Pushing All In

For the poker players out there here is my analogy between poker and getting started with the Flipped Classroom. You are sitting out of position and get pocket Queens. It’s a great hand but also scary, you can lose to a number of possible hands out there. Any overcard after the flop means you are likely a dead duck. I am not a great poker player, but my college baseball team did help fund my college experience….so what to do….who knows what to do with Queens….I don’t anyways which is why I am not on the World Poker Tour……but when it came to the Flipped Classroom, I pushed all in…..

Yes it is risky…..I had a pretty good thing going in the traditional teaching model. I had a strong report with my students and they were getting results that they desired. Yet I felt there was a better way to do things…….

What I quickly learned about the Flipped Classroom is that it is bigger than just videos. It is a combination of a number of things that make it tick. For me tippy toeing in was not the right way because I would be leaving out critical pieces of the puzzle. If I was to only Flip my lessons I don’t think I would have had much success and would likely be back to chalk and talk.

For a number of reasons I suggest that teachers considering the push all in.

  • Taking a risk is a beautiful thing. It makes you work harder than you ever have before. I wanted to make the Flip Classroom work at all costs so I put my heart and soul into it. Thankfully I had a colleague (@okmbio) to bounce ideas off and we worked together and slowly honed our craft. Taking risks is important if we want to improve as educators, staying with the status quo will result in status quo students.

  • It’s all part of a package. If I was to only flip my videos and do nothing else I don’t think I would have experienced the success I have. The Flipped Classroom without full mastery and differentiation is like cereal without the milk. The mastery and the differentiation components for me took things to the next level. I was able to build a classroom that met the needs of more of my learners, raised the bar higher than the minimum pass rate, and made learning fresh again.

  •  I call it marketing. Put together a strong package but spend time to make it shine. Be confident in yourself and what you are doing. At first I didn’t have this because I was nervous, this second semester rolling out the Flipped Classroom has felt like a breeze. The more you have in your package, see #2, the more you have to stand on. I knew right away there was going to be naysayers. I choose to develop a website that met my needs, looked professional and explained what the Flipped Classroom was and its advantages. I also had a course outline that said everything and more about the journey we were about to embark on to name a couple things I did. By putting together a strong package and marketing it well you can get a lot of people on your side. I was confident that the end product of the Flipped Classroom was a step in the right direction, but the effort I put into marketing it made my life exponentially easier as I sold it to my students and their parents.



About flippingmath

Math Teacher, Flipper, Blue Jays Fan
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One Response to Pushing All In

  1. Love this post… “fully flipping” really is a scary risk/endeavor at first, but so worth it. I feel like we will only keep learning from our experiences and from each other to make it better. I would love to see the website you talked about that lays out your flipped classroom for students/parents. I know that at the beginning of next year I will probably need to do something like that and have some organized explanation of what is going on. Since I didn’t start this year until October, I already had great rapport and relationships with my students and parents before I tried this. I am a little nervous to start with a brand new group of students/parents who don’t know me at all and have them be doing this “thing” that is so different and new.

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