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School of Thought

Insights & Ideas for Online Teaching

Why I’ve “flipped” over the Flipped Classroom

Why I’ve “flipped” over the Flipped Classroom


Crystal Kirch
High School Math Teacher
Santa Ana, California

One of my goals for this year was to find a way to get my students more actively involved in their learning. I always felt that I was the one doing all the work in class while my students passively sat back and received whatever information I hoped would stick in their brains. I was not satisfied and started to look for something more that would engage my students and require them to take more responsibility for their learning as well as to make more meaning and connections with the content.

I decided it was time to “fully flip” my classroom and see what would happen. The definition of “fully flipping” for me is that every initial delivery of content is done via video (created by me) and that class time is focused on what students need most – support in actually working out the problems themselves. Using this model allows me to fully differentiate my instruction based on what my students need. I can still re-teach as needed during class time to those who actually need it, while those who “get it” can move on to the next concept. One of the awesome things about using a “flipped classroom” model is that the videos are available for students who need re-teaching throughout the entire year, and students who are absent do not come back “behind” because they can access every lesson online before they even return to class.

The transformation that has happened in my classroom has been nothing short of amazing. I don’t want to go back to being front and center in my classroom – my classroom is now a student-centered place focused their needs and centered on their active learning. Giving students responsibility for their own learning was a scary step, yet so freeing.

If you are thinking of “flipping” your classroom, don’t hesitate! Try it out and see how it works for you – there is not “one right way” to utilize aspects of the flipped classroom. The biggest thing to keep in mind is that it is a HUGE shift in educational mindset for both the teacher and the student. The students are not used to this new responsibility and while some will thrive right away, others will struggle and fight against the change. However, over time, they will come around and realize the depth and breadth of their learning of both the content and about themselves as learners is well worth dealing with the change.

- Crystal Kirch

View Crystal's webinar on the flipped class from May 9, 2012

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