Thursday, 21 April 2016

After the Video: Classroom Activities to do In the Flipped Lesson

For some time now I have been making flipped videos for my class. It's great and I love having extra time in class to do more exciting activities. However, I do find thinking of the exciting and useful activities the hardest part of the flipped learning business. Therefore I have decided to document the ideas which I have used (or want to use) with my primary class.

I try to bear Blooms Taxonomy in mind when including activities to my lessons. If it isn't from the top branches, I generally don't bother with a flipped lesson.


So here are some ideas:

  • Create a TV Quiz about the topic...maybe not Numberwang though

  • Play Just a Minute

  • Create a board game
  • Design a lesson for another class about the topic
  • Create an Infographic

  • Make a model of it

  • Write an editorial about the topic - evaluating both sides of an argument
  • Create a quiz - I love Kahoot for this
There are, of course, lots of other great things we could do in our classes. I want to add to this collection - any ideas? Please drop me a line: @DerEyken or  

Friday, 11 March 2016

Making Flipped Videos For The Primary Classroom

After a few years (how time flies!) of experimenting with this flipped teaching idea, I thought that I would summarise what I have learnt/discovered so far.

First of all, flipping your lessons in a primary environment does work and is worth it. However, us primary teachers have the same children all day, every day and it is not as if we teach the same lesson to groups of different students as our secondary colleagues, for whom flipped learning has more obvious benefits.

After reading this wonderful blog post by Chris Waterworth, I thought it was time I added my thoughts. I know some teachers lie to use videos that they find on the net,but I much prefer to make my own as I can tailor them to the exact requirements of my class. After a few tries, they are easy and quick to make and I would recommend this to all primary practitioners.

So here is my guide to making flipped videos for the primary classroom:

  1. Only consider it for lessons where the time saved in class is going to be put to something worthwhile not just extra or harder 'work' - use if you want the class to make something or create a play etc. Perfect to reach those higher levels of Bloom's Taxonomy which you might not normally have time for.
  2. Don't flip every lesson - everything gets dull after time. I aim to flip a lesson once a week but it depends on my lesson objectives.
  3. Videos need to be short and easy to make. they don't expect nor want The Force Awakens: The Fractions Sequel. I use screencast-o-matic to narrate over flipcharts and presentations - you can use it straight from the website or download the app. just plug in your mic and talk. No messing about with transitions, music, titles etc.
  4. Place videos somewhere safe: Google Drive, Edpuzzle or Blendspace (I love Blendspace) where they can watch safely. Avoid YouTube unless you are 100% sure that all they can see is your video. And even then...
  5. Add an interactive element - a quiz or feedback form so you can see what they have understood.
  6. It's OK to share in class rather than homework. Took me a while to get this but for younger students, you still save a lot of time if they watch a video individually in class. And they can refer back to it if they get stuck later.
  7. The videos make perfect revision resources and ways to inform parents of what is going on in their children's lessons.
We are now increasingly using flipped teaching for homework activities and I find it a very useful tool to create extra time in the classroom to embed and master the subject.

It is also great fun! 

Wednesday, 13 January 2016

My Flip Videos

I now post most of my flip videos on to my Google Drive and these are automatically shared with my class from there. However, I thought it might be useful to post a couple of examples on this blog as a record of how they have changed over time.

I use 'Screencast-o-matic' to capture my computer screen and it also allows me to record audio. It's also free and you can either download it or it will will work direct from the web. My videos are simple, straight to the point and I no longer worry about making small errors on them. I find that the class need the video just to deliver the key learning point and, in class, we can work together to develop and embed that understanding.

So here is one I made today for our science lesson this afternoon about shadows. In the lesson, the children will be making a shadow puppet of themselves and then creating a puppet play of a lesson that teaches about how shadows work! Should be fun...

I generally find maths is an easier subject to make videos for as it is so fact and process-based. The vast majority of my flip videos are for maths but this is something I am seeking to change. As I teach Year 6 children, I aim to make my videos no longer than 6 minutes long...Year 5 would be 5 minutes etc. I think that is a fairly good rule of thumb.

I'm happy to share more of my videos - just drop me an email at