Golden Apple: Brainerd ASL Students Learn Through Flipped Classroom Approach
The American Sign Language Class at Brainerd High School is full of students who all have a different reason for taking the elective.
“We have friends who are deaf and I knew that my entire life, but I never knew how to talk to them,” said Evie Rager, a freshman at Brainerd High School.
But no matter the reason, all the students are taking on the challenge of learning a new language.
“I like this class and it is a good environment,” said Shaylyn Johnson, a freshman at Brainerd High School.
But here in Ms. Converse’s class at Brainerd High School, they are learning to sign differently.
“My classroom approach to teaching is a little different since we have a flipped classroom,” said Jody Converse, the ASL Instructor at Brainerd High School. “That means that students usually take the lecture video, watch that at home on their own time, and then they come into class and do the work and discussion and if they have any questions, we can help them through that.”
This method is opposed to the more traditional learning environment of lecture during class and working on the materials at home.
“I think it helps you learn better just because you can re-listen to everything and re-watch the signs that she does,” Johnson said.
The flipped classroom has not only received positive feedback from students, but it’s also showing up in their grades.
“This year, I have had the highest grade levels I have had in the past six years, so I am really seeing a positive take on that in my classroom,” Converse said.
And that’s helping students to learn a skill that can be applied outside of the classroom.
“A lot of my student take what they learn out in the community, and we have a wonderful supportive deaf community here in Brainerd that take in my sign babies and work with them,” Converse said.
That’s no matter what their future goals are.
“I would like to be a special needs teacher so they use sign in those classes, and so I would like to do that,” Johnson said.