A great post by a good friend. 

By Kari Arfstrom on


We’re in the midst of a cultural shift happening in education, and flipped learning has taken off like a rocket.  Transitioning from a teacher-centered classroom to a student-centered learning environment, flipped learning is being embraced by educators at all grade levels and subjects. If you are not yet familiar with this sort of classroom, learning occurs when the direct instruction is moved from the group learning space to the individual learning space.

Instead, class time is used for active problem solving by students and one-to-one or small group tutoring with the teacher. Students watch the short lectures as many times as they wish to grasp the content and come to class ready to jump into the lesson, answer questions, work on collaborative projects, and explore the content further. It is a fundamental shift in how information is being delivered, and it is working.


As authors of Flip Your Classroom: Reach Every Student in Every Class Every Day (2012), Jonathan Bergmann and Aaron Sams often say, “The best way to experience a flipped classroom is to visit a flipped classroom.” Through the advances of technology, the flipped class can now come to you even if you can’t visit one. Sure, this style of teaching can be a bit chaotic as evidenced by all the student activities in this “flighty” video of Aaron’s classroom.

Female student using a tablet device to learn in a flipped classroom



Student in Stillwater, MN (Photo credit: Eduvision)



Without question, increased student achievement has been demonstrated using this technique. Greg Green is a principal in Clintondale High School, a low socio-economic high school near Detroit, and is referenced in the  video, Teaching for Tomorrow: Flipped Learning, which highlights the student experience and gains his students have made. Their entire school flipped, not just one department. How’s that for inspiring?

Twice during this past school year, the Flipped Learning Network has asked its members to literally open their doors and allow educators, administrators and the press to see a flipped classroom in action when videos are just not enough. Just last month, King’s Fork High School in Suffolk, VA, opened its doors for curious observers to interact with students and teachers alike. Sherri D. Story, AP and IB Biology Instructor reported,I had a great experience hosting an open house! The students loved having guests and they shared freely about how much they loved the classroom environment now that it isn’t all lecture. I wish more teachers and administrators could see the good things possible with flipping learning.”

Because of the nature of this technique, the virtual resources surrounding Flipped Learning seem endless, and several can be found here.  Jon and Aaron will also be speaking today, Wednesday, March 6th at 4:00 pm ET on the topic, Engaging Struggling Students in a Flipped Classroom.  To join on this discussion, register now!


Kari ArfstromAbout Kari Arfstrom

FLN executive director, Kari M Arfstrom is the founder and principal of Arfstrom Consulting with two decades of experience with K-12 education membership organizations (CoSN, NYLC, AESA and AASA). Prior to that, she worked for the U. S. House of Representatives and is a licensed language arts teacher in Minnesota. She is a current board member for the Rural School and Community Trust and a former board member for the National Coalition for Technology in Education and Training (NCTET), the Education and Libraries Network Coalition (EdLiNC), and the Organizations Concerned about Rural Education (OCRE). Dr. Arfstrom has a degree and licensure in secondary education from Augsburg College and is a former language arts teacher in Minnesota. Her Master’s degree is in Library and Information Science from the Catholic University in Washington, DC. Her Ph.D., from George Mason University in Fairfax, VA, is in Educational Leadership and Policy. Additional information can be found at www.arfstrom.net



7 thoughts on “How to Reach Struggling Students: Once You Flip, You’ll never go Back

  1. I believe it. With this tactic you’re showing that you really care about the student. The student naturally picks up on it and works harder in return. You can never lose in showing that you individually care about the student and their performance.

  2. I like it. Times are change and I believe it’s time to change teaching and the learning. We are in a new day where everything is done by technology, so why not use that to teach as well. With this new way of learning it allows the student to learn at their own pace. Love it!

    1. So are you actually doing this? I love what I am hearing so far, but I need more information. My district is going 1:1 next year and every student will have a lap top and wireless. What can I do with it?

  3. I find this very interesting. I think that the more ways that we can motivate struggling readers then we will see those same students have academic success.

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