Have you heard about Personalising Learning or Flipping the Classroom?
Read on to find out more about how Karen Hill from Bethlehem School in Tauranga touches on these 21st century learning principles with her year 3 students using her Ultranet Virtual Classroom and the Interactive Task Module.
Three years ago, driven by the desire to provide her students with 21st century digital literacy opportunities which engaged her learners and made reading fun, Karen took on the challenge of personalising her reading programme by “flipping” her guided reading lessons using the Ultranet Integrated Task Module .
Bergmann and Sams, define flipping the classroom as learning which; 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. They say flipping the classroom maximizes the face to face time with students and makes learning (not teaching) the centre of the classroom.
Check out this youtube movie of Aaron Sams talking about his experiences with flipping the classroom with secondary school students.
So how does Karen apply the above principles when flipping a reading lesson for her Year 3 Students?
Each week Karen makes an integrated task for one or more of her reading groups. The students have 2-3 days to work through the task. These tasks are purposely designed to develop the independence of her 7 and 8 year old learners.
Karen told me how important it was for her to provide authentic, multi modal reading tasks which helped the students to learn without the teacher. She believes that one of the most important elements of the task design is making sure she is helping the students to build schema for concepts which may be foreign to them. This is where the ability to hyperlink and embed multimedia and visual elements in a task has been very successful.
The key to personalising the learning and flipping the reading lesson is that the students have access to the text and supporting content before the actual guided reading lesson, at school as well as at home. The questions in each task transition from literal questions, through to inferential questions, and on to evaluative questions, encouraging the students to read and think in different ways. Karen says that this has allowed the students to become more genuinely involved in shaping their own learning and personalising their pathways according to their needs or interests.
Often, at the end of a task she will include a hyperlinked element to extend the natural curiosity of the children or to develop a specific learning modality such as the arts or music. Because the students have already had access to the text they come to the teaching session more prepared and with a deeper understanding of the text which means she is able to go further and be more creative with their learning.
Another idea to enhance learning in your literacy programme is to use the Interactive Quiz module alongside a task. Karen occasionally uses these quizzes as part of her assessment practices and when designing them she uses the STAR question format to formulate the questions. Over time she is able to see patterns with student responses which then inform her teaching.
The Trouble with Heathrow
Over the years Karen has learned that numbering the questions in the tasks is very important so that the students know where they are. In the following example the students are able to click on the hyperlinks to discover more about dogs. Click on the live links to see how Karen engages the students with humour!
From Corned Beef to Captain Cook
In this example Karen scaffolds the content for the students by providing them links to more information about the Corned Beef Cow and its artist Michel Tuffery, as well as encouraging them to find out more about Captain Cook if they are interested.
What I like most about this example is the use of the “Show, don’t tell” technique which enables the student to experience the Amazon Rainforest through action, thoughts, senses, and feelings.
Karen also allows for vocabulary exploration in many of her tasks such as the “stomach churning” link in the example below.
Giving students access to these rich resources has certainly helped to foster a love of reading in Karen’s students. They love them so much they are continually pestering her for new ones and she now has a bank of over 50 integrated tasks which she can pull from her archives, making adjustments as needed for the next group of students.
Do look out for the new and improved Task Module in our latest Ultranet release. With its improved functionality to integrate rich, multi modal resources into a task it makes it even easier to flip your classroom and personalise some of the learning pathways for your students.
Tino pai rawa atu! Karen and the Year 3 Students at Bethlehem School. We think that this is a fabulous use of Ultranet’s Integrated Task Module.