Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Anticipatory Guides and Collaborative Learning in the Flipped Classroom

While teaching an ecology unit in Biology, I decided to turn a True/False assignment into an anticipatory guide.

First, I told the students to answer the questions about energy flow through ecosystems based on current knowledge.

Next, I told them to find evidence to support their answer or change their answer from the textbook by incorporating the Kagan structure Rally Coach.

I told the students to work in groups of two. Partner A would find support for the first statement. Partner B would find evidence on the second statement, and so on. The students were told to write the page number to support their answer. Partner A was the person whose birthday was closest to that day.

I also told them to correct the incorrect sentences.

When pairs finished, they could confer with another pair (Kagan structure Round Robin).

Finally, we discussed our findings as a whole group.

Things I liked about this activity:

  • Prior knowledge was acknowledged and utilized
  • Misconceptions were discussed and addressed
  • Cooperative learning strategies were incorporated
  • Students were allowed to be experts
  • Struggling students and students who engage in off-task behavior were on-task and helping other students

In flipping my class, I need to provide engaging activities from bell to bell. This particularly important because Our classes are on a block schedule. As I work to improve my teaching, I will continue to update this blog.

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