Sunday, October 19, 2014

How many TWIRLS are your students doing?

Since doing an IB Workshop on Flipping Classrooms in August, I've had lots of people ask me about flipped learning - what do the students do at home and how do you use the class time?  As I've been reading about individual teachers' experiences with this, I came across the term TWIRLS as something that teachers want students to demonstrate on a daily basis.  This acronym stands for:
Listening and
One thing that struck me in the chapter by Crystal Kirch was that she said that before flipping her classroom there were a lot of TWIRLS going on in her classroom - but that they were being done by her and not by her students.  She described her students as "spoon-fed learners" who didn't take ownership of their learning.

Crystal writes about a tool she uses to help students engage with videos at home.  She calls it the WSQ tool.  Students first Watch and take guided notes.  They can re-watch the lesson as often as they want.  Then they need to Summarize what they have learned and to ask Questions about it on a Google Form.  Back in class, students spend the time discussing their learning - Crystal has already looked at the form and so has been able to break the class up into groups for "WSQ chats" or reteaching to individuals.  The questions the students have written are used in class to challenge other students and to guide discussions.

Brian Bennett also describes how he uses his class time in order to have engaged, active learning. He found he had to create new materials that pushed critical thinking, reasoning and questioning and just like Crystal, discovered interaction to be the key.  He writes that time discussing the material and working one-on-one with his students has made the biggest difference as "flipped learning is simply using technology to remove a component of a traditionally taught class, which allows us to focus on the more important things during the day."

More examples of how individual teachers have flipped their classrooms can be found in the recently published ISTE book Flipped Learning:  Gateway to Student Engagement by Jonathan Bergmann and Aaron Sams.

Photo Credit: Patrick Hoesly via Compfight cc

No comments:

Post a Comment