33 of 34 people found the following review helpful
on July 14, 2012
The other reviewers have already done a spectacular job discussing the gist of the flipped model that Jon and Aaron have laid out in the book so I won't re-hash all of that. I would rather talk about the usefulness of the book to any classroom teacher thinking about trying this model.
I began flipping my Math Analysis (Pre-Calculus) classes second semester last year after reading only a few articles about it. I had already been recording my lectures and posting them online for absent students for a year or so, so the technology was already in place for me. While I experienced tremendous success with it (even at the basic level that I implemented), I can only wish that I had this book in my hands before I started. I had to figure out what to do and, more importantly, what not to do on the fly on a daily basis. How do you deal with technology issues? What about students who don't watch the videos? How do you check to see who is actually watching and who isn't? etc. This book would have saved me countless sleepless hours and additional gray hairs. Jon and Aaron have written a book that lays out the basic tenets of the model in an easily understandable and usable way. This book is short and to the point. They left all of the fluff out and got right down to the backbone issues that need to be addressed for a successful flipped classroom. They have also thrown in real world examples from other teachers which is always highly useful.
In addition to laying out the details of the model, they then move on to talk about the Flipped Mastery model. Being that I already have the video technology in place and am already going to be flipping all of my classes this year, this was really the most informative part of the book for me. Flipping your classroom is not meant to be an end in and of itself. It is a mechanism for changing the focus of the learning in your classroom and to create deeper student understanding. The Flipped Mastery model then provides an even deeper level of learning than a simple flipped approach. This is where asynchronous learning and differentiated instruction really comes into play. As I go through my first full year of flipping, I will come back to this book repeatedly as I look to constantly improve upon the implementation in my classroom. This is a process not a goal. I cannot see how I will ever be 100% satisfied with my implementation. There will always be a way to take it further and to help my students learn even better. I am grateful to Aaron and Jon (and the entire Flipped Class community) for helping me along this journey. As a teacher of 17 years I can honestly say that this approach has completely re-energized me. I could not possibly recommend any book any more highly than I do this one!!!
24 of 27 people found the following review helpful
on July 30, 2012
I am a high school math teacher and am looking forward to teaching my second semester of classes using the flipped model. I found this book to be an interesting read, if for no other reason than to hear about the experiences of the two pioneers. Just reading about the authors' experiences, and about the experiences of other teachers who have flipped their classrooms, was very valuable. They do a good job explaining the why behind flipped learning, and are also very clear that it does not magically eliminate all of the challenges associated with teaching.
I also felt, however, that the book made flipping seem unnecessarily complicated and intimidating. The authors devote 3 of the 9 chapters to the "Flipped-Mastery" model, a specific implementation of the flipped learning model which they use in their classrooms. While it was interesting to read about this model and their experience with it, it felt much too advanced for me to consider; having just flipped my classroom, I'm still getting used to the "ordinary" flipped classroom model. In particular, when I flipped my classes, I discovered almost immediately that my students were working in small groups much more than they did previously, and figuring out the best way to facilitate the small groups during class time has been a challenge. I would have liked to have read more about the author's experiences with small groups in their classes, as well as specific methods they use with students working in groups.
Also, the videos which the authors use in their classes are screencasts created using a software app called Camtasia, and they go into some detail on their process of planning and creating these screencasts. While this process may have worked well for them, I found it to be fairly complicated, especially when compared to the method I use, simple one-take videos using a small camcorder. For teachers new to the idea of flipping their classroom, creating lecture videos is often the most intimidating part so a simple approach is generally best. Now that I've had some experience with creating simple lecture videos, I have begun to create some simple screencasts as well, but again, that would have felt too intimidating for me to consider when I first started, especially if that process had required purchasing and learning new software.
Bottom line, this is an interesting book and is a bargain at the price, but I hope teachers considering flipping their classes won't come away thinking that it's too complicated for them to do. Once you jump in and try it out, I think you'll find that it's not as difficult as it seems.
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Every teacher says it to him/herself at some point: if only we could get to x, y, or z activity after the direct instruction. As a former high school teacher (and current college instructor), I recall the feeling that my classes never had enough time to work on problems, discuss the material, or do an activity after my direct instruction was delivered. the flipped classroom, as detailed in this book, is a great way to make sure class time IS devoted to such activities.
If you are reading this review, you are probably - at least vaguely - familiar with the flipped classroom model. Essentially, it 'flips' how we use class and homework time. It used to be that you gave direct instruction in class and left students with expansion-activities (homework) to do at home. Well, in this day and age, it is quite easy to 'deliver' direct instruction at home (podcasts, videos, reading) leaving class time free to do the expansion stuff that may require student/teacher and student/student interaction. This book is written by the two high school science teachers some say are the 'originators' of the flipped classroom model (though they will likely admit that they were really the popularizers and tweakers of it).
The book is broken up essentially into two halves - the first exploring the basic 'flipped classroom' model, and the next, the 'flipped mastery' model - the flipped model where students now work at their own pace. Each half consists of a chapter trying to sell us on the 'whys' of the flipped classroom (increases student engagement, makes class time more fun than a string of lecture performances, etc) and a chapter detailing how one might flip a classroom (start with learning objectives, record videos/audio of lessons, etc). The book finishes with a chapter of frequently asked questions about the flipped model(s).
When I read this book, I already had some modest experience with flipping (flipping occasional lessons where I wanted class time free for activity). Reading this well- and casually-written book makes me eager to take more of a plunge into flipping in future semesters. There are so many possibilities, that this book only BEGINS to explore (one small critique). This book can easily be read in one or two sittings, and I make liberal use of my kindle's highlight feature, because I fully plan on revisiting sections.
Now, for some critique. As mentioned, the book only begins to explore the possibilities. The authors correctly note that no two flipped classrooms look alike (and that video is not the only way to deliver content outside of class). But they don't take these thoughts further and detail, for instance, much about what other teachers have done to flip in different directions. Second, there is actually a decent amount of scholarly research addressing the virtues and problems of flipping models, and it would have been nice to have a chapter or two outlining that literature in simple language (even if it would have meant adding another author. Note: my services are available!). Lastly, as other reviewers have noted, the flipped model as presented here can come off as REALLY intimidating to a novice, especially in terms of technological knowledge one must have (screencast software, assessment differentiation software) and the amount of work flipping requires on the front end (preparing videos/podcasts). Of course, the authors regularly admit that flipping is a difficult project that may take a full year to prepare for.
Other than these concerns, this book is a really well-written exploration of a highly worthwhile concept. I do hope that teachers experiment with flipping, at their own comfort level and in a way that makes the idea their own. I've done this to some degree and have experienced good results, both in terms of student engagement and my own enjoyment (I enjoy both making the content and spending class time interacting rather than lecturing). Read it and see what you can do.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on June 30, 2012
I have already been flipping my classroom for the last school year, but I was still excited to read this book and hear what Jon and Aaron had to say in writing. In fact, as soon as I got through the first chapter, I knew this was going to be much more than just a book to mark of my "to read" list. I actually stopped reading and went back to the very first page with a highlighter and started marking up the book and taking notes, something I don't do very often. There is so much meat in these 112 pages that you will want to go back time and again to refresh.
Jon and Aaron do an excellent job of telling their story of how/why they chose to start flipping their classroom. Their anecdotes are ones that I think all teachers can relate to. Then, they go through what seems like unending reasons why you should consider flipping your classroom as well as consider the flipped-mastery classroom. They address the successes as well as the failures of their experiences, which reminds us that no educational "ideology" is the magic bullet that is going to reach every student. However, they have found the flipped classroom to reach more students than traditional and help them learn the content more deeply and richly than before.
One of the biggest emphases is on the fact that flipping your classroom is not just about "flipping" the traditional order of teaching (what used to be done in class is done at home, and vice versa). Rather, it is about "flipping" the focus of teaching and learning from the teacher to the student. Using videos as instructional tools is just one method that Jon and Aaron have found to help them achieve those goals.
This is not a long read, so I highly suggest picking it up, grabbing a highlighter and a notepad, and getting to work. This book will only start you on your journey to transforming your teaching career into something you never dreamed of. Enjoy!
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on July 10, 2012
How is my time best spent to reach each child? This book clearly explains the authors' path toward meeting the needs of each student. More than flipping the "lecture" and work time, it is about moving the responsibility for learning onto the student. Flipping Your Classroom explains many different ways to flip your class, and why. Teachers become coaches and facilitators. Students become independent learners. Right on!
8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
I read this book at the request of my principal, as I will be piloting some flipped classroom elements this year in grade 4 math. I found this book to be a nice, concise introduction to the flipped classroom method, and to some of the more basic questions that teachers might have as they begin their own flipped classroom trials. However, the entire book only talked about the flipped classroom from the perspective of high school students and educators. I would have loved to see more sections and chapters devoted to both the practicality/fit of this method for younger students, as well as how to implement this method in an elementary setting.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on September 27, 2013
Flip Your Classroom- Reach Every Student in Every Class Every Day
Authors: Jonathan Bergmann & Adam Sams
Background Story: In 2007, two science teachers, Jonathan Bergman and Aaron Sams realized that they were spending an excessive amount of time on catching up students when they missed class. There were many reasons for students missing class, mostly athletes who struggled to keep up and be in class when they had to miss school for competitions. These teachers began creating lessons together and grew tired over the absent situations. To his pleasure, Aaron discovered he could record his lessons using technology tools. After enlightening Jonathan, the two began recording themselves to prevent having to re-teach so often to absent students. To improve learning in the classroom, they decided to flip theirs! This book describes what did and did not work within their classrooms.
This easy and quick-read definitely provided lots of helpful trial and error tips coming from two teachers' own experiences. Understanding that this is a true story and coming from teachers who truly want to share their ideas and help other teachers makes the book all the more wonderful. The audience is able to learn a lot about how to flip their own classroom.
The authors mention several stories about losing face to face interaction, increasing the interaction with their students, teaching all learners, etc. Any approach to successfully flipping a classroom was noted and further discussed. I really enjoyed that the authors spoke from experience and noted what they learned to do, as well as suggesting it to their readers. Teachers really need a variety of ideas, and they definitely touched on numerous!
In conclusion, I greatly benefited from reading this book and agreed with everything it suggested. Having knowledgeable authors write about something that is passionate to the audience makes all the difference in memorable writing. This is definitely the type of quick read I will read several times while preparing for my future classroom in just a few short years! The right reason to flip a classroom is to enhance student learning!
Here is my favorite passage/quote that really stuck with me after reading Flip Your Classroom: "The time when students really need me physically present is when they get stuck and need my individual help. They don't need me there in the room with them to yak at them and give them content; they can receive content on their own." Aaron's realization, a flipped classroom is born!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on March 3, 2015
As a pre-service teacher I found this book to be very informative, especially in regards to how Aaron and Jonathan made flipping their classrooms work. They demonstrate a clear mastery of many aspects of the flipped classroom, even admitting to the aspects with which they believe they struggle. As someone who does not have much experience as a teacher in the classroom, this book does give example students who have thrived in this type of learning environment. For cases in which they have noticed the students are struggling they have demonstrated how they intervened and for some students they could not fully help.
The book gives multiple demonstrations of student, teacher, administrator, and parent reactions to the flipping of their classroom, including criticisms parents had before seeing their students learning in this type of environment. However when quoting teacher and principals who have implemented this model, the authors use the same teachers for multiple situations and even someone from the school where they teach. This I feel does not give a genuine reaction to the model that they have created. This limits what could be understood from this type of learning framework, especially when they same people are quoted to have used this method of instruction.
The authors give clear examples of how this type of learning worked for a chemistry class. They do not however give examples of other subject areas, especially when they discuss of the flipped model. I would prefer a broader exploration of many subject areas while still giving the necessary descriptions of how the teachers have done this in the past. When giving the examples of the chemistry they clearly understand how this classroom flip works, but not for the other subjects that are offered. They do discuss some examples of people they know who have flipped their classrooms, but I do not feel that this gives enough credit to the other domains.
The main thing that I felt was noteworthy in this novel was the description of the mastery classroom while flipping. Jonathan and Aaron clearly know how to implement to get the most out of their students. I believe that their use of this could teach students to actually learn the material instead of learning how to go through school. This would be something that most people should consider implementing when they flip their classroom. However, as they stated this can be very time consuming and is a very daunting task for the teachers.
The one thing that I could not understand about their writing is that people who do not like to have control should not try to use this type of classroom model. It seems that they like to have control over how this should work in the classroom. I believe that a teacher who likes control can succeed with this type of environment as long as they are willing to let the students go at their own pace. But other than that I believe this book was amazing.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on March 3, 2015
I am currently a junior in college majoring in secondary education mathematics as well as working towards a computer education license. In class, we discuss the importance of student-centered style of teaching and how it is effective for student growth. One of the styles of teaching we have talked about is the flipped classroom method. This book goes along with and backs up what my professors have been teaching us.
One thing I really liked about this book is how it breaks down the information. First, they describe what their classroom looked like before they flipped their classroom and then gave a very brief explanation of what it looks like now. Then they explained that they do not use the flipped classroom method, but the flipped mastery classroom. The way they describe it only touches the surface of what these two style look like and it makes you want to keep on reading to see what it looks like in action. Their next chapters follow a here is the definition, what are its components, and then what it looks like in action.
They first explained the flipped classroom style. I liked how they broke it up in their explanation. It made it seem that implementing it in your classroom is very simple. They made a point that you should only implement this if it is beneficial for your students. That what ever you do to set up your classroom, it should be for the benefit of your students. Another thing I liked was that they explained their reasoning behind why they first started using the flipped style. After they explained what it is, they then described how to first set it up in your classroom. They recommended that it was best to start off your year with this model instead of easing the students into it. Their reasoning for this was that the first couple of weeks of school is when the dynamic of the classroom is established. If you start out with one style of teaching, but then change it during the year, it is just going to confuse your students. They also said to not make all of your videos in one year. They suggested slowly making your own videos and using other teacher’s videos that first year. They also suggested recording yourself teaching the lesson to an actual class to use for next year. That way you will have a library of record lessons from the previous year.
They then explained the flipped mastery classroom in the same outline. One key point was to implement the flipped mastery classroom AFTER you have already established the flipped classroom method. This way you can build your way up and you already have a library of videos and lessons for your students to use as they work ahead or if they need more supplemental work if they need to go over a certain topic over again. The main idea of the flipped mastery style is that students work at their own pace and move on to the next unit when they have demonstrated that they have mastered the previous topic. This gives the students the freedom to take control of their learning and not be afraid of getting behind or being bored if the pace of the class is moving to slow.
The role of the teacher is also changed. Instead of being the main giver of knowledge, they become the supplemental source of information. Students first use the videos, articles, book, each other and hands on activities before they work with the teacher. The main role of the teacher is to serve as a tutor or aid in the classroom. This allows the teacher to aid the students who are struggling and also allowing the teacher to work with each of their students one on one.
I really enjoyed this book and I thought it was very informative on how to set up a flipped classroom and how it looks in practice. One critique I would have is they only gave examples on how to do this in a science classroom. It would have been nice if they gave more examples for other subjects and grade levels.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on April 3, 2014
I read this book for a master's class, and found it to be a short and concise read with some great ideas. The Flipped classroom basically has students learning through lecture at home by watching podcasts, and doing work at school during class time so that the teacher can give more one on one feedback to students. This way, students can work at their own pace, watch videos about lessons on their own time, and increase their understanding during class time, instead of being confused with no teacher help at home. I found this concept to be extremely useful, however, my background is in elementary education. This entire book speaks more to high school educators than anything else. That's not to say that I don't think it would be an ideal model for any classroom, I just found it hard to visualize 28 kindergarteners going home every night to learn something by watching a video, and coming to school the next day to do activities about it.
Most of the book talks about students watching video recordings of direct instruction at home. There was even a chapter about what materials you need to record your own lessons, and HOW to record your lessons. The authors even encouraged educators to use other videos (not their own) if they aren't as tech savvy. There was a short paragraph in one of the latter chapters that discussed how videos need not be the primary source of differentiated instruction. The authors state that the point of a flipped classroom is to focus the attention on student learning (not the teacher as a "know it all" source of information). I am a firm supporter of the student-centered classroom, getting students to think critically and actually take advantage of their own education. The teacher as a facilitator is so important. But, this book does not really give other suggestion or examples of what that instruction could look like. The only example given is what the authors have implemented in their high school chemistry classes: video recordings that students can watch at home and take notes on.
The other downfall of this book is its lack of support. The authors provide some excellent anecdotal "research," but they of course do not claim that this method is scientifically proven to work better than traditional classroom teaching methods. They strongly believe that the flipped classroom has many benefits, and they are quite convincing. There is support from educational professionals like Brian Bennett, Jennifer Douglas, Melissa De Jong, and others who have implemented the Flipped approach. I think that in order for this to catch on nationally, and internationally, some real research should be conducted.
I gave this book a rating of 3 stars, not because I don't think it's a good resource. Don't let the 3 stars be misleading. I honestly think that this form of teaching is the future of education. Especially with the growing use of smartphones, SMART technology, tablets, laptops, etc. the future classroom will look nothing like it did 10 years ago. 20 years from now, EVERYTHING could be "in the cloud." Students will be using technology every second of the day. Who's to say that it can't start sooner than later?