Insights & Ideas for Online Teaching
5 Ways Flipping My Math Class has Saved My Sanity
This year I began my flipped journey as a way to defend my sanity. I was blessed with an awesome group of students that happen to encompass an insane number of levels of understanding. Initially, I was terrified and overwhelmed as to how I could best meet the many diverse needs through traditional instructional methods. Then, during my daughter’s back to school night, I experienced an epiphany. Her math teacher was utilizing Sophia to flip instruction for his 5th grade classes so that he could better utilize classroom time and differentiate instruction. BINGO! I had a plan. How has it worked? I am currently not residing in an asylum, so I’d say my sanity was saved!
Flipping has provided me with the data needed to gain the support of administration to continue with this new way of delivering instruction. My building administrator has always been very open to advanced technology, but even for him my classroom was going to look pretty unique. By having daily data from the quizzes embedded into Sophia assignments, I am able to justify the way time is utilized in class.
I no longer re-teach the same lesson four times per class! Woo hoo! My students this year are never in the room together all at the same time to learn using traditional whole group instruction due to special education schedules. Prior to flipping, I had to reteach the same lesson four separate times! Now, I just work with the students providing the support they need since they have already viewed the lesson at home or during homeroom.
The number of parents calling to ask for help with helping their child with this new-fangled math homework has all but been reduced to zero! Thanks to having the videos embedded into the assignments, parents can watch them with their child and learn alongside them daily. I no longer have parents getting frustrated with helping them to complete worksheets. Instead they are learning the concepts at home and working on the practice part in class with me there to provide the support.
Students can access material even when absent or I can still teach even when I am absent. Let’s face it, there is nothing worse than having to provide meaningless busy work for students to complete when you are sick, except perhaps having to catch a student up who has been out of school for a week with the flu. Flipping provides a means to avoid this all together. You are teaching whether you are present or not. Students who are absent can access the lessons from home and catch up at their pace.
Finally, I can rest assured that my time in class is used productively! I know at the end of each day that I have reached and worked with every student at their level in a meaningful manner.
About the author:
4th grade teacher
Alumni of The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey
BA elementary education
MA instructional technology
Wife, mother of 5, teacher, student (pursuing my administrative certification), blogger