Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Flipped-Mastery Model for Social Studies

I have developed a framework based upon the flipped-mastery model that many educators have recently adopted (and continue to develop.)   Although this is tailored for my social studies classroom, the general concepts are universal.  Many of the elements are far from new, but this visual has helped me, and my students, gain a better grasp of what we are doing, why we are doing it, and how we are going to get there.

Here is a link to the first draft of the framework:

Flipped-Mastery Model for Social Studies

In general here are the basic elements...

Component 1: Front-loaded Content

This is where the "flip" occurs.  Students will watch the screencast lecture, complete guided viewing questions, and pass an Edmodo quiz.  I say pass since they cannot move on the next element until they succcessfully pass the quiz.  This brings us to the skills mastery.  Students do not "move on" until demonstrating proficiency of the standards for Component 1.  This also makes the model inherently self-paced.

The second part of Component 1 is in-class work, such as vocabulary, note-taking, guided reading, etc.  Students have a choice regarding which assignments they will do to demonstrate proficiency.

Component 2: Skill Development

 Although students are certainly working on skills throughout Component 1, this part will focus less on content knowledge and more on essential social studies skills.  An example of this would be primary source analysis.   Again, students can choose which assignment to prove mastery in.

Component 3: Higher-Order Thinking / Learning Stretch

As with the others, I am struggling a bit to develop names for each component that accurately describe them.  ("component" itself it debatable)   This part brings everything together as students engage in a higher-order thinking.  For example, this part can focus upon historical inquiry, collaborative problem solving, digital content creation, and more.

We are currently finishing up our first official "flipped" unit during which this model was applied.  I am holding off on initial impressions until the summative assessments are scored and student feedback is gathered.  So far, however, it looks very promising!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Flipping History

Why Flipped-History?

Welcome to Flipped-History!  I have recently adopted the "flipped-mastery" model for my world history classes and would like to share my thoughts and reflections with fellow educators interested in this approach.    In a relatively short time, I have learned so much by researching online publications, reading other flipped-class blogs and following the #flipclass conversations on Twitter.  This blog is my way to help further the conversation with a particular focus on social studies education.   

About Me

My name is Tom Driscoll and I'm a high school social studies teacher at Putnam High School in Putnam, CT.  I am currently in the final year of the Computing in Education MA program at Teachers College at Columbia University.  In 2007, I earned a BA in History from Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, NY.  I spent the first four years of my career teaching and coaching at Tourtellotte Memorial High School in Thompson, CT before making the transition to Putnam.  This is my 5th year teaching and I absolutely love it!

My wonderful wife Michaela is an excellent educator and coach at Coventry High School in Coventry, RI.  Our son Blake was born on June 3rd, 2011.  He is the man!   At this early stage, I give Michaela credit for putting up with my recording (and re-recording) screencasts, sometimes late into the night (trying not to wake up Blake of course...).  

Our Flipped-Class

Our current online platforms are the class wiki and Edmodo.  I will get more into the details of our flipped-mastery model in later posts, but in general, the course resources are located on the wiki, while the assessments are completed through Edmodo.  Although I really like the Edmodo platform, the wiki allows everything to remain "open-source" on the web.    The screencast videos can be accessed either on the wiki or directly through

The screencasts are finally getting better, starting with the "World War II" video.  So, it you would like to use these as a model, I would advise starting with that (and the "Holocaust").  Although the early videos work (ex. Enlightenment), I have learned much about utilizing better audio and webcam equipment. More on this to come...

Class Wiki:


Comments & Communication

Please contact me with comments or questions you have with this model.  Since this is still relatively new, dialogue about what works and what doesn't is vital. You can either leaver comments directly in the blog, or contact me at any of the following:

Twitter:  @Mr_Driscoll
Email: or