Flipping In Kindergarten: Connecting Home and School
One question I get asked often is about flipping my Kindergarten class. If you have never heard about a flipped class read more about it here. The quick answer is I don’t flip my class for my students. I simply haven’t seen a need for this for my young kids. What I have been doing the last few years is flipping my class for the parents by using a classroom blog. This might not be flipping in the true sense of the word but it is as close as I have come. My goal is to use blog posts and videos to help parents understand the learning that is happening in our classroom. With that knowledge my hope is parents can support or even expand on that learning at home. I believe that informing parents about our learning is important at all levels, but especially for young kids.
My main focus on our classroom blog is the vocabulary we are using in our lessons. I really try to keep the wording short and sweet (mainly to make it easier on me) while still using the vocabulary from our learning. My goal is to post at least twice a day. This may seem overwhelming but one way this is possible for me is I use the Blogger app. This app (all main blogging platforms have apps) allows me to post as things are happening directly from my phone. I can take pictures, add a few sentences and publish in less than a minute. I found a good guide to using the blogger app HERE. Pictures also make blogging simple, they are worth a thousand words after all.
This year our classroom blog is off to a great start. After three days we have 14 posts, 1,000 page views (all from parents) and 15 comments from 8 different families. I always start the year by posting about the basics of our day. I want parents to know what library check-out looks like, about literacy centers, where we sit for lunch, etc. After I have shared most every aspect of our day I then focus on sharing our learning and the fun that happens daily.
Today I was reminded why I try so hard to make our blog a space that supports learning when I got this message from a parent “Johnny was excited about the sign “spider web”. On our drive he pointed out all of the signs that were part of the class “spider web”. Now I understand!” What she is talking about is the word web we posted yesterday on our blog about signs (see below). Her son called them spider webs and she was able to understand what he was referring to because of our blog. I wonder how often the kids remember just enough to start a conversation but not enough to help their parent understand. This is where sharing our learning can be such a great tool for parents.
A couple of tech tools that we use often for sharing our learning are Skitch, Popplet and Educreations. All three of these tools are FREE apps and also available for FREE as a web based tool for the computer. One of my goals this year is to use Educreations more to create videos to share with parents. Since Educreations offers the ability to embed the video directly into our blog it is a great tool to use for this purpose.