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So a couple months ago, I was having a conversation on twitter with another teacher discussing homework and how I had kids not doing it, doing it all wrong, etc.  She suggested I watch a video link she sent me from youtube on "flipping the classroom."  Here's the video link- check it out The Flipped Classroom.


Anyhow, it just made so much sense to me.  So I decided to go ahead and "flip" my classroom.  I was just finishing up my unit on fractions, so it made sense to start with my unit on decimals.


In the past, I had started many classes with what I call a note book item.  This was essentially an explanation of how to do some math skill plus some practice problems on the skill that I would do.  Then I typically have students work on an activity (maybe something involving a number line for instance) or play a game to reinforce the skill.  Finally, I'd have kids take home a sheet of practice work that I had created.  Overall, I wasn't unhappy with this way of doing things but I always questioned how the practice work was going.  Sure it worked nicely for some kids but others never did it and would have to stay in for lunch or after school with me.  Others would come in and tell me they had no idea what they were doing or worse would do it all wrong and then I would have to "unteach" what the practice had taught them!


Now with my "flipping" of the classroom, I make a video of myself doing the note book item and have students go home and watch the video (and fill out the note book item while watching it- nothing more than copying down what I'm doing).Our district has a district Smart note book license and I have a Smart Board in my room so I use Smart note book and the Smart recorder. This works well for me as everything I need to make the video is in one place.   Here is an example Converting Repeating Decimals.   Then the next day when students come in, they do a version of what I used to send home as homework.  While they are doing these practice problems, I'll wander around and chat with kids, getting a sense of their understanding.  I can then do some more work with kids who didn't get it and those that did move on to the game or activity that I had planned for class. 


So far, its been working great.  The kids enjoy it as they can watch and listen to me in their own time.  This means they can rewind me if need be so that they can go over something that just didn't make sense.  I think many of them like this because unlike in class where they feel awkward asking questions, the rewinding and watching again doesn't make them stick out in front of their peers.  Many also like the fact that its a "video" for homework.  It just seems cool to them plus to many who are more visual than auditory learners it helps them retain the information.


All that being said, there are some problems that I'm having.  For one thing I still have a couple kids (4) who are still not doing any homework.  What do I do with the kids who don't watch the video?  I can keep them after but then what do they do in class that day?  This is something I'm struggling with.  Another thing I struggle with is how best to share the videos.  Our district has Google Apps and so I upload the videos and then share with the kids.  The problem is that I'm already at 15% of my file space and I'm not even done the decimal unit!  I don't want to delete them because I think the kids may want to access them later.  I can see possible benefits in putting them on youtube as kids could access them via their ipods, etc too.  Of course then kids have to take extra steps (other than just going to google docs) to get to the videos.


I'd love to generate some discussion on here.  What are people's thoughts on this?  What issues do people have?  Do people have ideas or thoughts about my potential problems?  Let's get a good talk going!

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Tags: flipped classroom, flipping, flipping the classroom


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Comment by Jonathan Bergmann on February 22, 2011 at 9:22am

We are using Camtasia Studio.  It is a bit pricey, but in my estimation, it is the best software for screencasting.


On another  note:  we are hosting a conference on the flipped classroom this summer:  June 16-18 in Woodland Park, CO and for those who come will each receive a free copy of Camtasia Studio.  Details can be found at:  http://vodcasting.ning.com/events/mastery-learning-the-flipped


Comment by Mary Henton on February 22, 2011 at 8:29am
This discussion is very enlightening. Thank you, all, for sharing. Here's a basic tech question: what do you use for doing the video? What software? What hardware?
Comment by Eric Biederbeck on February 21, 2011 at 11:15pm

Thanks for the comments.  Its especially nice to see Jonathan Bergmann join us as it was his video that really got me thinking and changing the way I teach math. 


I'm going to go about discussing the different points that people made kinda in order


First, I love the idea of burning the lessons onto DVD.  I'm in a different position than Jonathan in that a vast majority of my kids have internet access, however there are a few that don't and it means I have to make sure they have a computer available at any free time we do have such as after school ,etc.  The DVD idea is better because it lets them watch it on their own time as well.  I love it!


I'm pretty much also thinking that I need to put videos everywhere.  Teacher Tube, YouTube, Google docs, DVDs, etc. 


Tom- I like the idea of kids making videos and in fact use that as my culminating project at the end of my fraction unit.  I have a dozen or so Bamboo tablets and the kids use those to work out different types of fraction problems and explain them through.  I certainly think that I could add student videos in addition to my own videos.  I would have a bit of a concern with only having the student videos (but that might just be me, maybe I need to let go of some "power")


Karolee- You are completely right about being dependent on kids doing the homework.  That's probably the biggest issue for me.  Its not many- maybe 5 kids out of 70- but I do have a few that just won't do it.  Truth be told they are the same that wouldn't do traditional homework.  I'm wondering if the DVD idea might help with this and lower the amount not doing the homework even more.  Guess I'll have to try it out and see.


MaryEve- We do use Moodle at my school but truth be told my kids are more comfortable (and use it more) with Google docs.  Google docs works great for me in that I upload the video and then share with the kids.  They get an e-m

Comment by Jonathan Bergmann on February 17, 2011 at 9:17am

The Flipped Classroom Video


The Flipped-Mastery Video


Daniel Pink Blog about what we do


Article in the Daily Riff


Video site of podcasts we have made of several great teachers teaching many different topics (Chemistry/Calculus/Physics/Biology/Engineering)



News Video about what we do


Comment by Jonathan Bergmann on February 17, 2011 at 9:08am

I see several questions about "flipping."  I should introduce myself:  I am Jonathan Bergmann and I am probably one of the first teachers to flip.  I have been flipping for 4 years and could never go back.  I, and Aaron Sams started the flip at Woodland Park High School.  In fact we just submitted to ISTE Press a book (yesterday) on the Flipped Classroom.  We anticipate it to be published this summer or this fall.  


To answer a few of your questions:


Access:  I teach in a school where a relatively significant number of students don't have access to computers and the internet at home.  We simply burn the videos onto DVD's and hand them out.  So far no kids have not had a dvd player.  

Where to post:  We took the shotgun approach:  Youtube, Teachertube, on the school server, we also like screencast.com, DVD's.  I also personally load them onto student iPods and cell phones.  It works.  


 Feel free to ask more away if you have further questions

If you want to know more about the flip we have great resources for the flip.  


More Information about the Flipped/Mastery Model of Education

Developed by Aaron Sams and Jonathan Bergmann

For more information about mastery learning and the reverse classroom go to:



Our Webpage





Comment by Tom Jenkins on February 15, 2011 at 2:53pm

I love this idea for Math!

In fact, this makes for a wonderful Science resource as well.  When I used to teach 8th grade Science, I would have my "gifted" students not only do the lab, but I would "make" them responsible to record their lab in action.  They would use a camcorder to record, download, and do minor editing.  Then I would post it on Teacher Tube or You Tube (with parent permission of course) and put a direct link on my school web page.  After our district set up Moodle and Wordpress on high capacity servers, I was able to store all of my video on these 2 internal sources. 

This provided a video record of the activity for the students who did the lab incorrectly, needed to view certain aspects of the lab again for their lab report, or were not present at the time. Students that were out could then “do the lab.” It also allowed for the advanced students to interject some of their own personality (narrations- sometimes they would even dress up in costumes!) into the lab as well as the final edits of their video. Even though it was extra work for those students, I would have to set up a schedule due to so many volunteers. It didn't hurt that I would buy pizza at the end of every quarter either = D The $25 for pizza was well worth avoiding the hassle of coming in early to make up labs and providing an experience for those students that were sick, on vacation, etc.

Comment by Karolee Smiley on February 15, 2011 at 10:47am

I can see some real advantages for students being able to see the introduction at home; students who need to hear it again can, students who are absent are not left out, and they have access to the teacher during practice time.

However, it does put you very dependent on students completing their homework.  I can see several stumbling blocks with students completing homework.  Accessibility seems like the biggest problem.  Do all students have access to the internet at home?  I know at my school, there are families that do not even have phones, let alone internet access.  How do we ensure that these students are included.

Then there might be the obstacles that interfere with doing traditional homework too.  Some students may not have support at home, having to spend time watching younger siblings and helping around the house.  Some students are just overbooked, trying to juggle time for homework between baseball, karate, church and so forth.  I would think that the video would help overcome the "I don't want to" factor which is the problem with most homework.

Comment by MaryEve Corrigan on February 14, 2011 at 3:23pm
Thanks for sharing this, Eric.  Our Upper School math teachers post videos of all their lessons on their Moodle pages.  Not sure if you have Moodle at your school.  Flipping makes sense.  Accessibility is a problem.  Students may not have access at home.  Opening a lab/classroom before/after school might be a way to alleviate this.  The comment about Teach Tube is interesting...I have not used this resource yet.
Comment by Mary Henton on February 14, 2011 at 8:27am

Thanks for sharing this Eric. After we talked the other day I Googled "flipping the classroom" and spent time looking at the videos that showed up, including the one you've linked to here. I agree. THIS MAKES SENSE! It especially makes sense in the math and science classrooms or anyplace that we're working on developing skills and understanding of concepts.

In regards to your questions:

"What to do with kids who don't watch the video." I guess that's a similar conundrum as what to do with kids who don't do the homework. So, yes, having them watch during lunch, come in before or after school, during study time is one way around that. If they watch during class, yes, they miss out on the one-to-one or small group work and practice. Do students earn points or credit for watching or doing the practice problems? If so, then they'd lose points or credit for not watching--in essence, getting behind on their work. But if we're looking for setting up for success and positive learning experience... hmmm....I guess I have two questions:

  1. So what's the problem that this creates? Are they still falling behind?
  2. Why aren't they watching the videos?

"How best to share videos." Would TeacherTube be a solution? It's a free service for teachers and students. Teachers or schools set up accounts, so kids go into the videos from those accounts. Currently there is no file space limit. That would necessitate an additional step, as well, but it resolves the capacity issue.

How do you answer the question, "But doesn't this take more of your time, Eric? You have to video yourself, upload, and all."

A question I have for others who are "flipping" their classrooms: "How do you address accessibility? What about students who don't have iPod or computers at home?"

And then a couple of questions about the technology tools you're (or oth

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