Monday, January 4, 2016

A Trip to the Tundra

How I Flipped My Classroom (and how you can too!) @ The Berry Hill

At the beginning of December, I was so inspired by Hope King and Kim Bearden from RCA (Ron Clark Academy) and a scope they had done from one of their classrooms. They had completely transformed their classroom into the Arctic Tundra and it was INCREDIBLE! I knew that I couldn't go all out (and build the huge igloo they had), but I was determined to create an experience for my kiddos that I have yet to do in my teaching career.

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The Friday before the mini-flip, I had a colleague deliver TOP SECRET envelopes with each student's name, as well as Don't Open Until 4:00, which would be when the kiddos were at home. I had never seen any of my students more excited than that moment they were delivered!!! It made me so excited and motivated to get to school on Sunday and work.

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It took a few hours to flip my room. I purchased some drop cloths from Lowe's, which was perfect because they were HUGE and didn't break the bank. Everything else I bought from Dollar Tree or had on hand in my classroom!

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I had six stations and tasks set up throughout my room for my morning reading block to accomplish before our activity time (specials). There were only two rules that we came up with together that morning before they got started...

1. Stay on task throughout the morning.

2. If a task area is crowded, take a detour and find another.


aaaaaaaaaaaaaaa

I made an Arctic Tundra Journal for each of my kiddos, which had response sections for each of the six tasks (see the manila folders in the pictures above). While they were completing the tasks, I was walking around monitoring and assisting those who needed it. After a task was completed, students brought me their journal and I initialed each section after looking over their work. They all did a FABULOUS job and I still am so proud of them!

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The Arctic only lasted for a day in our classroom. Like Hope and Kim said, it's an important experience that doesn't happen every week and needs to remain special. However... I am already planning my next mini-flip for mid-spring!

Have you ever flipped your classroom or created an experience for your students similar to this? Please share with me! :)