Mr. Richards Flipped His Classroom!
As you know, in 2013, St. Rita School further expanded their technology-enhanced learning program to include 1:1 iPads for both 7th and 8th graders in their Jr. High School. Apple TV was also installed in all classrooms. Teachers are able to use Apple TV’s “mirroring capabilities” to project their iPad to the interactive white boards, providing visual access to the whole class. Teachers are able to move around the classroom sharing their iPad content as well as any online textbook or app being used to complement lessons. Students are able to interact with the lesson and each other, collectively.
The effect of all this technology-enhanced learning? Mr. Matthew Richards has pioneered the very first “Flipped Classroom” for his 7th and 8th grade math students. Throughout the summer months, Mr. Richards used an app called, Explain Everything, to prerecord video of each math lesson. Using the app at home, students would listen to the lesson and watch as math problems were solved step-by-step on their iPad screens. For the first few weeks of school, students were told to use these lessons at home to help them with their homework. After students were comfortable using the technology, Mr. Richards then explained the “Flipped Classroom” model to his students.
In a “Flipped Classroom”, students listen and view a pre-recorded video lesson at home on their iPads. As they listen to the lecture and view the math problems they take notes and write down any questions they may have. The next day, students come into class prepared to actively discuss the lesson and review practice math problems together as a class. Students are immediately immersed in the lesson and have their math teacher available to coach and advise them the moment an issue or question arises.
The major benefits of a Flipped Classroom? Traditional homework is completed in the classroom! Devoting class time solely to the application of math concepts gives Mr. Richards the opportunity to detect errors in thinking and correct them on the spot. There is no need for classroom lectures and note taking which can cause students to miss important lecture points because they are trying so hard to capture on paper all that their teacher is saying. The use of at-home video lessons, puts the students in control of their learning as they can watch, rewind and fast-forward through each lecture as needed.
Mr. Richards’ “Flipped Classroom” has resulted in excitement among students, more effective learning and personal ownership and responsibility on the part of the student for his/her class work. Students are engaged in the classroom and their learning achievements are reflected in quiz and test scores!
Moving forward, Mr. Richards will begin to create different “levels” of math learning based on a students’ needs. This practice of differentiation will allow Mr. Richards to tailor lessons to students based on their learning style and ability. Typically, you would find the Flipped Classroom Model offered in high school and college arenas. Mr. Richards is giving our Jr. High students an opportunity to learn skills they will need to succeed in high school and beyond. St. Rita School is looking to the future and will continue looking for ways to tailor other subjects to the Flipped Classroom Model.