flipped classroom

Why should I create my own videos?

I was super excited to be able to conduct a workshop with some of my teachers on Flipped Classroom yesterday. It was an open invitation to all the teachers in my school and I was super excited that 9 teachers turned up. Hopefully, I was able to convince them of the amazing benefits of Flipped Classroom and, eventually, they too will taste success with the Flipped Classroom and be my agent of change for the rest of the school.

We had quite a lengthy discussion on this question.

Why should I create my own video?

Here are some of the arguments for creating your own video:

  1. It allows pupils to relate better with the video as it is a familiar voice and face.
  2. It helps you, as a teacher, build relationship with the pupils as you are the one who is teaching and not someone else.
  3. You understand your pupils best and so you can tailor the words, tone and style to suit the needs of your pupils.
  4. Videos created by other teachers from other country (e.g. Khan Academy) may not be suitable for our pupils in terms of the content and context.
  5. Pupils tend to pay attention to videos that are created by their teacher as they tend to be super excited to hear (and see) their teacher on screen. You become a celebrity to them!

There are some who felt that there are also merits in dividing the work up. E.g. Teacher A will do the videos for Chapter 1 while Teacher B does Chapter 2.

  1. This meant that each teacher will create lesser videos as the content is similar across the level. Lesser workload meant that teachers can spend more time planning the face-to-face activities.
  2. If the video was created by an expert or experienced teacher, he or she may be able to teach that concept better than less experienced teachers. This will also allow these less experienced teachers to learn from these expert or experienced teachers.
  3. Creating one videos for the whole level also allows for every pupil to speak a common lingo or a unified way of mastering a certain concept. This is helpful for initiatives or strategies that is initiated by the department. 

 So which is better? You decide for yourself. Ultimately, Flipped Classroom is all about strengthening pupils learning. If creating the videos as a group allows your pupils to learn better, by all means go ahead and do so.

I recently came across a YouTube channel (Thomasson Morris Instruction). This was a collaboration between two teachers (both in different states in the US). They created videos for their English Language classes where both of them discussed about certain concepts that they wanted their pupils to learn. I thought it was a very powerful way of allow their pupils to learn from not just one teacher but two. They are also modeling what collaboration is all about! 



As I continued my learning journey with my PLN on Flipped Classroom, I was came across the concept of WSQ (pronounced as Wisk) was developed by Crystal Kirch and it stands for Watch, Summarize and Question. In her blog, she mentioned 4 main reasons for using WSQ. 
  1. Processing – The WSQ allows my students to “get the concept”, “make sense of the concept”, and then “think deeper about the concept”, all before coming to class and working with the material, discussing it, and applying it.
  2. Accountability – The WSQ allows me to hold students accountable for actually watching the video and paying attention, rather than just mindlessly copying down notes.
  3. Discussion – The WSQ serves as the basis for in-class discussions and questioning at the beginning of each class period.  We call these “WSQ chats”. See lots of ideas for WSQ chats here.
  4. Organization – The WSQ “chart” organizes the activities and assignments that students need to complete for each concept, as well as provides them with a timeline to do so. See examples of Math Analysis WSQ charts here and Algebra 1 WSQ charts here.
I knew that this was something I could make use of in my own flipped classroom as I have always been looking for ways to get pupils to be active learners even while watching the video. I have been using worksheets for every video I got my pupils to watch so as to make them accountable for watching the video. Thus, the WSQ concept seems like a logical next step for me.
So for the topic of Area and Perimeter, I used WSQ structure in my worksheets. Here is an example of my worksheet. For the Summary portion, I decided to provide more scaffolding as, being only in Primary 4, my pupils may not have the necessary skills needed to properly summarize the content in the video. Also, I wanted to focus their attention to the key concepts of each video and make sure they remembered them.
Thanks Crstal Kirch for sharing such a wonderful idea! I cannot wait to begin WSQing with my pupils! To learn more about WSQ, please visit Crystal Kirch’s blog, it contains tons of ideas and resources.

Flipped Classroom – In the Beginning…


Let's Flip!

So after much reading and learning about the flipped classroom, I have decided to take the plunge and try out flipped classroom for myself. Much of why and what the flipped classroom is resonated with me. I could see that I wasn't reaching out to every pupil in my class. Some were bored, some where lost, I talked too much during lesson and my pupils were not doing well. I needed a change the way my pupils learned Math. I took a very bold step to begin flipping the topic of Decimals. My wife asked me why I chose to flip such an important and difficult to understand topic. My answer to her was, if the flipped classroom is going to be as powerful as what I understand it to be, then all the more I had to do it for an important and difficult topic like decimals so that my pupils will be able to master this difficult topic better than if I were to teach it using the traditional method.

So I started my planning and created my first video to explain to both my pupils and, more importantly, their parent why I flipped my classroom. I even sent out a letter explaining why and what the flipped classroom is and how, as parents, they could partner alongside their child's learning.

I took comfort in the fact that my pupils were excited when I explained the concept of flipped classroom to them. One of them even asked if I would continue to flip after they completed Decimals.

Creating The First Video Lesson

After setting the stage, it was time to create my first flipped lesson. This was when the going got really tough. As edudemic rightly pointed out in their article 4 Things To Consider Before You Flip Your Classroom, recording time might be longer than you anticipate (thanks @tucksoon and @henryNNN for tweeting this article out) and indeed it was. For a short 13 min video, I took about 5 – 6 hours before I was done with it. What's more, the final video that you see below is actually the second video that I created. When I reviewed my first video, I felt that I was not getting my point across. I was not convinced that I explained the concepts in a clear and concise manner. I knew that my pupils would not benefit from that video. So I went back to the drawing board and did a second video which I felt did a better job explaining the concept of decimals.

Planning is Key

I cannot emphasize enough at the need to plan your lesson. In a way, creating video lessons forces me to be clear and concise in why, what and how I say the things I need to say. The ability to replay the lesson while creating it enables me to constantly review my lesson. That's a huge advantage over traditional lessons. By reviewing my lessons before it goes out to my pupils, I can ensure that I am doing my best to ensure they achieve the learning outcomes.



Do give me your comments and feedback as to how I can improve my videos. Follow me in my journey as I flip my classroom. You can find me at Enoch's Flipped Classroom.