Tuesday, December 20, 2011

A Couple of Exciting Events!

The last week of break brought two interesting and exciting events to my flipped classroom.  First, I found out that I received $1,100 from our Kenowa Hills Education Foundation to help purchase technology for my flipped classroom.  My original intent was to purchase some i-pod touches for students without internet access at home.  I intended to download the videos as podcasts and go from there.  I am, however, open to other suggestions.  If anyone has recommendations on how to make that whole process run smoothly I would greatly appreciate your feedback (is there a different resource that would be better than i-pod touches?)  Again, my goal with this grant was to get students access to the videos if they don't have any other access available.  This is really exciting, and I want to give a huge THANK YOU to the Kenowa Hills Education Foundation for approving my grant! 

The second bit of excitement happened within hours of finding out my grant was approved.  I was in my class, when my principal & another gentleman entered.  My principal asked if he could cover my room the last 15 minutes until lunch because, as I come to find out, the gentleman with him was a reporter from our local newspaper.  He had heard about my flipped classroom and wanted to know more.  I ended up talking to him for over an hour.  As it turns out, he used to be a math teacher, so he was very well versed in what works in education.  He was very positive and excited about what I was doing.  We talked a lot about how the flipped classroom runs, but also the theory behind it, and why it works. 

As we were talking about how I found out about the flipped classroom, he brought up how lucky I am to have a supportive administration (which I am) because not every school would take a risk like this.  He then asked about how long I'd been teaching (10 years), and where I went to school (Michigan State).  Then I told him I also went to Grand Valley for my Master's Degree, and Grand Valley again for my Ed. Specialist Degree.  I'm not sure the right word for it, but he seemed surprised and pleased to hear how educated I was.  He actually referred to me as a "highly educated nerd"....I took it as a compliment!  The reason he was pleased is because he was glad that the district was taking a risk with someone who knows what they're doing, and is so well educated.  I appreciate the vote of confidence because sometimes I feel like I don't have a clue what I'm doing ;)

He will be coming back in January to take some pictures and talk some more.  I intend to post the article once he writes it.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

The "Talk"

After my meeting with my principal, I came into class on Monday and had "the talk" with the students.  One thing you need to know about my teaching style is that I don't sugar coat things for students.  Don't get me wrong, I'm not mean about what I say, I am just honest.  I feel that they are becoming adults, and need to start hearing the truth directly.  Anyhow, I have gotten a bit off topic :)

Our conversation Monday focused on the how I see things running right now, and how I envision them in my happy little dream world.  I also was very honest about what my goal is for our math class.  They responded pretty well to this.  I get pretty passionate about education, and I think that rubs off on the kids.

We also talked about how I envision the class running, when it is running perfectly.  I have them for about an hour, so in that hour I want to spend:
* 10 minutes going over questions from the video from the previous night
* 15 - 45 minutes of independent work (they work on the old homework, I walk around helping kids)
* 15 - 30 minutes of extensions

In addition, I came to a realization this past week.  When I reflected back on how things have been going, and I thought about why I am doing this, it comes down to student success.  My goal is for students to be successful in mathematics.  One thing that is hindering the student's success is that they aren't coming to class prepared.  Therefore, I made the decision to allow students to get a head start on their homework video if they finished (and have mastered) the previous night's lesson.  This has helped out considerably, in regards to kids getting their videos watched.

One issue I have found (it seems like there's always something, huh) is that students are completing their "homework", checking it, and turning it in.  However, when they check it, they don't seek out help if they got something wrong.  Therefore, I am starting another new procedure in my room next week.  I plan to have several problems on the board.  The students must finish their "homework", then answer a question on the board correctly before they can move on to extension projects.

One of these days (probably in May) I might actually have this whole flipped thing figured out!  Until then, I hope you readers are learning right along with me.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Parent Feedback

Like I mentioned in my last post, I had parents fill out a survey in regards to how they think math is going for their child.  I decided to dedicate a whole post with their short answer responses.  These are direct quotes from the surveys I had the families fill out.

What positives are you noticing about the flipped classroom?
~ I think it is a great program.  It informs parents as well as gives you time to help those that don't understand.
~ She seems to learn more.
~ Math has always been a subject my daughter struggled in, but this year she has done 100% better with it.  I think the flipped classroom has given her the time and help she needed to understand the assignments.
~ My son has really improved in math as compared to last year.
~ I believe it's a great idea because the kids can pause and rewind the explanation of how to do their homework.  I even watch it with my son sometimes to keep myself up to date.
~ I think that having the homework on the computer actually gets my daughter excited to do it.  I usually don't have to ask her to get her math homework done.
~ My son seems more interested and is taking the responsibility to watch/do the work.
~ It is easier for him to do the homework.
~ She is getting a lot better at math and responsibility.
~ I'm noticing a better attitude towards math, as opposed to the overwhelming feeling she had before.
~ Students really enjoy doing their homework on the computer.
~ She goes right to her computer after school to do her homework.
~ She just seems to be understanding it more.
~ He is excited to do his homework!
~ It allows teachers to help with math homework (parents don't always know how to) and it allows parents to watch the instructions.

What concerns do you have about the flipped classroom?
~ None of this is worth anything if a family is struggling and can't provide computer access.
~ She is in a hurry sometimes.
~ He doesn't have access to the internet when he goes to his dad's house.
~ We only have one computer in our household and many times in the evening all of us (4) need to get on-line and it can get too busy!
~ Is there enough time in the classroom to review assignments and check for understanding?
~ She spends too much time doing homework, and doesn't get much time for other things.
~ Students can't ask the teacher questions as they work through the problems on the video.
~ The kids who are not strong in math, and don't have the support at home may not get the questions asked on videos.  Some kids might not post questions if they are confused.
~ It is a middle class practice.  No ideal for poverty level families.

Do you have any changes you would recommend to make things run more smoothly?
~ Do you know of programs that help low income families get computers and low cost internet?
~ Potentially have homework time right after school for students.
~ Possibly have some DVD demonstrations for parents.

As you can see, lots of positives, and some legitimate concerns as well.  It was great to hear back from so many parents, and to know that they are supportive of what we're working so hard to do in the classroom!

The Survey Says....

I spent a lot of time this week talking to anyone who would listen to me about how to make the flipped classroom more successful.  I heard, on more than one occasion: "Why not just scrap it.  It sounds like a ton of work, and the kids aren't responding positively."  My response...I can't do that.  I know (and have the data to back it) that this is working.  I think my problem stems from the fact that I want everyone to be happy, and to be as exciting about flipped math as I am...I think this may be an unrealistic expectation.

So I decided to survey the students and parents to see what they had to say.  I expected that I would get  negative comments by some the students, as they seem awfully vocal when it comes to things they don't like.  I also put forth every effort to make the survey as anonymous as possible.  When it came to the parents, I really wasn't sure what to expect.  So without further ado, the survey said...

Student Survey Results
I feel like I understand math better in the flipped classroom.
Yes --> 35
No --> 9

I feel like I am performing better in math this year, compared to last year.
Better --> 29
Worse --> 4
Same as last year --> 10

Do you feel like the amount of homework being assigned is fair.
Yes --> 30
No --> 12

I also did some short answer responses, but almost all were overwhelmingly positive.  A few recommendations that I plan to implement are: keeping the videos below 10 minutes and giving optional extension projects once the students are finished in class. 

Parent Survey Results
I feel like my child understands math better in the flipped classroom (rather than traditional).
Yes --> 17
No --> 2

How is your child performing (in math) this year, compared to last year.
Better --> 12
Worse --> 0
Same as last year --> 7

Do you feel like the amount of homework being assigned is fair.
Yes --> 20
No --> 0

I also asked some short answer questions that I will feature in my next post...this one is getting lengthy :)  The parent results were even more positive to me than the student results. 

So now what?  What can I do to get kids to do their homework?  I'm going to try a couple of things.  First, I plan to put up a homework sheet in our lab that shows when kids have turned in their work.  Some claim they had no idea it wasn't done...hopefully this will clear it up (plus a little peer pressure never hurt anyone).  Also, on Friday we spend the last 30 minutes having "Fun Friday".  This is a treat for anyone who has all their homework/classwork done.  What has happened in the past is that students would spend every little second on Friday trying to get caught up, in order to get to participate.  From here on out, if a student had late homework, Fun Friday won't be an option...even if it's done.  I don't think it's fair to the students who bring their work in consistently to reward those last second procrastinators.

I also have a few other ideas up my sleeve if this doesn't work.  I'll leave you with a question many asked me through my ramblings this past week: "Do you think there are more kids not doing their homework now, than if they had traditional homework?"  My way.  If anything, I would probably have more students not turning in their homework if I went back to traditional teaching, and that makes me feel a little sense of satisfaction :)

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Wow...that's not surprising at all!

Our third math unit has come and gone, and with it I have noticed a few things:

First, some of the excitement that first accompanied the flipped experience has fizzled out a bit.  I'm sad to say that only half my students are watching the videos at home, and coming to class prepared.  While some of that is due to the fact that the students don't have a computer at home, there are also many who don't have that as an excuse.

Second, the relationship between student and teacher is very very powerful.  I teach two sections of math: my class, and the other 5th grade teacher's class.  We each have 25 students.  Of my 25 students, about 16 of them consistently watch the videos at home.  Of my co-teacher's class, about 9 of her 25 students return to class prepared.  What's interesting is that she sees the opposite when it comes to turning in homework to her (my class turns in far less than hers).  The only real difference here is that my students have a strong relationship with me, whereas hers have a relationship with her.

Third, when the students don't watch the homework videos at home, and therefore have to watch them in class, they don't perform as well on the unit assessment.  I know...duh, right?  What proof do I have, you ask?  That brings me to our unit 3 scores.  Instead of comparing class to class, I decided to compare the students who watched the videos on time (90% of the time) to those that watched the videos less than 90% of the time (usually using class time to view them).  Prepare to be amazed (heavy, heavy sarcasm):
Students who came to class prepared: 93.5% average
Students who came to class having not viewed the videos:  77.5%

Wow, that's not surprising at all.  I haven't totally decided what to do about it.  I have scheduled a time to be "cognitively coached" by my principal on options.  Next week, I hope to post about my plan.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

What's a typical day look like? (part 2)

First off, I apologize for not posting last week.  It is my intent to post weekly, but circumstances arose (report cards and parent teacher conferences) that made it difficult for me to find any free time to blog.  Now, moving on to my weekly post ;-)

As I mentioned in my last post, the students watch the video of my lecture as homework.  When math class begins, I always check to see if there were any questions about the previous night's video.  After answering questions, the students work on their worksheet.  The worksheet is what formerly would have been taken home for homework.

At this point of class, I have 5-10 students who are finishing/watching the video (as hard as I try, there are still kids who don't do the homework...I think I could dedicate a whole post to that frustration later).  The rest of the class is working on the worksheet.  I am busy walking around & checking students worksheets. Of all the components of a flipped classroom, I have found this part to be the most beneficial.  The time I spend checking/helping students one-on-one is something I could never seem to get to in a traditional classroom.  I have been able to see mistakes kids are making before they become ingrained in their heads.

Once a child has finished their worksheet, they log on to Khan Academy and begin working on extensions (I plan to feature Khan Academy in a future post, but it plays a major role in managing the students as they finish).  For those students who do not have access to internet at home, they are allowed to start their video for the following evening during class.

At the end of math class I talk very briefly about the expectations for the evening's work, and then we do it all over again the next day ;-)

Sunday, October 30, 2011

What's a typical day look like?

This is a question I've been asked more and more as the year has been progressing, so I thought I'd take this week's post to walk you through what my "typical" day looks like.  Rather than make a really long post, I'm going to break it up into two different posts.

I'll start with the homework, as that is where the biggest difference lies from the traditional method of teaching.  Each night, the students watch the next day's lesson on-line.  Right now I am taping my lecture using my document camera into i-movie.  From there I upload it to schooltube, which compresses it all for me.  After it's done compressing, I post it to my classroom edmodo site.  I just dropped a ton of tech lingo,  so if you're unsure of any of those terms, please check their hyperlinks ;-)  I have featured edmodo on my technology blog:, if you're interested in hearing more about that feature specifically (believe me, it is amazing).

I have embedded an example of one of my videos below, for you those of you wondering what it might look like.  Our school uses Math Expressions, so I basically go through the lesson from the book.  You'll notice at the beginning of the video I have posted the students "learning goal", I do this on every video and the students are required to write it in their journal.  They know that the learning goal is what is the most important thing they remember from the lesson.  So for this lesson, the students really needed to come away understanding which dimensions they need to determine perimeter and area of parallelograms and triangles.

I'll post next week about what happens once the kids get to school...tune in to find out more ;-)

Sunday, October 23, 2011


This week in math we didn't "flip" as normal because we were reviewing for our 2nd test, and we had two days worth of MEAP testing to contend with.  For those of you not from Michigan, MEAP testing is our state mandated testing that we take every fall, and it is a beast.  As we weren't doing our normal flip, I wasn't sure if I would have much to write about this week, but boy was I wrong!  I spent yesterday grading tests and looking at some of last year's data.

Let me preface this information with the knowledge that this test was, by far, the most difficult for my students last year.  That being said, I decided to compare last year's class scores to this year's scores.  First, I looked at their MAP testing averages (this is another assessment tool our school uses).
Last year's class average:  202
This year's class average:  206
That indicates that this year's class is slightly higher, but not by enough where I would think there would be much of a difference in overall performance.

Here's the exciting news!
Last year's class average on unit 2 - 79% (that is after they had a chance to retest)
This year's class average on unit 2 - 89% (this is without a retest opportunity yet)

I was blown away by the numbers!  To be fair, part of this growth could simply be because I have now taught the subject before (last year was our first year with our new math program), and I know more of what common issues to look for.  However, I can say that without a doubt, being able catch their mistakes early, and work more one-on-one has been a huge factor in their success.  What's even better, the kids are so proud of themselves!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Some exciting data...

For my first unit of flipped math, I experimented with flipping only one of our two math sections.  Last week I mentioned that my flipped class averaged about 5% more growth than the non-flipped class.  That was before I had all my tests in (there were a few absences, and a few retakes that were yet to be done).  I now have all the retesting/testing complete, and the results were pleasantly surprising!  My flipped class averaged 12% more growth from their pretest to their post test.  Wow!  While I was hoping for positive results, I didn't expect this.

As an added bonus, I also presented my flipped class to my Board of Education and they were extremely enthusiastic, giving me a ton of positive feedback.  I posted about that here.

We are now into the tail end of our second unit in math (a very short unit on area and perimeter).  We will be testing at the end of this week.  I did not give a pretest this unit...I absolutely intended to, but we had our state mandated MEAP test, which took up a large chunk of time, and last year when I gave the pretest for this unit, my students got almost everything wrong.  It is the most difficult unit of the year, and I can't wrap my head around why.  Basically, the students need to know how to find the area and perimeter of parallelograms, rectangles and triangles.  They are allowed to use their formula sheet on the test.  On next week's blog I plan to give a brief summary of how last year's students performed on this assessment, and a breakdown of how last year's kids compare to this year's students.

This week I did experience quite a bit of frustration with the students who aren't watching the video at home.  The students who don't have internet access aren't my biggest issue.  They have been trying to come in right off the bus (and even during their lunch) to watch the videos, and I have been very proud of their responsibility.  My issue comes from the students who have access to the computer at home, but still don't do the work.  I haven't really decided what I want to do about that.  I talked to the students about the issue & they recommended splitting the groups up, putting the kids who don't watch the videos in one group, and the kids who consistently watch the videos into another group...I have to admit, I have considered it, but the idea of not allowing some students to participate in flipped math goes against my core as a teacher.  But on the other hand, if they aren't watching the videos as homework are they really participating in flipped math right now?

As you can see, I am having some inner conflict, but I am hopeful that I'll work out a solution soon :)

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Presenting to the Board

A few weeks back my principal asked me if I would be willing to present my flipped classroom.  I was a little apprehensive, as I am just in the beginning stages of the process of flipping my classroom.  I agreed, and we presented on Monday night.

Looking back, I am so glad that I agreed to present.  The Board was engaged throughout the entire presentation, even interrupting a few times with questions.  Some of my most memorable moments & quotes:

~ "Game-changer...that's what I thought about when I listened to you talk."

~ "We need this in every class."

~ "I wish I would have been in your class when I was in school."

~ "What can we do to help?  This is the kind of innovative idea we love!"

~ And finally, my superintendent gave me two thumbs up when I was finished (and a handwritten thank you letter).

Overall it was an excellent evening that gave me a much needed (after having had a frustrating day in the computer lab) boost of spirit.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

The history of a flipped classroom

I think this infographic does a fantastic job explaining the history & rationale behind a flipped classroom.    I found it John Medici's blog.

The first it all played out

This past week was pretty exciting in my math class.  We started off by taking our first math test, which I will talk more about later in the post.  This week also marked the beginning of flipping with the other 5th grade class (as I mentioned in past posts, for the first unit I am only flipping my 5th grade class, and I am teaching math the traditional way to the other 5th grade class).  Finally, through a Professional Learning Network I belong to on edmodo, I found a new way to post videos that makes it easier for students to view and enlarge.

So, starting from the first event...test #1.  I want to preface this post by stating that I am hesitant to share my student's test data because I don't feel that I was able to truly run my flipped classroom as intended.  Rather than being able to go around and help one-on-one with student homework, I was spending a substantial amount of time trouble shooting technology problems.  That being said, I can tell you that I had several students comment that they re-watched some of the videos while they were studying for their test.  As far as my data goes...I started the unit with a pretest and ended with our district wide assessment.  Class A (flipped class) averaged a 45% on the pretest, while Class B (traditional) averaged a 43%.  After our first test, Class A's average growth from the pretest to the actual test was 44% (meaning, the average test score was close to 90%).  Class B's average growth from the pretest to the actual test was 38% (their average test score was an 82%).  Is this substantial...I'm not sure yet, but my gut tells me that it is.  I am really looking forward to when I am actually able to spend my time not worrying about tech problems (we're getting there).

The second major event this week was Class B began flipping as well.  With the exception of the large number of students who don't have access to a computer, they did very well!  The kids who couldn't view the videos at home came in as soon as they got off the bus & watched them.  I felt like I was finally starting to be able to do the flipped classroom as intended!

Finally, posting my videos online has been a bit of a struggle because they always showed up very small, and they took a long time to load.  I have been using i-movie to create the videos, then turning that into a quicktime movie & posting it on our class edmodo site.  I had a member of my P.L.N. suggest that I use schooltube, and it has been working great!  The videos have been loading faster (although our old student computers keep them from loading as quickly as I'd like), and the kids can enlarge as much as they need too.

I want to end with my highlight of the week:  I was walking around helping kids with their homework when I noticed that a student (who already had the video & notes done at home) was watching the video again.  I asked her why she was watching it again (curiosity got the best of me), and she replied, "I forgot how to find the perimeter, so I thought I'd watch it again to help remind me".  I almost did a happy dance right then and there!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Week 2 - Getting Ready for our First Test

This week I was approached by our school principal to do a presentation at our monthly school board meeting on my flipped classroom.  Of course, I agreed to, but I am a bit apprehensive about the whole presentation because I don't feel like I have been able to get everything running as smoothly as I'd like to.

Why not???  The real power of a flipped classroom comes from the students being able to get help on the homework . . . in class.  This week I haven't been able to do that because I am constantly trouble shooting technology issues.  The video didn't load, or the kids didn't have time to watch it.  If they are spending their class time watching the video, then how is that any different than the traditional way of teaching?  There in lies my frustration!  This week I have our school curriculum night & I am hoping to get more parents to understand the value of the flipped classroom, and encourage their child to get on the computer and do their homework.

Now that I got my frustration out of the way, I will say this, the dynamic between the two different classes has been quite interesting this week.  Both classes are on our math edmodo site (an aside - edmodo is the platform I am using the post videos and classroom discussions . . . it is awesome, and if you haven't used it with your classroom, you should check it out).  The other 5th grade class has noticed all the videos and are wondering why they can't watch them.  I let them know about what I was doing with my group, and they were a bit jealous.  This weekend the student's homework is to study for their first test (coming up on Monday).  I let both groups know that they could watch the videos as a review - in case they didn't understand something.  The other 5th grade class was pretty excited about that.  We'll have to wait and see whether they actually used them or not.

Next week I'll have the results from the "real" first test.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

The First Week - Struggle and Success

Today marks the one week anniversary of the start of my flipped classroom.  As mentioned in last week's post, I spent Friday's lesson showing a sample video lecture and modeling how to write and respond in our journals.  I then sent the kids home for the weekend, crossed my fingers, and hoped for the best.

I (being a glass-half-full kind of girl) came to school Monday hoping for my students to be super excited about how much they love the new way we are doing math.  Did I get some of that?  Yes!  However, I also (being a realistic girl) expected to run in to some issues with students who couldn't access the video because they didn't have access to the Internet.  Did I get some of that, too?  You betcha. 

My First Week Struggles
I found that almost 10 of my 30 students were unable to view the video (mostly because they couldn't get on the Internet.  I needed to do some quick problem solving & I decided to show the video on our projector screen for those who couldn't view it at home.  This worked okay but I don't want it to be a long term solution for a variety of reasons.  For starters, it limits the amount of time the students have to practice their skills with me around to help them.  In addition, part of the power of watching the videos at home is that the students can rewind and pause if necessary.  That isn't as likely to happen if a group of students are watching at the same time (it is also a lot easier to get distracted when there is a group viewing the video).

In addition to not having computer access at home, we were also limited as to how much computer lab time we could use this week.  Throughout last week and the upcoming week, our school is giving the MAP test, which is a computerized adaptive test.  I mention this only because it explains why I couldn't take my students down to the computer lab.  After next week, I will be teaching my math class from the computer lab.  I am hopeful that will help ease some of the technology issues as well.

My First Week Successes
Even though I became easily frustrated with the computer issues, my students were relatively unphased.  Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday I had the computer lab at the end of the day, and luckily there were no MAP tests being given at that time.  Therefore, I was able to get all students an opportunity to view the videos and then work on their "homework" the next day in class.  While the technology is one of the many things that can help or hinder the success of a flipped classroom, that is not what made the biggest impression on me this week.  This week my successes were all about the feedback I was getting from students.  I took some time to write a few of those quotes and experiences down so I could be sure to share them:

"Mrs. Bush, this is awesome!  I would have totally been stuck at home, but you could help me right away and now I get it!"

"I really like this Mrs. Bush, now I don't have to worry about waiting for my parents to be home to help me."

"You know what, I totally didn't get it the first time you showed me, but I rewound it, watched again, and I think I get it now!"

Even with all those wonderful things being said, I think my biggest highlight of the week came on Thursday when the students were working in class on their homework.  I was working one-on-one with a student who was confused and I happened to look up and see a group of kids working in my side room.  I wasn't sure exactly what they were doing, so I walked quietly over and eavesdropped.  What I heard made all the issues worth it.  Two girls were working a few problems on the board & explaining how to solve them to another student (these were problems beyond the regular homework).  They were teaching him, and he was actually getting it!  It makes me feel all warm & fuzzy just thinking about it ;-)

This week the students will be taking their test on our first unit...I will hopefully have some data when I post next week.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Day 1 - Let the fun begin!

My school has two sections of 5th grade, and I have the pleasure of teaching math to both sections.  Since this is my first attempt at a flipped classroom, I would like to gather some data to show to parents who may be skeptical of the idea.  Therefore, for our first unit of study I plan on using the flipped model for my class and the traditional model for the other 5th grade class.

Friday marked my first attempt with my students.  My first section of math I used all my best teaching skills while giving direct instruction.  Side note:  I want this experiment to be a fair measurement of what works, so I absolutely will not compromise those students chances for success by giving poor direct instruction just so my flipped class will have a better showing.  The lesson went quite smoothly & the kids picked up on the content pretty well.  I'll be checking their homework on Monday to see if they were able to apply what they learned.

With my second section of math I showed the video I had posted on our classroom edmodo site.  We watched the video together (which, by the way, is very uncomfortable to do when you are sitting there listening to yourself).  I showed them how I expected them to take notes in their journal, etc.  Then I assigned the next lesson's video as homework over the weekend.

I am a pretty organized and efficient person, but I had yet to video tape the 2nd lesson (due to a number of technology issues that arose), but I told the students not to worry, it would be posted by 5:00 Friday evening.  By 5:00, when I posted the video, I had over 5 students already on our edmodo site waiting for me to post the video.  I realize that this is something totally new, and that the excitement might wear off soon, but it was quite encouraging to me.  What was even more encouraging was that a few students posted a question about the video, and other students answered it...not me!  How awesome is that!

I look forward to Monday & seeing how many students were able to complete the homework, and how many didn't.  There are a few potential issues that I can already see coming up...What happens if the student doesn't have internet access?  What happens if a student doesn't watch the video?  Will parents support this?  These are all valid issues that I hope to address with this blog.

What is a flipped classroom?

One of my passions in education is using technology to make curriculum come alive for students.  This summer my principal (knowing my interest in technology) mentioned the idea of a flipped classroom.  I hadn't heard of it, but decided to check out the video he e-mailed me on 2 teachers in Colorado who changed the way they taught.  Instead of giving direct instruction during school, and assigning practice to be done at home, they flipped it.  Now they video their direct instruction & the students watch that at home for homework.  When they come to class, they get an opportunity to practice.  Notice that the practicing happens at school, when a teacher is now readily available to help them if they get stuck.

I was hooked after watching the first video & spent the next several weeks researching flipped classrooms, joining PLN's about flipped classrooms, and trying to figure out how/if I could make it work in my 5th grade class.  This blog is going to share my journey of flipping my 5th grade math class.