Lesson Design

Flipped Classroom:  Chemistry Example

The concept of Lewis dot diagrams can be a challenge to teach as successful understanding depends not only on making meaning from new material but also applying working knowledge of the periodic table.  This topic is a perfect candidate to flip.

I know that when I teach this during class time, I end up repeating myself, stopping, starting, and through direct instruction successfully teaching to about half the class.  There are many barriers to success - and in chemistry I have noticed that the most significant barrier is prior knowledge. I could spend a million years determining where the understanding is lost and unfortunately I cannot follow the students home, sit down with them during the homework assignment and then identify the areas of concern.  So I decided that the direct instruction will be a screen cast created using Screen-cast-omatic . 

The lesson plan goes like this:

1.  Watch this screen cast at home before you come to class and answer the notes as they appear:

2.  As the students enter the classroom the next class, they will find the following options:

a.  I didn't have time to watch it so sit down at the laptops at the back and get it done.
b.  I have specific questions about the water example; meet at the front for a short tutorial.
c.  Pick up an assignment, choose one of the possible three and get started.
d.  When you are finished, call me over for a conversation about the work.

This is a formative activity.  Record anecdotal evidence and whether or not the student understood.