Feedback: Teachers Report Success With 'Flipped Classroom'

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In fifth period pre-calculus, Carthage High School math teacher Valerie Pond is all over the room helping students with quadratics and giving tips on assignments. 

The only place she isn't is in front of the white board.

That's how she likes it.

"I'm walking around the room and they're all working together and talking math," said Pond.

Pond has flipped her classroom.

Instead of teaching a lesson in class, Pond records the lesson, puts it on YouTube and the students watch it as homework.

Then in class, the students work on the assignment and she helps. 

The kids say they like it.

"Instead of like, copying notes down in class, because I feel like that's kinda boring and redundant," said Desiree Reyes, student.

Down the hall, Jamie Gates teaches earth science.

Gates has flipped her classroom, too. 

She says it gives her the opportunity to do more demonstrations and students are getting more attention than ever before. 

"If they're working through something, instead of raising their hand in front of everybody, they can just call me over and I can help them one on one," said Gates.

So what about Common Core?

School administration says it fits right in with the state's new standards.

"It's exactly the part of the Common Core that's putting the emphasis on student-centered learning, where the students decide which direction they're going to go and what they need," said Carthage High School Principal Joseph Sedita.

Often in education, it all comes down to grades. 

Although this is only year one for Pond in flipping her classroom, she says she's very optimistic.

"I'm grading the quadratic test they just took; the grades are far better than they ever have been," she said.

Pond says it's more work this first year, but eventually she'll accumulate a video library of lessons.

She's excited about flipping the school script because instead of changing what she's teaching, she's thinking about the way those things are being taught. 

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Sunday, November 23, 2014
, Watertown, NY

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