Taking Paths Less Traveled

Joyful Hiker. Mother. Teacher. Adventurer.

Early Friday morning at #CUE18, I wove my way around the hallway traffic all the way to the furthest end of the conference building. I am glad I got there early because by the time @teacherskaggs started her presentation there were very few remaining seats.

As an Elementary teacher, a flipped classroom sounds daunting. How on earth would I be able to flip my classroom for all those subjects? Well, turns out that I was stuck on details rather than creativity. However, given the definition @teacherskaggs gave us from the Flipped Learning Network, it isn’t so daunting.

Flipped Learning is a pedagogical approach in which direct instruction moves from the group learning space to the individual learning space, and the resulting group space is transformed into a dynamic, interactive learning environment where the educator guides students as they apply concepts and engage creatively in the subject matter. Flipped Learning Network 

The Flipped Elementary Classroom looks more like organized small group instruction using technology with the focus of fun learning.

Remember that Volkswagen Commercial with the piano and the stairs? Click here to remind yourself. The fun theory is that if we make something more fun, more people will participate. This is especially important for our elementary students.

Every Friday at our school meeting our school does a group chant. It goes like this:

... after elementary school comes, MIDDLE SCHOOL! After middle school comes, HIGH SCHOOL! After high school comes, COLLEGE! and to get to college you have to WORK HARD! Because … if you work hard and follow the rules, GOOD THINGS HAPPEN!

As the students chant this and we move to our classrooms to participate in another day of book learning, I can’t help but think how daunting college is to these students. Elementary school is hard work and when you look ahead at the long road they have to follow, we need to really consider how we teach students to love learning. Using technology to add more fun to the learning process is not only a great idea, but essential for 21st Century careers.

In this session I received an overwhelming number of tool ideas to use to flip my classroom in addition to a list of tips to get started. Here are just a few of my favorites.


  • To provide students with distraction free video viewing, use Safe You Tube to get a link that essentially puts a You Tube video into its own little video box, with no suggested posts and no ads.
  • Use a shared Google Slide deck preset with 30 slides (one for each student), using student numbers, each student completes the assignment on the slide that corresponds to their assigned classroom number. (Having students provide feedback to other students brings this into the deeper levels of SAMR.)
  • Students can video themselves using FlipGrid and teachers can provide feedback.
  • Teach students to keep an online Google Site portfolio.( I want to learn what this looks like!)
  • Use Padlet for student interaction and collaboration
  • App Smash:  The process of using multiple apps in conjunction with one another to complete a final task or project.

Get Started Tips:

  • Find videos already made online or work with colleagues to share them
  • Try one suggestion per week to build your teacher toolbox
  • Use Teachers Give Teachers to share hyperdocs
  • For differentiated videos, create one video and differentiate how students show their work.

I want to thank Ann-Marie Skaggs for providing this information to us at #CUE18. I can’t wait to take it back and share what I have learned with my students and colleagues!




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Taking Paths Less Traveled

Joyful Hiker. Mother. Teacher. Adventurer.


Thoughts and ramblings of a young adult

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