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The flipped classroom: in elementary school, too?

March 03, 2014


High school chemistry teachers, Jonathan Bergmann and Aaron Sams have been given credit for inventing the flipped classroom, but they don’t make that claim. The teachers credit Maureen Lage, Glenn Platt, and Michael Treglia (2000) for their research article “Inverting the Classroom” A Gateway to Creating an Inclusive Learning Environment.”

No matter who began it, classroom flipping is rising in popularity. According to the Flipped Learning Network membership on its social media site rose from 2,500 teachers in 2011 to 9,000 teachers in 2012. Used primarily in high school and college, the flipped classroom is starting to gain some traction in elementary schools.

The flipped classroom defined. Bergmann and Sams, who began flipping their classrooms in 2007, define flipping the classroom as a mindset  that directs attention away from teachers and puts it squarely on the students and their learning. They also say “every teacher who has chosen to flip does so differently.” Bergmann states, “You see, there is no ONE way to flip a class and in this lies one of the great strengths of this methodology.”  Bergmann’s definition is that flipped learning 1) transfers the ownership of the learning to the students; 2) personalizes learning for all students 3) gives teachers time to explore deeper learning opportunities and pedagogies with their students; makes learning (not teaching) the center of the classroom; maximizes the face to face time in the classroom.

Flipped elementary math classroom. The relatively new Flipped Learning Network supports teachers using screen casting for elementary schools and provides tips and feedback for educators who teach math and other classes.  Emerging Blended-Learning Models and School Profiles  provides flipped classroom models and examples of schools that are using flipped models in elementary schools, like Lake Elmo Elementary, that used flipped learning with great success in math for Grades 4 and 5.  There are also some great step-by-step ideas about flipping the elementary math classroom at Flipped Classroom in Elementary School.

Are you flipping your elementary classroom? Tell us about it at!

*Original image found here


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