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Flipped Classroom Information

What is the flipped classroom and why are we doing it?

 

To make a long story short, a flipped classroom is where students are assigned lesson videos that we have produced to be watched outside of class time.  They then get class time to work on the problems.  One of the big reasons that we made the switch after a lot of research was that we were finding that, despite good intentions at home, many parents who have been away from the math for awhile just aren't able to give the help they'd like.  By flipping the way we do things, the teachers are on hand as the students are practicing the new material that they have learned.  Instead of "talking at" students for most of a class period and just hoping they got it and can work on it at home on their own we are now able to let the students take in the new information from the videos at their own pace.  They can pause and replay things as much as needed.  They then get to come to class with any questions that may have come up in the videos and also have other classmates as well as their teacher on hand to help them through the new material.  One other issue that is very big for some students is being away from school.  It really doesn't matter if they are sick, at a school function or on a family vacation.  Gone is gone and missing class time in such a sequential discipline as mathematics can be very hard to overcome.  Now they can take the teacher and the lessons with them wherever they go.

 

Some Guidelines and Suggestions for Our Version of the Flipped Classroom

 

  1. Videos are to be seen BEFORE coming to class.  This may mean that they are done at home, before or after school on school computers or wherever things work out for each student.  Students without internet access have been given DVD's or Flash Drives to take the videos home if they have access to computers, DVD players or gaming systems.  It is the students responsibility to bring in their flash drives to get the new videos uploaded when they need them.
  2. Notes must be taken on the new content from each video.  Points will be given for this.  This adds some accountability to who is actually watching the videos.  Make sure that students are not only copying what they see on the videos, but also LISTENING to what is being presented so that they can get the most from the lessons.  The work shown on the screen alone doesn't tell the whole story of the lesson.
  3. At the start of the next class a short Lesson Quiz is given to students.  They are allowed to use notes that were taken from the assigned video to help them out.  The main focus of these lesson quizzes is to get the students on the correct homework track for that lesson based on what they seemed to have gotten out of the new lesson video.  Even though a minimal point value is given to the lesson quizzes, don't put a lot of emphasis on those points.  They are minimal and again, the main reason for these is to get the students in the appropriate homework track.  Remember also that the students are doing this as a quick snapshot of what they learned and they haven't had a chance to practice any of the new material yet.
  4. Class time is intended for working on the practice problems, NOT FOR VIDEOS.  The main focus of classroom time is to let students work on the new concepts together and also have easy access to the teacher in case they have questions or need help with those new concepts.
  5. Students are responsible for keeping track of the information on their Campus Portal to see what they may have missing or incomplete and to notify Mr. Goede if they have finished it or if they need a make-up Lesson Quiz loaded on the server for them to take.
  6. Students receive weekly schedules (also online) so that they know everything that is expected of them that week.  Any time missed away from class should still be taken care of away from school.
  7. ASK, ASK, ASK!!!  Even though the method of delivery of each lesson has changed, teachers still aren't mind-readers.  If something didn't click while viewing the lesson video or students aren't understanding the practice problems they still need to ask so the problem can be taken care of.

 

Grading in the Flipped Classroom

 

  1. The number one focus is for the students to be able to show what they know and that's where a majority of the grade will come from.  Chapter Quizzes and Tests will give the students most of their points.
  2. Points will be given for taking notes on the videos.  This is also an accountability step so we have a pretty good idea of which students are watching the videos.
  3. Points will be given for Lesson Quizzes.  Each question is only worth 1/10th of a point.  Since the lesson quizzes are more for us as teachers to see which homework path to assign the students, not a lot of emphasis needs to be focused on how they actually scored.
  4. Homework is worth ZERO POINTS!  Homework is just an expectation in mathematics as a way to practice the new concepts.  Other than a very limited number of students who "just get it", homework is really one of the only ways to understand the new concepts by practicing them.  Another reason for not giving points for homework is that it potentially inflates grades and gives students points just for doing something and not for showing what they know.  Remember that most homework is the first time students are trying the new concepts out.

 

Retakes and Mastery...aka No Grade is Set in Stone

 

The ultimate goal is for students to take as much mastery away from the course that they are currently taking.  That being said, it's also a fact that each student learns in their own way and at their own pace.  For that reason we are always willing to let students retake quizzes or tests for a chance to better their grades.  It also lets some students who may pick things up at a little slower pace a chance to test when they are comfortable with the concepts that maybe weren't clicking so much when they first learned them.  Because we don't want students to just take a shot in the dark at retaking any assessments they do have some requirements that need to be taken care of before they can attempt any retakes.  The main reason is we want to be sure they have put in the extra time to do better and aren't just taking that leap of faith, which is a waste of time for both student and teacher.

 

  1. ALL homework problems and notes from the sections covered on the quiz or test being retaken must be completely finished.  To be rewarded with the extra opportunity, the basic expectations must be met first.
  2. Students must also finish problems from the "Reteaching" packets that covers (or re-covers) the material that the student may have struggled with earlier during the learning process.
  3. Students must give Mr. Goede at least one full days notice that they intend to do a retake.

 

 

Is the flipped classroom a perfect model?  Of course not.  If a perfect model existed for teaching mathematics (or any other subject), every teacher in every school everywhere would be doing it.  It may be better for some students and not so much for others, but if worked correctly it should at least let the teacher have more direct time with students as they practice their new concepts instead of just being in front of a class and lecturing.  Bottom line in the math classroom is that the students will still need to be putting in the time to practice the new concepts, ask questions and get help with things they don't understand and generally put in a genuine effort.  There aren't many shortcuts to learning math without putting in the work.