esmith@flglobal.org

The Best Way to Start a Flipped Class

This past Spring, I saw something new. I visited Kirk Humphries’ 7th grade Flipped Math class in Deerfield, Illinois and I was blown away with how he started his flipped class. Most flipped class teachers start out class by either answering questions from the flipped video, or by having students do a short quiz. Kirk did neither of those.

Instead, Kirk asked students to summarize the video. He sat in the back of the class and let the students take charge. The first student got up and grabbed a whiteboard marker and discussed what he learned. After a short time another student raised his hand. The first student tossed the marker to the second student, who began to share. Then another student asked a question. The whole class turned to Mr. Humphries and hoped he would answer. Instead, Kirk threw it back at the class and asked if any of them had an idea about how to answer the student’s question. Up jumps another student who took the lead and helped out the kid with the question. For ten minutes I sat in amazement at how well a group of thirteen-year-old students discussed math. It was magical.

For the rest of the class students worked on questions using a variety of surfaces. Some stood at the board, others had their own whiteboards and others worked on paper. It was one of the best flipped classes I have ever seen. After the class started I asked Kirk if he had any videos of those first few minutes and lo and behold, he did. So I encourage you to watch this process.  

I also shot some video of the in class activities and posted it below. Stay tuned for a Flip Side Radio episode with Kirk where you can hear more from him about this innovative practice.

Now it is your turn: when you start your flipped class, don’t just answer questions, have students summarize the flipped video.  

Leave a Reply