In my classroom, deep learning looks like several things:
- Students asking questions. Not "What did you just say?" and "How do we do this?" questions, but "What happens if...?" and "What about...?" and "What would this look like for...?"types of questions. Questions that indicate they are making connections and thinking beyond what we are currently discussing.
- Students teaching each other. When students are able to explain what they know to a peer, I am confident they REALLY know it.
- Students making application. When students can take a skill and use it in a "real-world" situation, they are able to make even more connections, see the usefulness of what they're learning, and gain a new perspective of the world around them.
This is how my and my students' roles have changed:
- I am more "alongside" students instead of in front of them. I get to answer questions as they come up. I get to use student questions as conversation starters.
- Students are more engaged and involved. They are discussing, justifying, and explaining with each other.
- Students become risk-takers. They feel safe enough to try out a theory or give an explanation, and if it's not exactly correct, they try again.
Flipping my classroom has made all of this easier. One of my favorite aspects - and I seem to say that a lot, LOL - is that I am with students as they think of questions to ask. Students think of things to ask as they struggle with the material. When that struggle used to take place outside of class with traditional homework, I wasn't around for questions, and there wasn't time in class the next day to ask everything that had been thought of. Now students are working with material in the classroom and get to ask right then.
My flipped class has also given me more TIME for deeper learning. And I've found time is the greatest gift of all.