Based on a true story of mine:
When I was in college I asked my math professor who taught previously at Duke University before teaching at the small Georgia College I attended, "What is the difference between a the students at Duke and the students here at this college?" If you would, take a moment before reading ahead to think to your self what the difference is a small Georgia college and Duke University would be. ... Okay, now back to the story. As I waited for his reply to my question, my mind started racing with possible answers such as the students had higher SAT scores, better study habits, are good at school, had really smart parents, and so on. But these are not even close to his answers because it was simple. First he said the student read the math section before coming to class (just read the section, they did not solve the problems). And second he said that they students would rewrite their notes after class. How difficult would this really be to do? To spend 10 minutes to read a math section and then about 1015 minutes at home to rewrite (reorganize neatly) the notes from class? Wow!! You can make better grades and be more successful by using these two approaches.
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Flipped Classroom The new buzz word in education is flipping a classroom. A flipped classroom is a teacher’s website where their students go to get class lectures or class teaching notes. The expectation is that students will watch the lectures videos the night before the material used in class the next day. Then material taught in class is done through practice problems, “real world” problems, projects, or activities. Because the students are watching the typical teaching lectures online, this frees up class time to be spent on engaging students into the lessons through “real world” problems or activities. Does the flipped classroom work? This all depends on the teacher, the students, and the expectations of the class. Teachers who have the expectation of students watching the videos and force the students to watch the videos in order to understand of to solve the “real world” problems that are completed in the classroom, then these teachers find much success. On the other hand, if teachers givein to the students who did not watching the videos and teach the online lesson during class time (these students are not meeting the expectations), then these teachers find the flipped classroom experience less successful. Therefore, there must be the expectation to the students that they must watch the videos. Do you have classroom computers? Classroom computers are a must because students who cannot access the videos at home need a way to watch videos and those who have not watched the videos will need a place to watch the videos before engaging into the classroom activities. How do you know if the students have watched the videos? Student will need to complete an assessment before being allowed to participate in the classroom activities. These assessments can be guided notes, warmups, or an online notes quiz that will give teachers evidence and feedback about how well the students understand the lesson video. These assessments should be the prerequisite before starting the inclass lesson or activities such as labs or projects.
What is the purpose of your flipped classroom? The concept of mastery flipped classrooms is a design in which students watch the online video(s) about a lesson and then must reach a master level of knowledge before participating in the inclass lesson. To obtain the mastery level for each lesson, teachers assign an assessment to the students in which students must meet a minimum score in order to move on to the next lesson video or the inclass lesson activity. On the other hand, a flipped classroom can be designed for students to just take lesson notes or guided notes before being allowed to participate in the inclass activity. This design of concept understanding has the students only obtain the notes from the videos, and then the teachers must find out the depth of knowledge from the students while teaching the inclass activities.
How important is the design? The most important part of designing your flipped classroom is simplicity and consistency. Both of these ideas are subjective to the designer, however, asking your students for feedback about your design will help to improve the design and functionality of your flipped classroom website. Furthermore, be prepared to spend much time working on the design of your website. Teaching classes through a flipped classroom design takes much work and preparation in creating and finding lesson videos, designing the website, and keeping the materials on the website such as worksheets and assignment current. Furthermore, it takes teachers willing to have a constant expectation that their lessons are online only. Lastly, teachers must be prepared to grade the daily assessments from the students watching the lesson video(s) quickly. These should be graded no longer than a 1 day turn around or should be done within the first 10 minutes of class if there is an inclass activity planned in which the lesson video is a prerequisite. Mutiple Choice TestsWhen taking a multiple choice test the answer to every question is already given. So the first thing to do is to read the answer choices first, then read the question. Can you eliminate any of the answer choice because it does not make sense for the question? Now you should have fewer answer choices. Now start solving the question. If your answer is among the answer choices, bubble the answer. If not, then use each answer choice and your work to find your mistake and mark the correct answer. What happens when you don't know how to answer the question? Since one of the answer choices is the correct answer, try working backwards to find the correct answer. This is the reason also for reading the answer choices before starting to answers or solves the question. Being ConfidentTaking test can be stressful for some people or they can be a worry because you may not feel confident in your knowledge of the material. If this describes you, then working throughout the unit of student to learn the material will help with your confidence. Each class period the assignments, notes, and over all lesson is preparing you for your quiz or test over the material. Staying on task in class and at home completing your assignment and rewriting your daily notes to keep yourself organized could help with your confidence. Learning new material in a class is much like learning a new sport or hobby. For all of these, you must practice and keep up your skills so that they don't be rusty or less confident. Much like famous basketball players staying after practice to shoot 100 free throws to improve his shooting percentages, so do you need to practice, study, and rewrite the important steps to solving out math problems? But wait, the basketball player didn't just shoot 100 free throws then go home; he had to 100 free throws in a row before going home. Do you have similar expectations for yourself in math and your other classes? Short Answer TestThese tests are either short essays or math problems requiring you to write out your answers. Both of these tests ask students to explain how and why they obtained the answer. In math these questions are answered by your math steps in solving the problem. In other classes this is achieved by asking you to write a short essay response. One why
to become more successful at these types of tests and questions is to reread your math steps and essays before turning in your test. Many "little" mistakes can be caught when reading through your work. Technology is the world of our students. Elementary students have the
ability to read books without turning a single page, search instantly any thought they may have and get several if not hundreds of possible responses, and can instantly watch videos of other teachers teaching the same concepts they are learning at school on with the click of a few keys and a mouse. Technology has embedded itself into all of our lives and to teach without using it leads students feeling disconnected in the learning process. I am not saying that teachers must use technology, and I am not saying that learning can only happen with technology. I am saying that technology enhances the learning environment and helps teachers to design lessons that can produce instantaneous formative assessment feedback, videos created by students or teachers, and interactive games. Technology is a tool to enhance the learning experience, it cannot replace teaching. The technology I use in class give me the flexibility to instantly show student work to the entire class through the use of a document camera. I can also obtain instantaneous formative feedback by using a student response system during class. This data will how me how well my students understand the material from a previous lesson or on the lesson minutes after teaching it. The last technology I use daily is the Smart Board and Smart Slate. This interactive white board has many great tools and enhances my math lessons, but it also allows me to export my notes into a PowerPoint or Adobe format giving me the opportunity to upload my notes to my teacher website on a daily basis. Therefore, teachers should embrace the use of technology because it allows teachers to obtain instant feedback from formative assessments as well as gives them a chance to digitally save notes.

Mr. CurletteI have been teaching and designing creative, interactive, and motivating lessons for over 10 years which has lead me to exceed local and statewide testing averages. Teachers !!Follow Me At ....
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