Reflections on my first trial of a flipped lesson

As you probably know from my earlier post I set up my first trial of a flipped lesson with some year 9 students. The flipped element of the lesson gave them a bit of background on who Plato was and the Analogy of The Cave. The students each had a sheet to complete during the flipped video material. Below is an example of what they achieved.


In class we did some think, pair, share work. This involved them recalling the analogy and sharing their understanding. Then the focus of the lesson was on raising and responding to key questions created by Plato’s analogy. After them intially doing this we paused and discussed what types of questions led to higher level thinking. Every group then got a hot thinking card (Taken from RWBA school, as shared on Twitter)similar to the one in the picture. They used this to help develop their existing questions


Finally each team then chose one question to focus on and they had to begin to generate some responses of their own to the question. We did all this work in teams of five using felt pens and sugar paper. One example is belowImage

So what went well?

  1. Students successfully grasped the Plato content and so arrived ready for the questioning work. They did not need me for the delivery of Plato!
  2. The students feedback on the homework was positive. Students commented on how much they appreciated being able to pause and rewind the material in a way they couldn’t in class.
  3. The students’ understanding of levels of questions was increased and they demonstrated this through application.
  4. Normally with only one lesson for the Plato work my classes would not have got beyond what this class did in their homework.
  5. Students were engaged and they want to have homework like this more often, so I really have an opportunity to push on to far higher level thinking and more creative lessons.

What did I learn to do differently next time?

  1. I missed a trick really. In future I would plan a range of team activities to fit with student’s abilities rather than one blanket task. So for instance I could have had those who had struggled with the analogy recreating it in role play or play doh and annotating their models to link to meaning, whilst more able students could have examined Aristotle’s response and created a dialogue between him and Plato.
  2. There were four students in the group who did not do their homework. This made it difficult for them to participate although the other students became the experts to teach it to them. In future I think I need a separate individual task for such students to make them realise that they can’t cruise by on others hard work.


The benefits of this lesson, even done with my mistakes this time around, has confirmed to me that this form of homework and teaching is the way forward. It opens up such massive opportunities for extending all students and working at a far higher level. I plan to develop some revision materials for my exam classes that work using flipped content. I have already produced a flipped video animation for the cosmological argument, and this time the tasks in class will be differentiated. Well worth the time and effort.


About Learning to Teach Lorraine Abbott

Deputy Headteacher in a Surrey School Author for Hodder Education
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