BFA “Flips” Science Instruction

Target 3 – Flexible Learning Environments. FWSU will maximize flexible learning environments by redefining the school day, promoting learning experiences that extend beyond the school classroom, and fostering creativity, innovation, and differentiated learning opportunities for all.

Action Step – Increase access to resources for all students using digital tools making learning more accessible for diverse learners.

Indicator of Success – Staff, students and community embrace the digital, social, mobile and “always on” learning styles of 21st century students.

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As part of student-led science investigations middle schoolers were charged with analyzing and interpreting their own data. They needed an orientation to the metric system and use of metric tools in order to clearly record and communicate their findings. Although some students felt confident in performing metric conversions, others needed additional support before moving forward.

Students must not only “know” science concepts; but also use their understanding to investigate the natural world through the practices of science inquiry, or solve meaningful problems through the practices of engineering design. (NGSS Standards)

Science Teacher Chris Palmer made the decision to “flip” his classroom instruction. He assigned a 14-minute audio-visual lesson for students to view on their iPad the night before. He developed the lesson using EduCreations to explain the basics of metric conversions. The video was the students’ homework, and he posed questions for their consideration prior to class.

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Once in the classroom, students formed groups and identified student leaders to facilitate discussions and practice performing metric conversions. Their teacher was available to support and answer questions as students applied the concepts.

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This is another example of how the “always-on” digital-age learning culture can provide endless possibilities for flexible instruction in today’s schools.

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