A “flipped classroom” has become another trendy phrase in the education world. What does it actually mean? A flipped classroom means that students get their instruction in the form of videos that they watch for homework. Then, in class they practice the skill with the help of the teacher. This is flipped from the traditional model of in-class lectures followed by homework practice.
Flipped classrooms have become increasingly popular for math teachers, especially in the older grades. I’ve fallen in love with my own variation of a flipped classroom that fits perfectly with my elementary math students. These are my top tips for anyone interested in flipping the upper elementary math classroom.
Decide where your videos will come from. You have two options: create your own or use videos that are already created. This really boils down to personal preference and what’s available. You can also use a combination of both.
If you’re interested in creating your own videos, I recommend using a basic screen-casting app on your tablet. My personal favorite is Doceri. Check out my YouTube video on how to use Doceri.
If you’d rather not record yourself, there are tons of videos available online. Some great sources to check out are Khan Academy, LearnZillion, or YouTube. All the videos I create for my classroom are available on my YouTube channel.
Decide how and when your students will use the videos. You can have your students watch the videos for their homework. This would be a traditional flipped model.
I have my kids watch the videos in class as part of their math workshop/math stations time. (Check out my blog to learn what math workshop looks like in my class.) This option works great if you’re at a campus with devices for each student.
Not sure if you want to fully commit to a flipped classroom? Find other uses for instructional videos. Videos make great resources for kids when they need homework help. They also help communicate teaching styles to parents. Post the links to helpful videos on your website and direct parents and students there when they’re struggling with a concept.
You can also use videos as a resource in class for students who need additional help. If they’re still struggling with a concept after a traditional lesson, they could watch the video to hear it again or hear it in a different way.
Hold your kids accountable. There are a variety of ways to make sure your kids are accountable for the information they are learning from the videos. You could have your students fill out a chart or a worksheet along with the video. You can also have them complete an “exit ticket” or a short assessment for each video.
Another great option, and my personal favorite, is using a website like Educanon. This free site allows you to embed questions and prompts to any video (one you upload or find online). The kids have their own student account, and you can see their answers to the questions. The best part to me is that they have to answer the questions before they can continue the video. Check out a lesson my students watched at the beginning of this school year.
Supplement your flipped lessons with guided math groups. Videos are a fantastic resource, but kids still need time to work on concepts with your guidance. You could use quick assessments to decide which students need to meet with you, or you could meet with everyone.
I meet with all of my students each week. My struggling students meet with me for a lesson before they ever watch the video. My higher groups meet with me after they’ve watched the video and completed the math workshop activities. We meet together to work on enrichment and to check for understanding.
If you’re interested in implementing guided math into your classroom, check out my guided math lesson plans in my TeachersPayTeachers Store.
Sally is a 4th grade teacher in Texas. She loves integrating technology into her math and science classroom. In addition to teaching, Sally is a new TpT author and blogger. For fun, Sally enjoys spending time at the lake, relaxing with a good book, and traveling.