In some classrooms the presence of cell phones is not a problem as flipped classrooms extend the learning experience for students. In some schools, the presence of iphones and headphones would be a problem. However, this is a regular occurrence in Mike Skinner and Ryan Luedtke’s math classes.
Called a “flipped classroom,” it’s a new concept that a few math teachers at Janesville-Waldorf-Pemberton schools are implementing. Instead of students learning the math lesson during class, they view the lesson online outside of class then come to school with questions to complete what was previously thought of as “homework” during class time.
“Kids are getting support from experts in the classroom,” said JWP Superintendent Bill Adams of the concept.
With the traditional classroom method, students would often go home, need assistance with their homework and find that parents wouldn’t know how to help. With the flipped classroom, students get help on “homework” from their teachers.
Luedtke’s algebra class prepares students for future flipped classes using self-made YouTube video to teach the lesson. Students sit in groups around an iPad or computer to watch the lesson. A group leader keeps the group on track, allowing Luedtke to answer questions and help with math problems as necessary.
“I show all my videos during class so I know all the students have watched the video,” said Luedtke in an email. “The lesson moves quicker with a video and note sheets. The students don’t have to spend time writing out the problem in their notebook. They can spend their time writing down important information.”
Luedtke said he has seen improvement in student work and the amount of work that is actually handed in daily.
“Students get most if not all of their assignments done in class. I think they really like that part,” said Luedtke.
Not only has Luedtke gotten better results from student work, he said low-achieving student have also performed better with the new system.
“The lower achieving students turn in most of their assignments since they have almost 30 minutes each hour to work on their assignment,” said Luedtke.
Skinner’s geometry class is a more traditional flipped classroom in which students watch the lesson as homework and do their work in the classroom. Skinner said one of the main benefits of the flipped model is that students can process the lesson at their own pace without feeling like they’re holding the class back.
Skinner, who flipped his classes last year, asked students to vote on whether to continue using the model this school year. The vote was 37 to 1 in favor of flipping.
Parents also seem to like the new classes.
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