My Best Advice for Baby Flippers


My Best Advice

Week one and two have come and gone like a tornado and left me feeling windblown and crazy! We are in the trenches, y’all, and the time in the trenches is sometimes the time to go into survival mode – I challenge you to do something enriching for your students that will help them to learn better and you to teach better – one flipped lesson.

Here is what past Marianne would have wanted to hear when she started this whole flipped band hall business…present Marianne hopes that this helps you!

  1. Start with one class

    • Pick a class to be your experimental class – if you do great, then awesome! If you mess something up, you won’t have to deal with it all day long when every class comes in and tells reminds you of your failure to press “publish” on your website 😉
    • Use this class to keep you grounded and not overwhelmed with 1000 videos to create!
  2. Start with one video per week

    • Listen. Start small. Do you hear me? You are going to get stressed out with all of this extra work! Do one video a week at the beginning (this is my norm for all classes now btw) – don’t go nuts! Here’s why:
      1. Students will not all watch videos on the same night…you need some time for error for them too
      2. You may run into technical difficulties. It happens to everyone – you may need time to resolve them!
      3. You need to have a life outside of your band hall. I say this in the nicest way possible – your family, your dog, your fitness, your fave tv show’s should not be put on hold long term for this project…because then it becomes a chore…and we don’t like chores! One video a week is very attainable and should not change your life’s happiness!
  3. Make sure you (and the kids) are still having fun!

    • On a similar note to the last bullet point, you need to enjoy this and not hate it or think it’s a chore…the same goes for the kids! Make sure to have some fun stuff on your website for the kids to explore. Put nuggets in there for them to have fun with like secret words – they LOVE it even if they don’t get a prize or anything. Have a sticker chart for kids to keep track of each time they watch the video the day they are supposed to – get creative and everyone will have a great time (and be learning!!!)
  4. Be patient and help students learn how to learn this way!

    • It is not going to happen overnight – your students are not going to simultaneously go to the website and become independent learners! No! My students do not say “yes ma’am” and all do what I ask all of the time, just like anything else – I have to train my beginners each year to learn this way, so make it fun and stay patient with them (while still making it a big deal!)
    • It helps to show the website frequently in class – have it up on the projector when kids come in and/or leave…one of my favorite things to do is to put a funny video that I know they will want to watch on there and when they ask if we can watch it in class I tell them to go watch it on their own on the website – hah! Trickery at its finest!
  5. Tell parents and administrators about it!

    • My principals do not always know what happens in the band hall – they don’t understand! What they DO understand are hot educational topics, ed tech topics, those gold educational buzz words. Toot your own horn a bit (I am TERRIBLE at this, but you will be glad you did it!).
    • The parents of your students many times have NOT A CLUE what their kid is supposed to be doing in band – creating a resource for students ends up being a resource for their parents too!
      • Remember: MANY parents want to help their student…but they just don’t know how. Help them learn!
        • Side note: sometimes when it seems like parents don’t care…they really just don’t understand how to help their kid – be sensitive to this, especially in lower socio-economic schools where parents may not have even finished school themselves.
      • I cannot encourage you enough to get your parents involved and visiting your resource to learn alongside their student!!
  6. Share and collaborate!

    • Share your video’s in a group like flippedclassroom.org or here on That Flipping Band Director!
    • Ask questions! You are probably not the only one with that question!
    • Check out my other posts – I really do tell you guys, my internet music bff’s, EVERYTHING I do in regard to flipping my classroom – I am not keeping secrets, or leaving out my mistakes!

Let’s be friends! Tell me about your flipped classroom endeavors! Ask me your questions!

Good Luck, Baby Flipper – you go get ’em!

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