Meet Else Goll from Minnetonka, Minnesota. Else is a math teacher who has been teaching for 14 years; Pre-K through 8th grade. She has been using the ShowMe app for about five years to make her math lesson videos. We asked Else about her experience with implementing flipped classroom and how does she manage using technology in planning her lessons.
Else admits that teaching in a flipped classroom means that her students come to class ready to practice, and she is not tied to the front of the room giving a lecture. Their time spent together is completely flexible and she is able to check in with each student individually and assist as needed. She says ‘I love that I know my students so well, they love that I am available to help each day and that practice time is collaborative with peers instead of isolated at home, and parents love that they can send their child to class to get help rather than struggle through at home together’.
Else told us that the key to a successful flipped classroom is building strong routines and having clear expectations. ‘I model all the steps of a flipped lesson and practice several times before students work independently. I also hold students accountable for watching the lesson by embedding “You Try It” questions into the video and having them digitally submit their answers in our district LMS. Before class starts, I know 1. Who did the homework, 2. Who did not do the homework, 3. Who is ready to practice, 4. Who needs instructional support right away.’
She worked out an amazing system of trust and a special language with her students. In the beginning, the biggest issue she had was how to handle a student who doesn’t do the homework (watch the lesson). ‘At our school, we say the consequence for not doing your homework, is doing your homework. In my class, students immediately pop on their headphones when they arrive to class if they did not get their homework done’, she explains, ‘We don’t have a conversation; the headphones signal to me that they are trying to correct a mistake that was made and get back on track. Once their video is done they join in with the class. This took some time to develop as a routine, but it works as a gentle motivator to not fall behind as you will lose precious collaborative work time.’
Else’s favorite feature is adding photos from her gallery or the web. She explains that she just take photos of her curriculum and she’s able to precisely crop the parts she wants to show in her video. What makes her ShowMes special is embedding pictures of animals that she can search directly through ShowMe via the web.
When asked if she has any tips for new users, she simply answers: ‘Don’t feel like you’re recording has to be perfect! I deleted and started over so many times in the beginning, just to find out that my students loved when they heard my cat meow, my kids laughing, or the doorbell ring’, Else adds, ‘Be your authentic self and model how to recover from a mistake rather than delete it and begin again’.