California Educator

December 2012

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FLIPPING GNIPPILF the classroom FLIPPINg, OTHERwISE KNOwN AS BACKwARDS TEACHINg, IS A NATIONwIDE TREND THAT ENCOuRAgES STuDENTS TO BE RESPONSIBLE FOR THEIR OwN LEARNINg. B Y S H E R RY P O S N I C K - G O O D W I N PHOTOS BY SCOTT BUSCHMAN Algebra class has never smelled so delicious. The eighth-graders are figuring out how their teacher changed the cookie recipe to adjust the yield, making volume conversions, such as cups to tablespoons, and using deductive reasoning skills and equations. The best-tasting cookies will come from students who correctly tweak the recipe. Without being told by their teacher, Michael Salamanca���s middle school students know what to do because they watched his videotaped, 10-minute lesson the previous night at home. It���s called ���flipping the classroom��� or ���backward teaching,��� and the trend is spreading nationwide, reports Education Week. The goal is for students to take responsibility for their own learning and walk into the classroom ready to discuss a topic, collaborate with fellow classmates and put their knowledge to work. The founders of the learning model were Colorado teachers Jonathan Bergmann and Aaron Sams, whose idea went mainstream with the help of free online educational videos created by Salman Khan, founder of the Khan Academy. Traditionally, teachers model or present information and 34 California Educator December 2012 ��� January 2013 put problems on the board. Students��� homework is more of the same type of problems. In a ���flipped��� classroom, students��� homework is learning the lesson, and class time is spent doing hands-on assignments that show a practical application of the material they learned. If students don���t get it after watching the videos, they receive individual or small-group tutoring by the teacher, bringing them up to speed. THOSE FLIPPING VIDEOS Tech-savvy teachers seeking something different find the approach exciting. Others believe it diminishes the role of the teacher or taking teaching to a new, automated format. But Salamanca and other San Diego Education Association (SDEA) members at Innovation Middle School say they are thrilled to have time for hands-on lessons that encourage critical-thinking skills and increase student engagement. They attribute backward teaching to producing higher test scores. Salamanca produces his videos by pushing the ���record��� button of his Promethean board, an interactive whiteboard that connects to a computer. Students hear his voice and see what he���s writing, but they can���t see him. ���Last year I created more than 75 videos and posted them on YouTube and the district���s video site,��� says Salamanca. ���It���s not easy, especially the first year. It takes a lot of time. But

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