At the start of this year I walked into a class full of students with low motivation, low ability, poor attendance and renowned behavioural issues. After teaching for three weeks I was frustrated, the students were frustrated and no one was having a good time.
I had to change something. I started flipping my classes last year, but I had only ever flipped top classes or seniors so I was really unsure how it would work with this class.
I knew that many of these students were unlikely to complete homework. Most have been in the “bottom” class for years and have a pretty poor mindset when it comes to learning. Instead of introducing the standard “videos at home, exercises in class” flipped model, I decided to in-flip.
Best. Decision. Ever.
The idea is that students can complete everything during class time – videos, exercises… whatever. Of course they have the option to take their work home and work on it there (and some have taken this up) but it isn’t an expectation. The main focus is to get students working at their own pace with more one-on-one time with me.
Three weeks in and I’m loving walking into that class each lesson. I’m not sure the students are quite at the point where they’d say they love maths, but the change in their attitude, effort and work ethic has been amazing.
One student (who during one of our first lessons was found standing on a table with a traffic cone on his head) was working hard one lesson and turned to me with complete sincerity and said “Miss, I like this better”. When asked why, he summed it up perfectly with “Because we don’t have to stop and move onto the next thing if we’re not ready”.
Each lesson I have 26 students working on different things – whatever they’re up to. Today some were completing exercises, some were watching their next video, a few were completing a revision exercise and one student was attempting a topic test. Each student is going to be pushed as far as they can to reach the highest level of maths that they are capable of.
This year is looking amazing.