Further Experimenting with Flipping Math

Since beginning to teach math, even in my student teaching, I’ve employed the flip class.  Just for the record, I still don’t think the flipped class is the answer to education’s problems, but its better than me just lecturing and is giving me some extra time to figure out other methods to try.

However, it’s still felt very traditional to me. I’ve always felt that it could be better.

So far, I’ve had kids get their content at home the night before, then in class we work through problems and exercises.  It’s worked alright, but I still have some students finished in 5 minutes in class and then some that need to go home and do another hour of homework to be able to get things done to be ready for the next day.  I don’t like that.  I want to keep all of my students engaged throughout the time I have them during the day.

So I’m changing it a little.  I don’t know if it’s better. Or if it’s worse.  But I’m trying something out to see if I can improve.

Our current unit is on Quadratics.  Which, with all the factoring, seems to lend itself well to flipped instruction. (It also lends itself well to real applications, which I hope to explore when we get through it!)

My students will be watching a mix of Khan Academy and PatrickJMT videos for their content delivery.  Ideally, these would be made by me, but for the time being, we’ll go with these and if it works, I’ll start making more of my own.  They after that, they’ll do some basic skill practice, either through worksheets I’ve created/found or through Khan Academy practice activities.  I like the Khan Academy practice activities because of the instant feedback it gives my students on each question, something I can’t reasonably do in real time for every single question for every single student.  However, they don’t push the deeper understanding I hope to give my students.  After they go through this process, they’ll complete what I’ve called an “Exit”.  It’s kind of like an exit slip you might give students at the end of a class to see if they’ve learned anything, but it’s at the end of a topic.

All of this, I’ve put together in a document and printed off copies for each student.  They go through it in order, and get me to sign off (or sticker off) after they complete each section.  To be able to move onto the next section, they have to score at least a 7/10 and have the option to retake any Exit they’d like.

A PDF of the checklist is here and embedded below:

So far the students have liked it and have been engaged and working through everything.

I don’t know how it’s going to go.  But I’ll be sharing my progress through it here.  Please comment and challenge me.

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