Monday, June 25, 2012

Flipped Classrooms and the Common Core Standards

Personalized Learning in the Common Core Standards

By Amy Esseleman
Flipped classrooms help teachers prepare students to master the skills outlined in the Common Core Standards

Like most kids, I pretended the little “homework” section in my agenda was more of a suggestion than an expectation. Plus, homework was hard. It never seemed like what we learned that day. Surely someone changed something! How come I couldn’t remember how to work the problems? Why did the book I was reading suddenly appear to be written in another language?

I’ve never understood why the explanation portion of learning was taught in class and the application portion—the part most kids need the help on—occurs outside of class.

The majority of the time it’s not the lesson that students struggle with—it’s replicating and applying it.

Students everywhere can start to rejoice. There is a growing trend filtering through schools, secondary and college level institutions alike, to “flip” the traditional classroom and try something new.

There are teachers who have essentially ditched spending the entire class period explaining and assigning material, and replaced it with discussion, group work, and “in-class” homework. This isn’t a new concept, but it’s finally catching on.

Instructions, reading, background information, and pre-work can all be done before or at the beginning of class. Teachers no longer have to send students home with mountains of worksheets and to-do lists.

We have personalized learning to thank.

The concept of personalized learning is having a huge influence on the way teachers are thinking about their classrooms. They are no longer seeing students as one and the same. They are individuals, all with different needs and skills. Now everything you used to teach to the whole class can fall, at least partially, into the hands of students. Discussion and application as the main focus in a class will allow for assignments to better relate to and interest students. Once they gain a background of a subject or lesson they are free to explore, ask questions and tackle learning objectives.

Here’s something to consider.

In addition to personalized learning making its way into the classroom, the Common Core Standards are making a flipped classroom more feasible. The skills based Standards are one more reason to support the idea of flipping the classroom structure. Now is not the time to send kids home with all sorts of skills to master—students need to work on them in the classroom. When they need help, you’re right there.

Students won’t be home alone tearing their hair out because they get stuck. When you flip the classroom—have the teacher and learning resources available during school instead of after, you spend more time evaluating, analyzing and understanding.

Homework has always been about what answer you got. Now it can be about how you got there—the process. Students everywhere will one day rejoice.

1 comment:

  1. Insightful article. I just attend the Countdown to Common Core Conference hosted by FLDOE in Orlando, Florida. It was a great opportunity to learn more about these newly adopted standards and what this means for our student's futures. I'd definitely say their future is bright. Common Core is the way to Go!