repetitive daily tasks (letter-of-the-week, "phonics dance", etc.) and put them online so my students can access them from home.

I use MentorMob to create my weekly homework "playlists", and Edmodo to send out assignments. I looked at my students' incoming test scores (from screening and our state literacy assessment), and put them into five different groups. Then I chose online activities at each group's target level, and created a playlist for each group each week (I did all this last summer!). The activities include the week's guided reader, as well as  a letter-of-the-week video, and various games in language arts and math. At the end of each playlist, I inserted a Google Forms survey that the parents complete to tell me how their student did during that week's homework.

Here is a link to a sample playlist of mine, this one being geared toward the average student: 

Things I am still having issues with are:
- My lowest-functioning students are the ones who do not have internet access at home, so I have to try to remember to put them on the computer first thing in the morning, but they're also the ones who receive breakfast when they get to school, so many times they're not in the room until much after the tardy bell rings. We also have to give computer testing several times a year, meaning my classroom computers are not available for homework "catchup" because they are being used for testing.
[Many flippers put their videos on DVD or flash drive for their students to view at home; since my assignments are more game based, I cannot do this. Kindergarten is much more 'doing' than 'viewing'.]

- My intention is for the students to do the "homework" every night (especially the more needy ones) in order to get that repetition, but many are only doing it once and considering it "done". I'm not sure yet how to enforce this.

- I do have at least one student who only has an iPad at home, and many of the activities I have assigned use Flash, which isn't supported on the iPad. I believe she has been completing her homework at a relative's house because of this. I hope to work to find more iPad-friendly sites this summer.

Overall, Flipping my classroom has gone very well, I would say. The kids enjoy the homework (some even look forward to it!), and it keeps the parents informed of the types of things their child is learning (many of our parents still think kindergarten is naps and snacktime and playtime all day!)


Laura Starnes

Thank you for posting an update. I'm actually looking into flipping my classroom next year. I've not found many kindergarten resources at all! I will be working on my videos this summer and organizing my thoughts on my blog. I'd love any feedback as I go through this process =)

Kinder Kraziness

Phoenix preschool

The kindergarten allows plenty of time for kids to play and develop friendships. The staff was quite caring and supportive. I have not encountered any difficulties while enrolled at this school.

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