Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Why Flipping Instruction in Elementary Libraries Makes Sense

Librarians at the elementary level often have several classes a day that require a lesson, help with finding books, checking out, taking Accelerated Reader quizzes, etc. On top of that, librarians fulfill their roles as technologists, program administrators, student advocates, collection development experts, and so on. Librarians at the elementary level often feel overwhelmed with all these responsibilities. If anyone needs to be able to clone oneself, it would be an elementary school librarian.

The way I've flipped library lessons definitely doesn't look like what teachers are doing in secondary classes. In those environments, the goal is to allow students access to class lectures while at home. Students view the lectures or tutorials as homework, then go to class the next day and practice what they learned the night before. In comparison, I am present while students watch the lesson or tutorial and help them immediately following it, making sure students understand the objective and addressing any questions they may have.

Why do I need to flip a lesson if I'm only going to show it while I'm present?

Because it gives me time to take care of other things. For the past two years, I haven't had a library aide. All of the instruction, the checking in and checking out, the locating and shelving of books, etc., is done by me. Once I started experimenting with flipped instruction, I noticed I had a lot more time to check books in and put them away as students watch the lessons. It keeps the library neater and more attractive. Students and I can find books easier than before I flipped. All I need is three or four minutes of flipped instruction to be able to check the books in or answer questions for students and teachers. In essence, I've become a much more productive librarian by incorporating flipped lessons into my library program. 

I do post the tutorials online, usually on Edmodo, after they are introduced in class so that any student who wants to go back and watch the video again can find it. 

I've used mostly GoAnimate to flip lessons but I recently used the Sock Puppets iPad App to create a brief lesson about listening during story time, which I wrote about in another blog post.  

For examples of flipped library lessons using GoAnimate, check out these videos:

Library Catalog for Students by mbabaian on GoAnimate
Story Elements by mbabaian on GoAnimate

No comments:

Post a Comment