Monday, April 9, 2012

What is a Flipped Classroom?

Creighton School District’s Project iAchieve is getting ready to pilot a “Flipped Classroom” model with a middle school math class. The students will be issued iPads to use for both their homework and in class work. Yes, that means they will be taking them home. But what is a flipped classroom?

In a “traditional” classroom, students listen to a conventional lecture with the teacher sharing the information they need to know, they might have a few minutes to practice a couple of problems or ask a question, then they go home and complete their “homework” based upon the information they heard during the lecture. In the flipped classroom, this process is flipped, or reversed. Lectures become the homework and class time is used for student collaboration, interaction with the teacher, practice and problem solving that addresses a variety of learning styles and abilities. For homework, students learn the content often through video lectures, many of which can be created by the teacher. These video lectures can be accessed at any time and played as many times as needed to learn and understand the content. During class time, students work on solving problems, asking questions, interacting with the teacher and other students, and having misconceptions about the content resolved.

While many think the flipped classroom is about the videos – it’s not. It’s really about what happens in the classroom after students have viewed the videos - interactions and meaningful learning activities that happen during the face-to-face time in the classroom, planned and facilitated by the teacher. It is about student centered learning, students taking responsibility for their own learning. The flipped classroom is about beginning with the end in mind, locating or creating quality learning resources, and placing the content into context and building conceptual understanding

In-class learning activities support the stated learning objectives, help students process their learning, and gives context to the content through real world scenarios. Students collaborate with and tutor each other, ask in depth questions, and take ownership of the content. Learners are actively engaged in problem solving and critical thinking as they discuss the content with the teacher and each other.

The flipped classroom allows learners to work both independently and collaboratively – helping each other learn - along with coaching from the teacher.

The flipped classroom allows learners to build on their existing proficiencies, interests, and experiences through extended face time with the teacher and other students. This allows them to engage in discourse about the mathematical content and resolve misconceptions as they arise and before they are embedded into memory.

The flipped classroom allows teachers to ensure that all students are given tasks that help them improve their conceptual understanding and think with and about mathematical concepts. It provides many opportunities to “make sense of problems and persevere while solving them” (CCSS Mathematical Practice).

The flipped classroom utilizes a range of assessment practices to evaluate student progress in learning and mastery of the content and to improve curriculum planning. Assessments can include in class checks for understanding, formative assessment, and teacher anecdotal data.

Flipped Classroom Resources:

Three Part Series of Articles on the Flipped Classroom:

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