A flipped classroom Pt 1: The implementation

When I first attempted to create a flipped classroom, I spent a long time making videos:

–videos in which I screen cast the smartboard I was using

–videos in which I set up the camera in front of the smartboard

In both instances, the videos I created seemed forced. Like most people, I don’t love the sound of my own voice when it is played for me—the irony that I am a teacher is not lost on me here.

As for the screen casts, the videos I created were okay, but I felt that there were already better suited “flipped” videos readily available online that covered the same material. For instance, the website: http://www.showme.com/topic/math is just one of many readily available video banks that have a lot well done flipped videos.

For this reason, I decided to choose from the library of pre-existing videos to try out flipped teaching.

For the lesson on equivalent fractions I chose this video for the students homework to watch: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U2ovEuEUxXQ

The next day I started with 3 questions and a quick assessment task:

* Who watched the video? *20 of the 23 students watched the video.

* Was it easy to access the video? *19 students found it easy…one student’s internet was acting up, so they went next door to their friend’s house. The other 3students didn’t have their parents check their email.

**Ranking the video from 1 to 5 ( 5 being amazing), what would you rank your enjoyment?** Most said 3 (this is math we are talking about, not Wreck it Ralph)

At this point (4 minutes into the class) I had all the students who watched the video and felt comfortable with the concepts go on computers and try playing one of the two following links:

http://ca.ixl.com/math/grade-5

http://www.free-training-tutorial.com/math-games/fractions-equivalent-matching.html?1&

Students who didn’t understand the concept, or hadn’t watched the video re-watched it with me, going over the points that needed clarification; mostly, how fractions with different numbers can be the same size.

Once this was grasped, these students also went on the computers to “play”( their term not mine).

Watching the students perform I categorized students into 3 loose categories: gets the concept and needs greater challenges, is starting to grasp the concept independently, and needs further teacher instruction.

For the duration of the letter lesson( another 25 minutes) Those from the first category were challenged by finding equivalent fractions with mixed and improper numbers, the second group worked on mastering the skill of matching normal equivalent fractions and those of the third category worked around the smartboard with me giving my lions share to this group. We reviewed what a fraction is and used diagrams and blocks to examine how two fractions with different amounts could be equal.

I found the lesson fulfilling. I have it in my bank of “gourmet lessons” for future years and I will use it again. I probably put 3 to 4 hours into planning this lesson. It is my belief, that any lesson a competent teacher places that amount of time into developing, whether it is ‘flipped’ or not, should probably go over better than most.

That being said, the kids really took to the flipped model. I did two other lessons very similar to this; one on comparing and ordering fractions and another on adding and subtracting numbers. I have had a positive experience with it so far.

The next step will be investigating how the students felt they did.

Until then, see you on the flip side!

Jesse Denison

Jesse,

I’ll comment here before I go to “part 2” because you’ve raised a few great points! The first is the time and focus you’ve put into creating lessons – it is a very front-end loaded process; however, you realized that you’ve now got this lesson in the vault for later. What’s great is that you know it works!

The other point is student feedback. There are a few others in the Cohort who are soliciting student feedback directly, and that is a very powerful way to build engagement and capacity behind your flipped approach!

I really enjoyed how this post captured your overall approach, and how you’ve followed up with some data points as well. The only thing I can say at this point is that I HOPE your school admin’ and colleagues are aware of the great thought, time and energy you’re putting in, and of the great results your capturing for your school!

On to the second installment!