Monday, August 12, 2013

I'm Still Deciding about Flipping the Classroom

The Flipped Classroom Craze is out.  I'm still not completely sold on it.  I need more convincing that it will work for me.   (Flipping the class is having students do traditional classwork at home online through videos or websites and then doing activities and homework in class)  Here are my thoughts.  Please give me yours.  

  • There is value in having students doing preparatory work before class instead of work that is all after the fact (homework)
  • I like the idea of having more 1 on 1 time with my students.
  • Homework will get a better start because you will have a network of people including the teacher to help you.
  • Differentiated learning is much easier to accomplish in this setting.
  • Watching a video is not always the best way of learning something
  • Class discussions and engaging activities are vital in the learning process and they might be limited in the completely flipped classroom.
  • The classroom environment will be less about the whole team and more about the individual
  • Structured learning will decrease
  • Not all students have easy access to the internet. 

Moot Point
  • Not all students will prepare for the class.  This means that in the flipped classroom they might not do the prep work before class.  In the traditional class they might not do the homework.

I think a combination of flipping and regular might be a possibility for me.  I'm not ready to jump ship completely to flipped, but I like many of the Pros of flipping the classroom.  One thing I do know is that I don't want my students to watch a long "lecture" every night.  I would have to incorporate great online investigations (Geogebra or Desmos Calculator activities)  and some things they could discover on their own and then gather them back the next day to discuss what they did.



JFairbanks said...

I have done it for a few years now and I enjoy it but I only do it for one chapter. In algebra 2 it is the chapter on probability and I forget what I do in alg 1, but I did it this year. I like the idea of just having the variety. I couldn't do it all year. So, maybe pick a chapter and try it. Some kids like it, some kids hate it, another reason I wouldn't want to do it all the time.

Mommy S said...

I'm giving it a try with AP Stats this year. I'm having them read the chapter and answer some key questions at home. The beginning of class will be time to discuss those questions in small groups (those that haven't read get some time to at least hear the key points of the chapter). Trying to figure out a way to gather all the info to post for those who want it. Class will be spent investigating and working problems instead of doing this for homework and then discussing briefly the next class before moving on. Considering problem sets in the place of traditional homework near the end of ech chapter/concept.

Dave Sladkey said...

JFairbanks that is a great idea to only teach one chapter. I was considering 2 days a week or someting.
Mommy S is there any digital aspect to your flipping?

Colleen Young said...

I think flipping sometimes or even occasionally is the way to go. I frankly do not understand anyone who advocates an all or nothing approach! For me a flipped homework can be anything I like - certainly not necessarily videos or books. For example I asked some students to use WolframAlpha to generate some more of the factorization examples we had been studying. They then used these in class with their peers. Basically for me a flipped homework is something easily accessible for them at home which then enables us to do more in class.

Tim McIntyre said...

I was going to go full blast in my HS Geo class this year and had some good ideas to include elements of mastery learning as a part of it, but I decided to shy away from it due to BIG changes at the top in my district/not enough time to put something together to show my new principal my ideas and sell her on it. Still, I am going to implement quite a few more lessons of it in 1st semester, which I only did 2nd semester last year. I think what I value are four things: providing more REAL practice time (no copying HW from friends/not doing), I get to be a quality control monitor on work instead of notes, it would free me up for more PBL in class daily (which I imagined would be 2 week projects at a time), and I would still teach the activities I like the most or assist the class/individuals when they need me the most. I do agree that a video at home may not be the best experience, which is why I still will teach lessons or examples of things I know are great experiences or needed experiences. Excited about the prospect of doing it most of the time in 1 year.

Amy said...

Hi! I'm a high schooler and I've always thought the idea of a flipped classroom was really cool (though I've never actually experienced it myself). I recently started blogging since I have equal passions for math and art and I love creating things that combine the two. If you're interested, I'd love for you to check out my work: Any feedback is much appreciated!

Thomas Leytham said...

Hi Mr. Sladkey,
I'm a student at the University of South Alabama. I'm curious if you decided for or against the flipped classroom this year. I'd love to know how it is panning out.

Looking at some of the pros and cons, I can see why I wouldn't choose it. However, if it is going well then that may definitely change my mind. Let me know.

You can contact me at or on my blog Thanks so much.

Thomas Leytham.

Dave Sladkey said...

I'm a couple months into the class now and I have been flipping 2 lessons per chapter. I have really enjoyed it so far. I really don't think I would flip it completely but you never know. I flip the class directly after a test or a quiz. Usually this is a time when they don't have homework. So I make a video and have them watch it. We then use some of class time that next day for homework. It gives me some one on one time with my students that I normally wouldn'nt get.

Eric Merryman said...

Hello, my name is Eric Merryman and I am a student in EDM310 attending the University of South Alabama and my class blog is

I am studying to become a high school math teacher, and I haven't heard much about flipping the classroom only heard of it. In my opinion this seems to be just an experiment rather than something that is a sure thing for higher learning. I am not completely sold on it either, and am interested into looking for into it, however I do have concerns. My concerns on the matter are that the classroom is enclosed and the home is not, activities have a lot more room to grow in my opinion outside of the classroom, another is that the school is where students learn how to apply things(such as mathematics) with testing to make sure they know how to apply the subject and home is where they are actually meant to apply the subject, having it be the other way around has me to believe we are not teaching them to apply what they learn at home and in the world, but have them apply what they learn in a school setting or somewhere structured. I do not have all the facts about flipping the classroom, but with a pros/cons list it means there are concerns, and without the concerns being addressed and/or handled, I wouldn't be sold on the idea either. Your blog has inspired me into looking more into the subject of flipping the classroom, so I will do more research on it throughout my college career. Not completely flipping the class and doing it every so often is interesting though and I would like to know what you and the students think about it.

Thank you,
Eric Merryman