Want to Instantly Create a Student Centered Classroom? 5 Tips to Using a Novel Flip Book


Study Guides. A necessity? Yes, they are. But, they are not an active guide to reading. 

Actually, a study guide is a very  passive guide to reading. Don’t get me wrong, without a study guide you would go completely wrong. I am just saying there is something better.
So what can a secondary teacher do to create a more active student centered experience while reading literature? Today’s inclusive classroom has students at all skill levels. Differentiation is the key to our instructional success. 

A flip book is a fresh approach to run-of-the-mill study guide. All the sections are visible, easily accessible, and engaging! Secondary students experience some frustration in a flipped classroom due to, “not knowing what to do next.” With a flip book your students will own their learning experience and take pride in their outcome. 

When teachers take direct instruction out of the equation what do our students have left? Self direction. According to my esteemed media specialist at my school, “students cannot be self directed entirely unless the task is clearly defined.” Any teacher can throw together task cards, foldables, and flip books and stack them on a student’s desk. 

For the last two school years I have been involved in my school’s initial team of teachers for a pilot program. In the training we focus on differentiation and flipping the secondary classroom. We create center and problem based tasks. 

What happens next? This is up to the facilitator. Modeling (not the fashion kind). The question is, “What should it look like?”
For Teachers:
1. Have the copy machine collate the flip book.
2. Print and assemble one to show them what it should look like.
3. Print the answer key and keep it on hand at all times. I also print one for my teacher cadet and instructional para(s). 

4. Go through the collated copies and “pre-staple” them. -This way your students will only have to cut along the guidelines an the next page of the flip book will be exposed.

6. Announce, “5 extra credit points if you come in tomorrow with your flip book tabs colored in…” -and then show them yours:)

5 Tips to using a novel flip book…

First—before you attempt anything–Do a flip book walk through. Go look! Flip! Explore!
1. Instruct your students to keep it out on the corner of their desk. You’ll be in it everyday so keep it alive and handy at all times!

2. Refer to it often. Use the flip guide as your students guide to the universe (at least for the novel unit).

3. Use it as an assessment. Assign a due date for their completed reading guide pages and give your students a grade. Today’s are not willing to any more than expected. You have to grade the flip book. At the end of the unit, maybe the day of the test or final project is due, have them turn it in for grading.

4. Don’t forget to allow your students time for color design. Studies show that once your student’s materials are color coded or are presented in color retention of concepts increase.  And, their organizational skills will improve. Visually, color creates fast recognition and they will remember the pages better.

American Literature, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, by Washington Irving . This flip book is a craftivity reading guide. Your students color and cut out the headless horseman, attach it to the cover using the guidelines and you’ll see it come alive!

5. Create engaging activities utilizing the flip book. Example- Have your students use a character chart from the flip book to create a written character sketch body biography, character map, or Venn diagram. Another example is creating a center task where students have to cute evidence from the novel that supports a themed writing. Using the theme page from the novel flip book your students will get a jump start and good direction from the flip book.

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I’m so glad you are here! My name is Danielle. I am passionate about helping teachers and homeschool parents promote critical thinking, collaboration, creativity, and communication with their students. 

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