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Flipping the classroom for better learning

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TYLER (KYTX) - Rethink how your kids learn.

That's the message some teachers got today at a seminar that taught them to flip the classroom.

It's a method that would change up the way things are traditionally done, and allow your kids to have more one on one time with the teacher.

Gone are the days of just lecturing in front of class for Sheila Thurmond, an algebra teacher at Moore Middle School.

"More math was argued about, talked about and worked in the first two weeks of school than I'd say had been done in the whole previous year," says Thurmond.

Thurmond flipped her classroom.

"Last year my students asked if they could video tape me. The thought is they understand it in class, but then they get home and they can't apply it," says Thurmond.

She took that idea, and ran with it.

Posting lectures, and allowing students to move around class as they please.

The idea is what Canadian math teacher, Graham Johnson is making the focus of his classroom, and teaching other teachers at UT Tyler as part of a lecture series.

"When I'm at the front, who's doing the most of the thinking, it's the teacher, who's doing the math work in my case, it's me. My students are the passive observers," says Johnson.

Think of it as a way to let students decide how they learn best.

They can take their classroom time and watch the lecture online, work in groups to discuss it, do homework in class, or ask the teacher questions.

It teaches time management and has a strong success rate since people have different styles of learning.

"If I can incorporate more of those collaboration, innovation, problem solving skills into my class, I think those are the skills that are going to make students more successful," says Johnson.

"I'm not sure I have it at the level that I want it at for my really high kids, I know my low kids are benefiting," says Thurmond.

Thurmond says she still has some kinks to work out, but she likes the results she's seeing.

She says she knows this basis isn't best for every student and that's why she allows them to still receive lecture based learning in class.

This was the first installment in the continued education program through the Center for Teaching Excellence and Ingenuity.

 

 

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