PJHS Students Flip For Math!

Story by Jill Blancher, Photos by John Carlisle
Review of Learning
Instant Feedback of Answers Chosen
Collaborative Learning
Figuring It Out

Video lectures at home? Homework in class? There is a new world of active learning where teachers can be present when students need them. What is it? It’s the FLIPPED CLASSROOM.  The flipped classroom is a teaching model in which the typical lecture and homework elements of a course are reversed. Short video lectures are viewed by students at home before the class session, while in-class time is devoted to exercises, projects, or discussions. Mrs. Blancher, one of our math teachers, uses this method to teach her 9th grade classes. Her story follows.

THEORY: The idea came to me after completing some graduate courses. The courses stressed having students explore the concepts versus being constantly told how to do things. This allows students to become better problem solvers. The courses also stressed how we live in a technological world and to use technology to benefit student learning.

IMPLEMENTATION: Because of what I was learning, I chose to execute a flipped classroom. The idea is that students will copy the notes the night before and come with questions about the topic. I have students copy the notes and then have a short discussion or quick overview of the concept. Then students work on the assignments and tasks in class where they have the opportunity to get more one on one help from the teacher. I have students completing their assignments on Canvas, an online program. This allows students to get immediate feedback and have the opportunity to fix and redo the problems to ensure understanding. Students are able to work ahead or slow down as they need. There are deadlines to have assignments completed, but students are allowed to take the tests/quizzes when they feel they know the material, not because it is test day.

IMPROVEMENTS IN LEARNING:  I have seen students taking more responsibility for their learning. They ask more questions, figure out where they are going wrong, and redo tests/quizzes/assignments quicker. As a teacher, I feel that I am more able to get around and give kids more help and assistance in class. I have had a decrease in the need for remediation.  I have felt that students are more willing to ask questions as it is the norm and not in front of everyone where they might not be comfortable doing so. I am all about trying new things and adapting to fit needs of students. Learning is a continuous road and is evolving with the new generations and the technology being developed.