Flipping Our Urban Charter ELA Classes: Structuring High School ELA Curriculum With Google Classroom

Flipping Our Urban Charter ELA Classes: Structuring High School ELA Curriculum With Google Classroom

Samantha Shaffner (Franklinton Preparatory Academy, USA) and Anne M. Hyland (Franklinton Preparatory Academy, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-2242-3.ch008
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Abstract

The Flipped Mastery Model (Bergmann & Sams, 2012) makes English language arts (ELA) content accessible to students, no matter the learning environment (individual vs. community). At our urban charter high school, students are often times faced with the academic challenges connected to living in high poverty homes. Having more than one dispenser of information has proven to be an effective solution to the educational barriers that occur as a result of a student having poor attendance that may eventually lead to academic failures. Skills students acquire from having consistent and transparent access to ELA content often leads to an increased amount of academic successes, directly through the practice and use of Google Applications for Education, and more specifically, Google Classroom. Supporting ELA content area learning through the features of Google Classroom allows students to become an important member of virtual learning communities that can be academically supportive and, likewise, can provide opportunities for students to master related College and Career Readiness Standards specific to ELA.
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Learning Begins With The Students

It is 8:45 a.m. on a Monday morning in our small Columbus, Ohio, urban charter school. Students in grades 9 through 12 filter into the second floor commons area for the stand-up morning meeting after breakfast that is provided for all students. Announcements are made, schedule changes are noted, birthdays are acknowledged, the basketball team’s weekend win is announced, and the successful community college placement of nine students enrolled in dual-credit is celebrated.

Abby, Jordan, and Paula (all student names are pseudonyms) are in the room on time to hear the news items and be a part of the student community. Chris typically arrives 10 minutes after first period has started; he gets a pass and heads to class. Chris rides the city bus to school, as do many of the students. He missed breakfast. Caitlin probably won’t be in today. Her mother is illiterate, cannot sign her own name, and relies on her daughter to navigate any services or medical appointments needing reading and writing skills. Candace makes it to first period about 30 minutes into the class period. At 15, she is responsible for getting her four siblings up, fed, and dressed. Her brother died over the summer in an accident. Tom usually arrives about 10:00 a.m. On paper, he lives with his mother, but his grandmother will take care of him depending on his mother’s mood. His grandmother thinks that her daughter should raise her own children. Over winter break, Tom was not sure where he would be sleeping. Brian leaves at 2:30 p.m. every afternoon in order to meet the bus that brings home his younger special needs brother from elementary school.

A portion of the students who have jobs leave before the official end of the school day. A handful of students work to pay for most or all of their family’s expenses. Six to twelve of the students (the actual number changes throughout the year) have agency monitors who check on their assigned adolescent case on a regular basis. Monitored students may be living at home, in temporary foster placements, or in group homes. Monitors representing a dozen different agencies visit the school on no particular schedule to meet with their student clients. Students are out of class up to 20 minutes during these visits. Family communication and customary support systems have been shattered for most of these students. Each student copes with these changes and challenges in different ways.

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