Preview or review for homework?

For the last few weeks, the second grade team has been experimenting with flipped instruction: posting a content related video on their blogs and assigning it for homework BEFORE in-class instruction begins. Students make a comment on the post to show they watched the video. The team’s not doing it every week, but the word on the street is that parents and kids LOVE it; the team is noticing how it’s changing their instruction.

How is this a tech tip? Well, flipped instruction (aka blended instruction) is just one way you can choose to make technology a part of the learning PROCESS, rather than the PRODUCT. Occasionally allowing students to preview a lesson or concept, as homework, can have a dramatic affect on what you’re able to accomplish in your classroom. Imagine students arriving to your classroom in the morning, already having been introduced to a new math strategy, or a grammar rule, writing strategy, or science topic – it means you get to hit the ground running with deeper instruction or a hands-on application, instead of starting with the basics. The icing on the cake: it saves you TIME, which we can all use a little more of.

Now, while I am a huge proponent of flipped instruction, it’s not the “end-all-be-all” and by no means did I ever REPLACE review homework with preview homework. There is a time and a place for review. What’s more, as the second grade team is proving, flipped instruction isn’t just for “older kids”. It works for children of all ages. And there’s not one “correct” way to do flipped instruction – believe it or not it can even be done during the school day.

Here’s an Edutopia article from just a few weeks ago. I invite you to check out Edutopia and Mindshift for more information about flipped instruction.