Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Flipping the Classroom, for a unit...

Flipping the Classroom. It's a concept that I really like but really struggle with. To me, if you are flipping the classroom, you are truly giving complete ownership of the learning to the kids (aka, go research this topic and learn it). However, I have control issues and I feel like that doesn't always work. What if they find wrong information? So, I create my own instructional videos of the lessons, embed them in an online assignment on ASSISTments and that becomes their homework. Is this flipped? The kids are still learning from me.... but at home. So you see, I go back and forth with whether or not this is truly a flipped classroom. But, you have to start somewhere right?

I've done preheats and I've done go learn the topic on your own before.... but never for an entire unit. This term, I was inspired by a fellow MDC coach to try it for an entire unit. And what unit would be more perfect than sequences and series? This is an extremely short unit for my trig kids and because we only focus on finite sequences and series, it's not a terrible stretch to give the reigns over to my students. Plus, half my kids are recovery so they've been through the material before. I think, it can be done.....

I just did some reading about some other Flipped Classrooms that are being done in high school level classes and they sound pretty successful. The teacher even commented that she has some students who don't even watch the videos anymore! Something that I did love was that she also had her kids create lessons for certain topics. Love that project :) And I love that it was creating a flipped classroom instructional video. Idea taken, perhaps next year ;)

Below, I've included the Flipped Classroom Plan (that I'll be implementing in May) followed by the guided notes / practice problems (Glencoe Algebra 2). In the plan, I highlight what all the kids will need to accomplish each night for the lesson as well as the practice details for the following day. If you notice, we'll be using my speed dating / taskcards! I also am planning a new way to practice real world problems. Students will be creating their own (modeled after the examples). Bring these to class to post (and have other kids solve). After ample time, they will then check over the answers of their peers and provide feedback. If only it were May...... (I really can't wait to try this out)
Some requirements of the children when they are learning at home:
-Watch the Video Lessons (three per Learning Target)
-Complete Guided Notes Pages
-Make two comments/questions/answers on the Taskstream Discussion Forum

For accountability purposes, this will be for a Project Grade and my students will be graded based upon the Quality of their Notes/Guided note Pages/Commentary in the Discussion Forum. I will be doing old school walk around the room checks of peoples' notes. Not as much fun.... Or..... I could collect notebooks and check/grade these while they are completing the practice tasks of the day! I think I like that one better. Thanks for listening :) That helped me work through that thought.

Later on, I shall post again with some results/reflections.


  1. I actually use the flipped classroom approach to teaching in my Pre Algebra and Algebra 1 classes and I absolutely love it. I created all my videos on my own because I feel it is important for my students to see me teach the material the way I'm going to approach it in class. They hear me, see me, and therefore are familiar with my "dorky" ways. The kids love it because they are seeing me and they even comment on my outfits. To them it feel real when it's me. My kids also so love the fact that the videos are available to them all year so when it comes time to review for midterms and finals, they can go back an watch videos on material that they forgot or struggle with before these exams (they can't go back and do that the traditional way). I did go and do training in flip classroom just because I'm a perfectionist and I wanted to make sure that I was as prepared as possible. I would love to talk to you more about it if you are interested.

    1. Danelle,

      I would love to get any feedback/suggestions/thoughts on this flipped classroom! I'm going to be doing it in May so I have plenty of time! Any advice would be sincerely appreciated!

      p.s. my kids love the videos too, not sure why I don't just do an entire flipped class if I already have a stock of my videos ;)


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