Tag Archives: math education

The Beginner’s Guide To Flipping Your Math Classroom

Flipping your classroom sounds like a great idea — you’ll have more time for application in your lessons, students will come to class knowing EVERYthing already, and traditional homework (and checking it during class time) will be a thing of the past.  Gone are the days of photo-copying worksheets filled with algorithms and agony.  Your students are psyched too — watch videos for homework?  Sure!!

Wait: what videos?

As teachers, we have limited time and resources.  Would we all love unlimited hours to play around with iMovie?  Sure.  Can we afford fancy video cameras with built-in professional microphones?  Um, no.  Access to a green-screen backdrop?  Double no.

So how can you implement this new trend in education without all of the above?  [Can we officially get rid of choice (D) ‘all of the above‘ on standardized tests too?  But I digress.]   There’s already great content out there being created by math educators, and all you need is an Internet connection to find it.

But before you begin your hunt for the needle in the haystack that is YouTube.com, here’s a few rules of thumb to follow:

Simplify.

Make sure your lesson is granular and specific.  You don’t want to tackle too much in one go, especially if you’re just starting out.  This will make it easy to determine if your lesson was successful or not when you reflect on it later.

Know Your Content.

You really want to know your math content inside and out.  I can’t stress this enough.  When deciding on what videos to show your students, you don’t want any misconceptions to be fostered by 30 seconds worth of another teacher telling your students that an expression is an equation.  Oh dear.

Bookmark it!

Remember that awesome math video you saw that one time way back when you were breathing on that day that ended in “y”?  Yeah, you probably don’t.  That’s what bookmarking is for in your browser.  Or if you have a YouTube account (which is easy to set-up using your Gmail account – but that’s for another post coming soon!), use the “Favorites” feature.  Don’t let that great vid slip away into cyber-oblivion!  Create folders in your bookmarking process like “algebra”, “geometry”, or “DAPS” (my favorite acronym for Data Analysis, Probability and Statistics).

To get your search off to a successful start, I’ll share Wake County Public School System’s collection of YouTube.com videos that cover the Common Core State Standards in elementary, middle and high school.  Their YouTube channel houses over 200 videos for your viewing pleasure, all titled and tagged accurately and concisely.  Click on the sorted links below – but first, make sure you’ve covered all of the above.

TheWCPSSAcademics – Elementary school mathematics

TheWCPSSAcademics – Middle school mathematics

TheWCPSSAcademics – High school mathematics

The All Around Math Guy for your Flipped Classroom

Teachers are eager to start flipping their classrooms, but the time (and money!) it takes to make their own videos might be out of reach.  Part of my job as the Lead Digital Curriculum Developer at an ed-tech company in NYC is to vet and sort through oodles of educational math videos already on YouTube.com and other video hosting sites.

One of the content creators I absolutely love is Eric Balzarini, The All Around Math Guy.  He has filmed over 700 videos for both middle school and high school mathematics lessons.  Each video has segments including both straightforward PowerPoint-like lectures and real world application.  Take a look at some of my favorites, and try incorporating his lessons into your flipped classroom:

Tiles on the Stairs…Squares and Square Roots

“Perfect squares and square roots are introduced using the context of square tiles. Also presented is how prime factors can be used to determine if a number is a perfect square or not.”

Model of the Eiffel Tower…Determining the Scale (as a Ratio)

“The scale of a small model of the Eiffel Tower is determined by looking at the ratio of its dimensions as compared to the corresponding height and width of the actual tower.”

Shopping in Italy…Working With Percents Mentally

“Shopping for running shoes at an outlet mall in Barbarino di Mugello, Italy is the scene for introducing the concept of determining percentages of numbers using mental math rather than a calculator.”

Turning a San Francisco Streetcar Around…Angles, Radian Measure, & Arc Length

“Turning a San Francisco Cable Car around at the end of the line is used as a context to review a variety of trigonometric concepts: standard position, radian measure, reference angle, co-terminal angles, and arc length.”