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Flipped Learning Case Study: Secondary

Flipped Learning Case Study: Secondary

Author: Trisha Fyfe

In this lesson, learners will consider what a secondary flipped learning environment looks like.


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Welcome to tutorial on flipped learning case study, secondary. In this tutorial, we will discuss what might the elements of a secondary flipped classroom look like.

So let's start by talking about who were the students in this case study. This was a group of ninth grade High School Language Arts students. The class had been working on a unit on essays for several weeks. However, students needed more work on writing and developing quality thesis statements. So the teacher decided to use a flipped lesson, to help the students practice thesis statements.

What were the goals of moving forward with thesis statements, and adding in that extra practice by using a flipped lesson? Well, this teacher decided to practice thesis statements by using flipped lessons because of many reasons. Her students needed that extra engagement, and extra responsibility to take that ownership of their learning. As well, this gave students a chance to move at their own pace through the tutorial or the homework, and then come to class and participate in a more active learning lesson. The teacher reminded her students of the definition and job of a thesis statement. As well, she encouraged her students to use questioning in developing thesis statements throughout this lesson.

So let's take a look at each piece of the lesson in this case study. First we'll start with the homework. The students' homework was to watch this tutorial on thesis statements. And the tutorial that they were asked to take a look at had three different authors to choose from. So their job was to pick any of the three authors, and watch their tutorial in full on thesis statements.

As they were going through the tutorial, they were asked to take notes on all of the important ideas and definitions that they were learning about. They were also asked to write a summary about their learnings after the tutorial was over, as well as write one question that they still had at the end of the tutorial, or one question that they came across during the tutorial. This teacher reminded students about the goal of the homework, and importance of completing it before class. And this was done before the homework was even taken home. The students were part of a class discussion on that ownership of their homework, and taking that responsibility, so that they were fully prepared to participate in the lessons following the tutorial.

Students were given an option if they did not have access to a computer a home. Their choices were to come in before school, or stay after school, or stay during their lunch time and watch it in the school classroom. As well, the teacher put their information for the tutorial on their class website, that they could access in a public library if needed.

Students were also reminded that note taking skills were really essential. And they'd worked on these before in class for several different assignments, but the teacher reminded them of these note taking skills, pulling out those main ideas, separating the important details. Since they were being asked to write a summary about their learnings on the tutorial, that teacher reminded them of the qualities of a summary.

Moving on to the classwork portion of this lesson, after they came back to class the following day, students developed a list of interesting topics as a class, by using a sticky note activity as students entered the classroom. So what the teacher did was she left out sticky notes on each desk, and ask students to take the sticky notes that were at their seat, and record three things that they thought of as interesting topics. What are three topics that you would like to write about?

So after the students recorded their three topics, they were asked to take their sticky notes to the board. The sticky notes could be anonymous, so no names needed to be used. So the students were comfortable enough to write any topics that they thought about, and then there was a whole list of topics on the board, on sticky notes. Afterwards, the students sat back down and got into groups where they read summaries to other group members. They also read and discuss their questions that they had from the tutorial, and they were asked to write down both their summaries and their questions.

So next the teacher, asked each member of the group to choose one different questioning method from the tutorial to discuss with the group. And in this tutorial on thesis statements, they talked about different questioning methods, in which students could write thesis statements by writing questions about a topic.

Let me show you an example from that clip.


-Is it preferable for students to attend college directly after high school? And my thesis is the answer to that question. It's what I want to discuss in my paper. The thesis reads, despite the common cultural perception that students should begin college immediately after finishing high school, it is preferable for students to begin college when they are ready for the challenges of collegiate study, which may not be directly after high school graduation.


So that was just one type of questioning method. And there were several within that tutorial, and students could choose from those.

After each group felt comfortable using the different questioning methods, the students in the groups we're asked to use some of those class topics, the ones that we had on sticky notes in the front of the room, as groups, to practice questioning techniques to generate thesis statements. Groups then chose their three best thesis statements to share with the entire class. Then, students chose one of these thesis statements to write an essay on.

So you can see that this was a very student led activity, in which the students were very engaged and active throughout the lesson. The teacher was not standing in front of the room, talking to the students about thesis statements. Instead, they were taking ownership for learning about thesis statements at their own pace, and in their own way. The tutorial was very intentional. It wasn't necessarily a planned lesson, but this teacher chose to add this lesson in and add this particular tutorial, because her students were having trouble with this topic.

The teacher, throughout all of this, was circling the room during class time to check in with the groups. She was also pulling students who were having trouble, or those who did not complete the homework, to have one on one time with those students. So throughout all of this, she was facilitating, not directing the lesson. And again, this led to a very student led classroom. She was helping students stay engaged, by using guided questions to promote discussion throughout this entire lesson, from beginning to end.

Let's review we learned about today. We discussed what might the elements of a secondary flipped classroom look like. And we talked about a ninth grade language arts classroom, in which the students were having some trouble with thesis statements. So the teacher chose to add in a lesson, a flipped learning lesson, on thesis statements, and how to use questioning techniques to write better thesis statements.

As homework, the students watched a tutorial. They chose one of three authors to watch a tutorial on, as well as taking notes, writing a summary, and doing a quiz on that tutorial. They brought all of that information into class, and got into groups to further discuss thesis statements and those questioning techniques. And lastly, the students used all of that information, chose one thesis statement, and were asked to take on more homework of writing an essay.

Thanks for joining me today. I hope you enjoyed talking about this secondary classroom, and I hope you're able to use these elements in your own teaching.

Let's apply these ideas by reflecting on these two questions. What might the challenges be in using flipped learning in secondary classrooms? What do you think the benefits might be to using flipped learning in these secondary classrooms?

Now it's your turn to apply what you've learned in this video. The additional resources section will be super helpful. This section is designed to help you discover useful ways to apply what you've learned here. Each link includes a brief description, so you can easily target the resources you want.

Notes on "Flipped Learning Case Study: Secondary"


(00:00- 00:13) Introduction/objectives

(00:14- 00:37) Who were the students?

(00:38- 01:18) What were the teacher’s goals?

(01:19- 03:09) What was the homework?

(03:10- 06:11) What was the classwork?

(06:12- 06:38) What was the teacher’s job?

(06:39- 08:15) Review/Reflection

Additional Resources

A Look at Katie Gimbar's Flipped Classroom – 18 months

This video shows Katie Gimbar's flipped middle school math processes and strategies. She worked with the Friday Institute to build flipped lessons in her classroom, and she describes her strategies in a Common Core Math Class. She indicates it is critical that she develops her own video lessons for her students.

Clintondale High School Website

This website provides a detailed overview of how one high school has embraced flipped learning and what it has meant for their students and teachers. This is a useful site for any high school considering flipping its learning.