The Flipped Classroom: Teaching Strategies


The Flipped Classroom: Teaching Strategies

Flipped Classroom
Pencils courtesy of Salvatore Vuono at

This is part 2 of “Flip Classroom Instruction: How to Guide”.

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The Flipped Classroom

The Plan for the Flipped Classroom

The first step of creating the flipped classroom is laying out a plan.  As with all good teaching it begins with backward mapping.

Backward Mapping
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Set your learning objectives based upon the grade level standards  Use SMART goals to guide your objectives. Determine the assessment that will meet the objectives.  Typically a good lesson should have multiple methods of assessment. Create lessons that will offer differentiation for student needs, engage the students, and present the content in a meaningful way.

1.  Set SMART Goals.

Many school districts are already using this model.  This model guides you in being specific and objective in your goals.

Smart Goals

Specific Objective

This means that you have decided exactly what the students will be able to do when they complete the lesson. It also helps to point out what the assessment will include. The following example is to clarify this point.

Specific SMART goals for flipped classroom

Specific Goals for Flipped Classroom


This means that it is possible to measure the outcome of the learning through assessment.  The assessment may be summative, it may be formative, or it may be informal such as anecdotal notes.


The objective must be realistic within the scope of materials available, learning ability of the students (grade appropriate), and the time frame.  The goals should not be so lofty as to be impossible, nor so simple that they are a waste of time.

The goals should be within the scope and sequence of the overall learning objectives. They should be a part of a bigger picture that is logical in order.   This keeps student learning moving forward.

Results Focused

What results are you looking for?  How are you going to assess that these results have been realized.  The end product of student learning is the focus.  When the lesson is finished, what will the students be able to do that proves that they understand the material.  This is a key aspect of a flipped classroom.


The objective of the lesson fits within the time frame.  This can be a large objective for a unit that is broken into smaller pieces for each day.  The individual lesson and activities planned should fit within the one day.  It can be for a project that takes two weeks.  The time frame should be determined and included in the goal.  In a flipped classroom, time management can be the most challenging aspect.

Writing the SMART goal

Begin with the time frame:

  • At the end of this unit…
  • At the end of the lesson…

Decide what students will be able to do and how they will do the task:

  • Students will be able to correctly solve 8 out of 10 multiplication problems involving fractions and verbally explain their thought processes while doing so.
  • Students will write an essay detailing the struggles of the American people during the Civil War in the 1870s.
  • Students will create a poster comparing adjectives and adverbs providing at least four examples of each and explaining their choices.

2.  Determine and Design Assessments

The first assessment to be designed is the last assessment to be given.  This is the one at the end of the unit or extended time frame which is a summative assessment.  It is based upon this assessment that the lessons are designed. Often this assessment is district determined.

The second assessment is the one for the daily lesson.  This can be a short quiz, an exit ticket, a written paragraph or any number of other types of assessment.

Then there are other smaller assessments that can be created as the lesson is made that include short multiple choice, thumbs up or down, hand signals, clickers, Mischievous Mice, and so on.

The first assessment given is the one accompanying the students home with the initial material.  Whether it is a video, podcast, or book, the student needs an assignment that records what was learned and any questions from the take-home lecture. A good format for this first assessment is to have the student summarize the lesson, answer one question, and then create a question to bring for class discussion.  Remember if there is no accountability tied in with the assignment (watching a video or reading a page), most students will choose to do something else.

3. Create meaningful lessons.

This is the designing of the activities that will guide the students towards understanding the content.  The lesson can be project based, it can be group activities, or it can be independent work.  Regardless, of the method, a student-centered class framework increases student engagement.  One method that is highly effective, is to offer a “menu”.  This is providing the students with options of what they prefer to complete.  This can vary from choosing which section of problems they wish to work out to choosing between a poster project or an essay.  The point of the activity should be to provide student learning, increase engagement, and differentiate the lesson to give access for all students to the material.

The lesson activities will be completed in class.  This provides opportunities for students to ask questions of their peers and of the teacher.  This also provides time for one-on-one support if needed.  With the activities, problems, and “homework” being completed in class, the problem of students not retaining the lesson material at home is eliminated.  Also, because the lecture part was at home before class, the students are prepared and aware of what will be worked on in class.  The element of surprise is completely removed.

Part 3 of “Flip Classroom Instruction: How to Guide” will cover the inclusion of technology and methods for easing into a Flipped Classroom approach of teaching.

Other articles of interest are Free Common Core Lesson Plans and 5 Ways to Effectively Integrate an iPad in the Classroom.

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