Flipped Classroom a la Kaizena-Mode

“Now take your #3 whisk and using a flick with your wrist type motion, gently create soft yet formed peaks.”

When cooking shows moved beyond public television, some chefs were so technical, viewers began defenestrating their whisks and grabbing the Chinese take out menu.

Yes, there is a science to cooking. There is also an art. Neither requires an advanced degree in thermodynamics nor 19th Century Impressionism.

The same is true for flipping your classroom.  The process does not require a special skillet, or having a degree in flipitude. I will share with you a simple secret recipe handed down to me by my great great great grandmother all the way from Bartovia and in 6 weeks you will have a 45 minute flipped lesson ready to share with your eager students.

Just kidding. I will share a simple recipe that any teacher who wants to flip can use. Total time: 20 minutes to prepare and launch.

But, first, let me answer the question: why flip?

                                          “People who love to eat are the best people.” - Julia Child

Many articles attribute the flipped classroom to Aaron Sams and Jon Bergmann - the founders of flipped classroom. Yes, they are fantastic teachers and mentors, and yes, they brought flipped classroom to forefront of education.

They didn’t create the process, though (ssh! Don’t tell them).

You know who did? English teachers.

“For homework, please read Chapter 3 of To Kill A Mockingbird. e will discuss it in class.”

That set of instructions is the essence of a flipped classroom. Students learn the concepts or skills outside the classroom and then discuss the information or act on the skills in class.

That’s all flipped classroom model really is when it is broken down.

Instead of teaching the concept in class and having students practice using it for homework, the process is flipped.

Here are a few examples:

  1. At home, students are exposed to the process of converting ounces to milliliters and are shown several examples (through text and video); in class, they work on sample problems and applying the process to a real world problem (e.g., converting the measurements of pumpkin pie from imperial to metric).
  2. Students read about and listen to the parsing of the Italian word, “mangiare” (eat) at home; in school, they demonstrate their understanding by using it in a sentence in class as they have an Italian feast.
  3. Students view and discover  recipe instructions at home and understand the structure;  the in class lesson is to have students compose a recipe from the First Thanksgiving.

In all of the above scenarios, the learning takes place outside the classroom and the doing/activity in the classroom (vs. the traditional model of the learning in the class and homework is doing).

                                    "Cooking is like painting or writing a song. Just as there are only so many notes or 

                                    colors, there are only so many flavors - it's how you combine them that sets you 

                                     apart." - Wolfgang Puck

The benefits of Flipped Classroom are:

  1. Students can receive more support and direct instruction on tasks vs. asking their parental units for help on homework
  2. Deeper dives into content through discussions and activities can take place if the basic concepts are learned at home
  3. Teachers’ role shift from being the sage on stage to guide on the side.

And those are just 3; there are more (check out https://www.jonbergmann.com/# and https://flippedlearning.org/ for more information).

With the benefits in the forefront, you can taste the opportunity. Imagine your classroom now bustling with learning and activity and you engaging in conversation and building up the wonder and excitement of students.

                                      "Cook more often. Don't study; just cook." - Masaharu Morimoto

I’m going to provide a recipe to create a flipped classroom using 4 ingredients. It’s by no means the ONLY way to flip, but following Gene Simmon’s rule of keep it stupidly simple (aka KISS), it’s as easy as those no-bake desserts.

                                     "Initially let your food do the talking. You'll be surprised how far you go in a short 

                                      period of time." - Gordon Ramsay

               Recipe: Roasted Flip Lesson with honey-glaze and balsamic reduction


  1. 1 Concept, piece of content, or skill
  2. 1 or more activities for students to complete in class
  3. Google Docs
  4. Kaizena

Prep Time: 20min               Learn Time:  20min at home                 Activity Time: 1 class period


  1. Preheat your computer by turning it on and searching through your multitude of lessons plans. Select 1 concept, piece of content, or skill.
  2. From your recipe box, select 2-3 activities associated with the concept, content or skill (e.g., worksheet, project, writing prompt, set of math problems, experiment).
  3. Open up a Google Doc and activate the Kaizena add-on.
  4. Insert the concept, content or skill in the Google Doc.
  5. In the Kaizena add on, click on “Attach a Lesson” and then “Manage Lessons on app.kaizena.app”

           Note: creating a Kaizena Lesson (micro-unit of learning) enhances the learning by identifying a key concept or            skill and attaching information which can be in the form of text, video, or audio. For step by step instructions on            how to create a Kaizena lesson, click on this link.

     6.  Return to your Google Doc open, place your concept, content, or skill in the document.

            - For example, if students are learning about the Boston Tea Party, place a paragraph, or an image related to the               event.

     7. Using Kaizena, highlight a section and select, “Attach a Lesson.”

     8. Select the Kaizena lesson you want.

     9.  Repeat steps B & C until the content, skill, or concept is sufficiently explained.

Learning Time

  1. Assign your students the Google Doc with Kaizena Add on.
  2. Provide instructions on what you want your students to do (e.g., read through the content and the lessons; take notes on the Google doc; use Kaizena to leave feedback for your classmates to hear/read and comment on).

Activity Time

  1. In class, assign the 1-3 activities you back in Step 2 of Preparation.
  2. For students who need reinforcement, either have them review the content on the Google Doc or work with those students directly (e.g., one on one, small group, etc.).
  3. Observe students’ performance on the activities and provide instructional support when needed.
  4. Five minutes before class ends, perform a check-out (ask students how they took to the flipped model; what worked well; what could be improved).

                                 "I believe that there is always something new to learn, in fact, that is one of the three                                    reasons that I chose to become a chef, that my education is never                                   over." - Anne Burrell

Well, there you have it. A simple recipe to create a flipped classroom.

But wait! Just like every chef has a ready made seven layer cake topped with lemon chiffon icing, my colleagues and I at Kaizena are providing you with a sample flipped lesson and a video that depicts how we created it. Feel free to make a copy of the sample lesson as a model.


Cooking, like teaching, requires a combination of instructing, creativity, sweat, and determination. Chefs only use the best ingredients. Teachers should, too. Kaizena is one of those ingredients to help you flip your classroom into a world of wonderfully delicious learning.

                                  "I tell a student that the most important class you can take is technique. A great chef                                    is first a great technician. If you are a jeweler, or a surgeon or a cook, you have to                                    know the trade in your hand. You have to learn the process. You learn it through                                    endless repetition until it belongs to you." - Jacques Pepín

Ariel Margolis
Ariel has designed innovative instructional and e-learning curricula for more than twenty years. He is Director of Student Support Services and Adjunct Lecturer in special education at Hebrew College.
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