Saturday, September 12, 2015

Flipping Lessons with Frolyc

In the early weeks of the school year, I admit to loving the computer lab. Not only is it equipped with great Macbooks for student use, but it is also air-conditioned! The cool air is a welcome respite from the heat and humidity of August and September.

Last week, I experimented with flipping a lesson. Instead of me standing up and teaching all students at once, I wanted to give them the flexibility to move through a lesson at their own pace. While they worked in the cool comfort of the computer lab, I could work one-on-one with students to complete our beginning of the year assessments.

Frolyc is the perfect tool for creating a flipped lesson. I can put all of the text, videos, and activities that I want students to use in one easy place. Even though my students don't all have computers at home, they still need to learn how to work through online content and learn from these kinds of lessons.

I started out by creating my classrooms. No need for student e-mail addresses or lengthy forms--I just had to type in student first names. Each student receives an individual code that they use to access their activities.

Next, I created my lesson through the authoring tool on Frolyc. We are working on story elements with a focus on protagonist, antagonist, and parts of a plot. I used a "Multimedia Text" activity to combine an image, a video from YouTube, and text. This is what it looked like on student computers:

I couldn't find a great video for parts of the plot diagram, so I adapted a few slides from a PowerPoint that I have already made (Story Elements) and did a screencast using QuickTime. Then I posted it to YouTube so that I could embed it in the next page of the Frolyc activity. (link to video)

The kids found it very amusing to listen to me! Even better, though, they had full control of stopping and starting the video. "Can we watch it again? I don't really remember all of the words," one student said. "Of course!" I replied. This is one advantage of a video!

After the video, students read a story, and then answered sequencing and multiple choice questions. These questions required students to apply the vocabulary that they had learned in previous pages. Some kids realized that they had to go back and reread, which was a great lesson for them.

 The lesson ended with a drawing activity. Kids enjoyed interacting with the drawing tool, and I loved watching the collaboration bloom--"How do you add a text box?"--and "How do I draw instead of erasing?"

I'm planning to continue creating flipped lessons for students in the weeks to come. These lessons are great for introducing vocabulary and helping students to experience content.

You can find the full activity here if you would like to try it out with your students.

If you would like to try to create your own flipped lesson, here is a story that you can use--for free! This retelling of "Stone Soup", told from multiple points of view, can be used for teaching about theme and point of view.

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