Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Tried It Tuesday: Flipping Math Class!

Hi everyone! I'm linking up with Fourth Grade Flipper for Tried It Tuesday to talk about something I am really excited about trying: Flipping my classroom for math!

For those who don't know, here's "flipping the classroom" in a nutshell:
  • The idea is to maximize our use of students' face-to-face time with the teacher in class.
  • Typical classes (especially in Math) start with direct instruction from the teacher, then we take a little time to practice together and students do much of the individual practice for homework.
  • Flipping the classroom is the idea of switching up the order of events. Students watch a video to introduce the new topic/skill for homework the night before the lesson.
  • Then they come into class with notes and questions.
  • The teacher can then spend almost the entire class time working with small groups on the skill, because there's no need to repeat the "lecture" or direct instruction portion of the lesson.
Last year, one of my teammates took a class on "flipping" and loved it. I was skeptical. Fast forward to this fall... When we got our new schedules, we found that we really only have 45-50 minutes a day for math, tops. Last year, we had 75, so this meant we needed to radically change the way we were teaching if we wanted to be effective.

My other teammate and I started doing some research, and she started taking the same class. (I'm in grad school already, so I'm skipping out on the formal class for now!) The one thing we both learned through our classes and research is that it is most effective when you video yourself giving the direct instruction, instead of using videos from your curriculum, Khan Academy, Study Jams, etc. I could do a whole blog post on reasons for this, but that can come later on, if there's interest!

The idea of videoing lessons scared me. It seemed time consuming, and I thought I would have to learn new technology. Then I found Katie Gimbar's YouTube videos. She makes it look so easy! Her videos are relatively low-tech, with minimal editing, but they are so effective!

Last week, my teammate and I videoed three math lessons, and created a website for our students to watch them on at home. It took us less than 30 minutes per video, including creating the PowerPoint that we use to show notes while we teach and videoing the entire lesson.

We have now watched two videos in class, and practiced taking notes together. Tonight, my students have their first video homework, so I am both excited and nervous to see how it went when they come in tomorrow!

After the video on Friday, TWO of my students told me that they like my videos much better than the ones we were using before (from our math curriculum). I was surprised because mine lack all of the animation and "fun stuff" that theirs include. I asked them why, and both answers were basically that it's easier to understand, because they're used to the way I teach! Talk about making this teacher's day!

If you're flipping your class, or are interested, I would love to have a teacher buddy to share ideas with!


  1. So awesome! I can't believe they give you such little time for math. You'll have to let us know how it goes.
    Kids Math Teacher

  2. I have heard about how effective flipping instruction is, but so many of my kiddos don't have access to the internet at home. Have you run into this problem at all?

    Mrs. Laffin's Laughings

    1. What we're doing for now is allowing those students to come to class early in the morning, before school starts, to watch the videos. So far, it's working fine, but like I said, we're just getting started!

  3. I'm so excited to have found you! I just started flipping this week in math (4th grade). I'd love to share ideas soon!

    iTeach 1:1

  4. I look forward to hearing more about this from you. One of the 6th grade teachers at my school is doing a flipped classroom for math this year. She is loving it.

    Hunter's Teaching Tales
    Find me on Facebook

  5. I love this idea. I do a little bit of flipping, but generally I do what you mentioned with videos from Learnzillion, StudyJams, YouTube, etc. I always assign a video on Edmodo and have the kids type a response to me that night. It is amazing the things they reply back to me after watching the videos. I will need to try doing my own lessons now that I have an iPad that records. Thank you so much for sharing!
    Rockin' and Lovin' Learnin'

  6. Thanks everyone! Once we get a little further into things, I want to do a series on flipping - the why and the how. I'm really excited about how it's going so far!

  7. Wow! This is amazing! I wouldn't even know where to begin and the videos sound like a lot of work. However, I can really see the value in having you create the videos. I would be worried that my students wouldn't watch the videos because about half of them have poor home support and limited internet access. It would be great to try something like this and I am looking forward to hearing more about it! Thanks so much for sharing. :)
    Fourth Grade Flipper

  8. I love the idea of a flipped classroom. Can't wait to see your updates on it!



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