I know what a flipped classroom is, but I honestly thought of it as a rare thing. My daughter is in 8th grade and is taking geometry (in our state, that's an advanced math for her age. She took Algebra I in 7th grade and did very well.) At BTS night, her teacher, who has been an educator for about 20 years, said she will try the flipped classroom for the first time, on her geometry students. She doesn't know how it will go, but she's giving it her best, etc. OK, most of the kids who are in 8th grade geometry are advanced kids with pretty supportive parents and home Internet access. However, I feel like my daughter is a guinea pig. If this fails, it could seriously hold her back in terms of grades and getting into magnet programs next year. Do any of you have any experience with a flipped classroom? Thoughts, please?

My team mate does it for her advanced fifth grade math class. In the beginning, it is an adjustment for the kids - but as the year progresses feedback is overwhelmingly positive. As a student who struggled with asking questions I would have loved it.

I started more of a "slow rollover" last year with my geometry classes, doing videos 1-2 times a week. (Then Superstorm Sandy hit, and I couldn't guarantee that my kids had books, much less computer access. So my "slow rollover" ended abruptly. ) I'm going to do it again this year. If at any point in the year I sense that it doesn't work, then I'll stop and revert to a more typical class just as I did last year. But what I found in my short, 6 week trial was that the kids enjoyed it. It broke up the normal day to day homework. The liked the ability to re-watch a video, or to go back if there was something they missed. I was sure to supplement their notes if I felt they needed it, but I think it went fairly well. Education is constantly evolving. Some of the changes are for the better, some not. But at least this is something that a teacher can play with, re-evaluate, and change if necessary.

One of our teachers tried it for algebra 2, and she got a lot of complaints from students and parents. They were so used to the traditional model of the teacher teaching the lesson, and then practice problems that this didn't make sense for them. They complained that she didn't teach, and just made them watch videos. One kid even wrote her a letter that she didn't like it. After a month of it, she went back to traditional instruction. I'm sure it COULD work out wonderfully, and if it is to work out with anyone, the advanced group would be the ones (since they'd actually watch the videos ). I think it takes very motivated students to make it work. The algebra 2 teacher I mentioned did not have very motivated kids. That said, I wouldn't worry so much about grades---I'm sure if she does poorly, then so will many of her classmates, which would allow the instructor to adjust as necessary.

If it is done well, it will be awesome. Your daughter will have more access to her teacher during class to clarify topics, practice problems, etc. Also, the teacher will have class time to do more application of principles and real-world activities. If it is done well, I think it will be an improvement of the ?typical? math classroom setup where the teacher lectures for 50 minutes of the 60 minute class period, students start practicing concepts with 10 minutes of access to the teacher, and then do the remaining 30 problems at home with no support. It is a LOT of work to flip (the first time around). So, there is a guinea pig element for your daughter this year. I'm not a parent, but I would trust the teacher and support the teacher. Keep her informed of any concerns, but try to support her flipped classroom. Many colleges are moving towards online models ... so much info is available online already ... I think flipped classrooms make sense in many ways. My only concern is that if we "all" start flipping, students will have so much to do at home ... and our students are already overscheduled. Also, could teachers eventually flip themselves out of a job?? Overall, great opportunity for your daughter. But, keep an eye on things, support the teacher (including letting her know, before it is too late, in the event the model isn't working for your daughter).

Thank you, everyone. I'll still worry because her 1st quarter math grades are a direct factor in her ability to get into a math magnet program in ninth grade, for which the application is due this December. I'll closely monitor her grades. I just wish the teacher wouldn't "try this out" on kids who will more than likely apply for that program.

I understand your concern. I suspect if the teacher knows about the magnet program and deadline, she will diligently watch for anything that might hamper her student's opportunities to apply to the program. She will have the same concerns as the parents. The flipped classroom should give the teacher more opportunity to make sure students are on track. Even though the teacher is "trying out" something, her focus will likely be on making sure her students are learning, not making the flipped classroom experience work. Saying that, not every single day will be perfect in the beginning ... but, it isn't in a typical classroom either.

...and better to try it out on these kids than on the weaker students. I had one supervisor tell me that no matter what you do, the advanced/honors kids will find a way to learn the material. Maybe I don't completely agree with that, but it's a pretty close approximation.

I always feel guilty when I'm trying something new out on a group of kids, but if I can't try it with any of my classes, how am u ever supposed to find and master new techniques?

A teacher down the hall is doing this. I'm unimpressed. She doesn't plan any lessons or conduct stimulating math experiments and discussions. I don't think she's being a teacher. She's basically being a serial tutor. I don't think watching videos can replace what an effective teacher does.

I think that a flipped classroom can be an extremely effective learning environment for many students, especially these days with how much kids are exposed to technology. I'd say that if it's not working, it's probably not being correctly implemented.

Your daughter is no more a guinea pig for a changed model of teaching than with a brand new teacher or a teacher that has never taught that level of math. There are many ways students are guinea pigs. Some are just different than the previous method of guinea pigism.

Parents think the teacher is not teaching with this approach. I personally think this is great model QUOTE=GemStone;1804797]I know what a flipped classroom is, but I honestly thought of it as a rare thing. My daughter is in 8th grade and is taking geometry (in our state, that's an advanced math for her age. She took Algebra I in 7th grade and did very well.) At BTS night, her teacher, who has been an educator for about 20 years, said she will try the flipped classroom for the first time, on her geometry students. She doesn't know how it will go, but she's giving it her best, etc. OK, most of the kids who are in 8th grade geometry are advanced kids with pretty supportive parents and home Internet access. However, I feel like my daughter is a guinea pig. If this fails, it could seriously hold her back in terms of grades and getting into magnet programs next year. Do any of you have any experience with a flipped classroom? Thoughts, please?[/QUOTE]

I say try it. As you said, your daughter is in an advanced class. Just by the virtue of being in Geometry, she will probably have very little trouble when getting into High School. (For us, Geometry is more advanced than the advanced class.) In addition, the teacher has had 20 years of experience. If she notices large swaths of students are having issues with their grades in her class because of this new system, I'm sure she will catch it on time, and either withdraw from this system or make adjustments to grades or curriculum to make up for it. Even if she misses a few things and has to retake Geometry in Freshman year, she is still going to be ahead of the game compared to most students. I'd also point out, that in some ways, a flipped model is better for math than other subjects. Math requires more practice and feedback from the teacher as they student is working through the problems. Doing the initial lectures at home, and then just having the teacher come around and provide individual feedback during math practice is an ideal use of time.

No parent wants their child to be the first when something new is added, but as was stated before, this is just an obvious first, while many of the others are taking place without fanfare. A great teacher could be going through a personal tragedy that greatly diminishes effectiveness, a young vibrant teacher could be so wrapped up with wedding plans that this is a year where students are taking a back seat. Districts routinely switch wholesale to new language arts or math programs, almost as the fad changes, and most parents are somewhat blissfully unaware. This flipped classroom has the potential to be a wonderful fit for your daughter. Try to get behind it, make sure she is doing the home portion, and look over what is being done at school. Give this teacher high marks for investing so much of herself and her time in a teaching format that shows great promise. I am certain that an experienced teacher would not jump onto a bandwagon without a great deal of prep and consideration. I would support the known teacher using exciting new methods over a mediocre teacher playing it safe. Trust me - this teacher knows what is at stake.

Thanks, everyone. This is actually an old thread, but she finished geometry with a B. It wasn't the A she usually gets, but she did score very advanced on the state assessment at the end of the year.

When I read the title of the thread I thought "GREAT" because this is an area I'm very interested in. But after seeing it was for a math class, my upbeat attitude went down the toilet. I don't know why exactly, but I've never thought of a flipped classroom as being ideal for a math class. Ideally, I think a flipped classroom would be more ideal for ELL (my specialization) and for students in grades 9 through 12. That's not to say it cannot work for a math class in lower grades, but I'd be wary. Perhaps the teacher can have a teacher-parents meeting after a month to discuss and assess how it's going.

Just read your update (you must have typed it while I was typing my initial reply). I'm glad to hear it worked out well for your child. Can you tell me if your child was more interested in the subject based on it being a flipped classroom? Did she express any downsides of the format to you?

That's a bummer. Do you think it was the class or do you think it was societal pressures? I find that most girls by the age of 13 or so start to express a dislike for math and science to start up a facade of unintelligence, because they think this impresses the boys. They also don't want to be grouped together with the "nerdy girls" who are seen to be 'losers' in the social hierarchy at their school. They may in fact be very good at it, or even be interested in it, but they sabotage themselves to impress males. Do you think this could be a factor?

Well, at least she hated more than just the math! I would say that if your daughter is highly ranked, and taking harder or higher level courses because of that, the additional homework is par for the course. With flipped classroom, the students must watch the whole lesson, not slap together something and call it done. That will be more homework than many want or intend to do. It certainly doesn't work for those who do their homework the class before it is due. That classification probably doesn't include your daughter, but it is so much more common than you would believe. I do agree with Peregrin - this is a dangerous age for losing girls the the STEM curriculum.

I see your point, but that's not my daughter. She doesn't give in to peer pressure and her friends are generally quiet and nerdy themselves. I think maybe she said it because I was pushing her to enroll in a magnet program with an emphasis on math and once she learned more about the program from teachers, she realized she didn't like math enough to so it. She is still in very high level math, science and English classes as a freshman, including an AP class. On a positive note, she still likes math more than gym. Edited to add that this post was in response to Peregrin.

I don't think she knows what she wants to do as an adult. There is so much emphasis on the kids choosing a "track" and I worry she will miss out on what she needs.

Yeah. I don't know why there is so much emphasis on choosing right now. I wouldn't push her to decide right now what she likes or doesn't like. Heck, I hated math and science in High School, but loved it in college.

In theory, I like the idea of a flipped classroom, but in practice, I think there are a lot of potential problems in the K-12 years. Among others, it assumes a certain level of technology. Also while sounding kind of silly... it assumes that students are actually able to do their homework at home, and not on the bus to a soccer game, or while sitting at the gym watching their little brother's basketball practice, or while sitting on the bus on the way home, etc. Also, it's not just high school girls that start developing math-phobia. I see it happening at the third grade level, largely from conversations with the adult women in their lives, telling them that they weren't good at math. There's nothing quite so frustrating as seeing a young lady with an IQ somewhere in the 150's saying in class that it was okay if she didn't do well in math, because mom told her girls didn't like math or science. Sigh...

=[ Also I think a flipped classroom sounds great for conjunction with a regular classroom. For instance, have the videos available for students that miss the original material, or are on vacation, or simply need to hear it a second time, in a different way. I guess I don't know if that would count as a flipped classroom, but I have links to Khan Academy and other videos on my class website in case students want to hear something again or differently.

Hmmm…one of the main purposes of a flipped classroom is to elevate homework. You watch the lesson at home and then perform the work in the classroom where the teacher is readily available for answering questions and providing the assistance needed. The only homework should have been watching the video, I would think. What's great about flipped classrooms are they don't bog the students down with even more homework than they're already suffering through from their other classes. It also means their parents don't have to help with the homework from that particular class.

I think there is a much better chance that she will be more prepared not less prepared for high school with a flipped classroom in 8th grade. While a "flipped classroom" is probably helpful, it is a small variable compared to the quality of the teacher, your daughter's decisions to work hard in math, parent help, and parent and teacher making sure she is challenged. I'd be careful not to focus too much on the fact that the classroom is "flipped". How much level of success she has in math will most likely be more due to the other factors listed above.