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Building Confidence In Math Class

§ March 12th, 2012 § 2 Comments- Add yours§ Filed under Flipped Classroom, From the Elevated Math Team, motivation, Overcoming Fear § Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Photography by Ta-Duc

When running for school board, one question was asked a number of times, especially in the debates and usually asked by students, “How will we provide more teacher/student interaction?” I assumed that students wanted a more personal experience in their learning until an article last week made me realize that a lot more was behind this question. The BBC News wrote, “Secondary school pupils are so scared of looking stupid in maths lessons they will not tell their teachers if they do not understand, suggests research.” The article continued, “The reasons pupils gave for not asking for help more often were that they were worried about looking foolish, were embarrassed or did not want to draw attention to themselves.” In other words, they lack confidence, which could be overcome if teachers had the time to spend more one-on-one with their students.

Are there other ways to build a student’s confidence in math? § Read the rest of this entry…

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Don’t Be Afraid of Making a Mistake. Flip Your Classroom.

§ January 16th, 2012 § 2 Comments- Add yours§ Filed under Flipped Classroom, From the Elevated Math Team § Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Photography by Thomas Favre-Bulle

An article in EdWeek this month by David Ginsburg entitled Don’t Prevent Students’ Mistakes, Prepare for Them has prompted this post. The article discusses how traditional teaching methods often deny students the chance to learn from their mistakes. But what about the teachers?  Are they encouraged to make mistakes? Are they willing to take chances with their instruction? Is an unwillingness to create a video to use in a flipped classroom a bigger mistake than failing at the attempt?

In the traditional classroom model the information transfer takes place in class with assimilation of that information taking place outside the class. In an inverted model, as in a flipped classroom, the transfer takes place outside of class (often through online videos) and with assimilation in class.  If implemented correctly, the class can become a robust environment where students work on challenging problems aimed at making sense of what they’ve seen and heard outside of class. Read our earlier blog if you need to know more.

I’ve spent the last couple months talking with teachers, visiting their classrooms, and reading blogs.  I’m convinced schools should head in the direction of the inverted model and they should vigorously pursue the implementation of the flipped classroom.

A teacher I visited outside of Boston had a 6th grade flipped math classroom. It was a fascinating visit. Despite his struggles to keep § Read the rest of this entry…

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Our Favorite Blog Posts of 2011

§ December 27th, 2011 § 3 Comments- Add yours§ Filed under Flipped Classroom, From the Elevated Math Team, Math, Overcoming Fear, Teaching Math, The Best Posts § Tagged , , , , , , , , , , ,

2011 will forever be significant in Elevated Math history.  Our iPad app was launched along our website and blog.   In Barbara Walters’ fashion, we decided to list the TEN MOST FASCINATING POSTS in 2011.  Oh, ok.  Fascinating is probably not the most accurate adjective, so how about if we list our ten favorites?

  1. Angry Birds Can Teach Math was one of our most popular posts. It showed how to teach parabolas and quadratic equations with the Angry Bird game.  We followed this up with Use Angry Birds to Teach Math Pt 2, which includes a portion of the Elevated Math lesson.
  2. A Case for the Flipped Classroom is a subjective examination of one the hottest ideas for teaching math that came out this year.
  3. Making Math Relevant May Be the Key was also one of our most popular posts. It details how a teacher made math relevant to a class of potential drop-outs. § Read the rest of this entry…
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A Case for the Flipped Classroom

§ November 14th, 2011 § 10 Comments- Add yours§ Filed under Flipped Classroom, From the Elevated Math Team, Math, Teaching Math § Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Variations of flipped classrooms are as many as there are teachers.  Brian Bennett writes in his blog post, “The flipped class is an ideology, not a methodology.”  He stresses that it is not defined by the use of videos.  He has moved away from videos now that he has more time for “engaging activities and labs.”  The flipped classroom is all about “making connections with learners and differentiating your instruction.”  Therefore, a teacher can have such a classroom as long as the needs of all learners are being met.  Bennett is commended for meeting the needs of his learners.  However, for a classroom to truly be “flipped,” prepared instruction must continue at home, not just in the classroom.

The way we like to understand the term, the flipped classroom is used to introduce and reinforce the teaching in BOTH the classroom and at home. For example, a teacher introduces and provides direct § Read the rest of this entry…

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