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The Flipped Classroom- A parent’s view

January 10, 2013

parent_talk_graphicThe flipped classroom is a teaching model in which classroom and homework elements of a course are flipped. Short videos on the subject matter are viewed by students at home before class, and in-class time is spent on discussions, explanations. projects and exercises. CMS North parent Marla Williams shares her experience with this new model.

As a mom of two boys entering 6th grade at North, I was skeptical of yet another classroom education model being implemented. My children had been guinea pigs with classroom education experiments in elementary and those did not go well. Success always rested with how well the program was implemented.

I tried to keep an open mind. I could tell the teachers were excited about the flipped model at curriculum night. Most striking was that all spoke with confidence about the flipped model and the technology. I spent the first few weeks of school watching some homework with my sons. Some were more professional than others, but all relayed the concepts in an acceptable manner. The best part was being able to replay the video to clarify or relearn a topic.

We are now four weeks into the third grading period and I admit my boys are happy. Their homework has been kept to 15-30 minutes only 2-3 times per week. They spend time in class working at their own pace – which makes the day fly for them. The homework they have is mostly short videos outlining key concepts in either science or social studies. They are able to watch the homework on a PC, iPad or their Android phone. I confess a few videos have been watched in the car on the way to hockey practice. A science lesson was watched on a laptop and an iPad while waiting for a plane at Dulles airport. They comment or take short quizzes on the lessons online too.

The kids track their assignments thru Edmodo. This tool is useful as there is a single place to check for all homework. No more “I didn’t write that down” or “I forgot”. There have been a few times when Edmodo was unavailable. However, the teachers were able to work around it and adjust deadlines. Edmodo is also useful in that students get real time results on quizzes and tests. The boys will text me with good news on their grades within minutes of taking the exam.

I feel fortunate that North has implemented this instructional program for my children. There was a short learning curve with the technology for the kids – a bit more for the parents. I think it was also hard to get used to not ‘seeing’ the learning come home. My sons both want the program to continue for all core classes into 7th and 8th grade. I congratulate CMS North on their hard work implementing the flipped classroom model!

by Marla Williams, 6th grade parent

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