Column: A new way to teach math » Opinion », Salem, MA

Found this article and I LOVE it!!  This is a great way to think about Common Core!  We need to teach differently and that is a GOOD thing!  Change the way we teach so that we can change the way students learn and make them better learners for the future!

Column: A new way to teach math » Opinion », Salem, MA.


Flipping and Common Core

So Friday was an Institute Day for us with morning sessions for all the teachers to go through (keep in mind there are 8 schools in our district).  One of the sessions was given by myself and my co-teacher.  We had to condense a 3 hour professional development into a 25minute presentation on Flipping our Classroom.  Needless to say I felt like I was spewing information at people and hoping for the best.  We did get a lot of great feedback and I know we hope to do more sessions after school.

Here is where I am at with Flipping my Classroom:

– When I started flipping in January I was kind of on my own – no matter what websites I read – everyone is on their own the first time.  I struggled to get people on board (did get my co-teacher on board with my craziness 🙂 ) and had many questions asked to me and questions myself.  I learned with my students about what worked and what didn’t.  In the end I can’t wait to continue!

Some of the questions I get asked and my opinons:

– What about no internet or no computer?

A: Well, first I preface with the fact that I work in a 1:1 district, however the best idea I have for this is to use your video as a center to preview the next day or unit.  As for no internet – I make my videos downloadable – meaning they download before they leave class and watch it at home without internet!  The assessment I have to go with the video might be on the internet, so for them I recommend using their Excel (Homeroom) time wisely and get it done int he afternoon or morning!

– What if they don’t do their homework?

A: My question back is what do you do if they don’t do their regular homework (worksheets and book work?  The advantage is that they can now take a few minutes at the start of class to catch up and then join the activities for the day.  I do have assessments with the videos so they will lose points for not completing them on time, but then they have the lesson.  I will say that some of the students who struggle with homework completion do more when it is a video – they would rather listen to us than do a worksheet 🙂

– What about our special education students?

A:  This is also one of the biggest advantages in my opinion.  When I teach a class I know that some student catch on 2 minutes after I start and are bored…some of the class is following along…the rest are lost 2 minutes after I started talking (including many special education students).  Videos for homework allow those students who need to hear the lesson as many times as needed – CAN!! 🙂  I love it!  (FYI – you need to teach them to go back and re-listen!)  They also come to class prepared for discussion (HUGE for common core) because they have already seen the lesson and even if they don’t know how to do it they heard the vocabulary for it and are more likely to participate!

– Does it take longer to do?

A: Only because you GET to plan more student centered activities….I know…such an issue – NOT!  This is what we all wanted – time to let our students get to mastery through activities, projects, labs, etc.  I would have made the notes anyway (now their more interesting) and it takes 5 more minutes to record!  Now I do more centers and the would have been homework is a center and classwork for a grade!  I can help them before they do an entire worksheet wrong! 🙂

– How do you hold them accountable?

A: I always include something to do after or during.  Ideas: short google forms, discussion boards, warm-up, exit slip, take notes and check in for points.  (FYI – for math I never hold them accountable to start solving problems after watching a video – I still want to work with them in live person – so questions might be ‘What is opposite operation?’ not solve x – 6 = 23)

– What are the advantages/benefits?

A: Some of the biggest benefits of flipping is that I can really get to work with my students one on one or in small groups and they get to work with each other.  Some of your quieter students can watch videos and email you with questions so they are not embarrassed.  And then there is Common Core.  Common Core is supposed to go deeper than the first layer of math concepts we normally teach.  By making videos for some of the concepts we can keep moving fluidly through the parts of each Standard.

For now, these are my thoughts.  I will let you know my progress as I continue this journey!  Please share your questions and comments here!

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