Five Reasons Parents Should Be Thrilled Their Child is in a Flipped Class

top 5 reasons why parents should be excited that their child is in a flipped classroom

Note:  I produced a radio show on this same topic.  You can listen to that episode by clicking HERE

In the past few years, many teachers from around the world have started to use a new method called the flipped classroom.  Some parents are curious, others skeptical, and a few hostile.  If you are a parent of a student in a flipped classroom, what is it you need to know about the model so that your son or daughter can have the best experience possible? Read More

How to Learn 120 Student Names on the First Day of School

How to learn 120 students on the first day(1)

How to learn 120 students on the first day(1)Note:  this post accompanies a radio show episode I made on the same topic. You can listen to the radio show by clicking HERE

Teaching is fundamentally a relational activity and nothing tells a student that they matter more than knowing their name.  When I first started teaching in 1986, I was so busy worrying about what I was going to teach that I neglected learning about who I would be teaching.  Those first few years of teaching it seemed to take forever to learn all of my students names.  I even remember coming to a parent teacher conference and there were a few kids names that I still hadn’t learned.  I was embarrassed and needed to change. It was then that I realized that I needed to make this a priority in my teaching.

The next year I resolved to learn my student’s names much faster.  Over the years I have devised a system where I can literally know every student’s name on the first day.  Let me walk you through the steps I took to learn their names.  Note that the process doesn’t start on the first day, but much of the work happens before the students even arrive.

  • I map out the room(s) with all of the seats students would be in.
  • Once I receive the class lists, I physically write their first name and last initial on a spot on the seating chart.  I use a pencil as students often will be added or dropped from my roster for a variety of reasons.  I create one of these seating charts for each class. Use a big marker to indicate which class the list belongs to.
  • With the seating charts in hand I devote one to two hours of time to standing in my room and I say the names of the students out loud.  Essentially I am memorizing which student sits in which seat in each class.
  • On the morning of the first day I go in early and practice again.
  • On the first day I have the seating chart projected on the screen.
  • I stand at the door and greet students and tell them that there is a seating chart and that it is on the screen.
  • During the first day students do an activity from their seats which takes about 10-20 minutes.  While they are working on that project I work at saying their names in my head.  At this point I look at them and try to match a face to a name.
  • Toward the end of class I go around the room and state their names out loud. There is something about saying it out loud in their presence that reinforces it in my mind.
  • At this point I still haven’t attached a face to the name, but rather have memorized who sits in which seat in each class.  So I still need to practice. Every time I ask something of individual students, I try to use their name and after about a week I know the face along with the name.

You probably read this post in hopes that there was some easy way to learn 120 names on the first day.  There are no shortcuts.  It takes a lot of hard work and commitment.  But I have found that this pays back rewards throughout the year.  Kids love to know that they are not just another face in my classroom.  They want to be valued, and learning their names is one way to start the school year off well.  I hope this helps you as much as it has helped me.

Explore Flipped Learning at ISTE 2015

ISTE2015logo2Are you going to the ISTE 2015 conference and want to find out more about Flipped Learning?  There are quite a few opportunities for you to explore.  Below is a list of the sessions we were able to find.

But first, we (Jon Bergmann & Aaron Sams) would like to invite you to our large group session where we will be talking about our latest project.  We have written a series of short-form books about flipping different subjects/curricular areas.  Our session focuses in on one central question:  Now that you have flipped your class, what do you do IN class?  Thus far we have written four of the five books, two of which are currently in print.  The other three are in various stages of editing and writing.  The books are:

  • Flipped Learning for Science Instruction (In print and available at ISTE 2015)

  • Flipped Learning for Math Instruction (In print and available at ISTE 2015)

  • Flipped Learning for Social Science Instruction (In the last stages of editing)

  • Flipped Learning for ELA Instruction (In the beginning stages of editing)

  • Flipped Learning for Elementary Education (We are currently writing this book)

Details on Our Large Group Session

Flip This, Flip That: Flipped Learning across the Grades and Subject Areas

Tuesday, June 30 from 2:15-3:15

Room: PCC 113BC

Book signing right after the session

Other Sessions

Session & Presenters

Time and Location

Blend and Flip in the Elementary Classroom

Kim Sharp, Linda Corbin

Monday, June 29

8:30–9:30 am

PCC 103A

Bring Flipped Learning Into the Elementary Literacy Classroom

Katharine Hale

Monday, June 29

11:00 am–12:00 pm

PCC 124

Create Your First Touchcast Today! (B212)

Crystal Kirch

Monday, June 29

11:00 am–12:00 pm

PCC 118A

How to Flip Your Classroom Without Flipping out Your Students

Cody Fannin, Kelly Bentley, Robin Hunter

Poster Session

Monday, June 29

11:00 am–1:00 pm

PCC Broad Street Atrium, Table 36

Snapshot 1 of 2: Wanna Flip? Touchcast It

David Lockhart

Monday, June 29

12:45–1:45 pm

PCC 121AB, Table 1

Flip your Classroom with Office Mix: MIE Teacher Academy Series

Gloria Wood

Monday, June 29

1:30–2:30 pm

PCC 203

Free Flipped Learning Tools You’ll Love

Rachelle Wooten

Monday, June 29

3:00–3:15 pm

Marriott 309/310

Flipped Learning Instructional Model: Perceptions of Student Engagement in Eighth Grade Math

Diane Mason, Keely Coufa

Monday, June 29

4:15–5:15 pm

PCC 122A, Table 1

WSQing Your Way to FlipClass Success

Crystal Kirch

Monday, June 29, 4:15–5:15 pm

PCC 204C

Flipping Across Disciplines

Robert Boriskin

Monday, June 29

5:30–6:45 pm

PCC 124, Table 2

Flip Your Class from Start to Finish

Crystal Kirch

Tuesday, June 30

8:30–11:30 am

Marriott Franklin 6

Flip This, Flip That: Flipped Learning across the Grades and Subject Areas

Aaron Sams, Jonathan Bergmann

Tuesday, June 30

2:15–3:15 pm


Creating an Inquiry-Based Classroom through Flipped and Personalized Learning

Ashley Fulmer

Tuesday, June 30

4:00–5:00 pm

Flipping Your Classroom with Google Apps for Education (B327)

Bruce Ellis

Tuesday, June 30

4:00–5:00 pm

PCC 118A

Flipping Forward: Research to Guide the Evolution of Flipped Instruction

Bethann Wiley, Debra Ingram, Wayne Feller

Tuesday, June 30

4:00–5:00 pm

PCC 122A, Table 2

Snapshot 2 of 2: Flip Your Meetings for Effective Results

Kelli Murphy-Godfrey

Tuesday, June 30

4:00–5:00 pm

PCC 120B, Table 2

Many Methods to Flipped Classroom Success

Ayelet Segal, Brian Jones, Crystal Kirch, Timonious Downing

Wednesday, July 1

10:15–11:15 am

PCC 125

Flipped Out! Tales of a First-Year Flipper

Carrie Shanahan, Renee Ashlock

Wednesday, July 1

11:00 am–1:00 pm

PCC Broad Street Atrium, Table 12

Flipping the Math Classroom for English Language Learners

Angelica Safanova

Wednesday, July 1

11:00 am–1:00 pm

PCC Broad Street Atrium, Table 5

Stop Doing Teacher Demos! Flipped Learning in Career and Tech Ed

Chaiti Paul, Natalie Hamilton

Wednesday, July 1, 11:00 am–1:00 pm

PCC Broad Street Atrium, Table 41

If you would like, you can also download a pdf of this and bring it with you to ISTE 2015 as a quick reference:

One last thing. If you are coming to ISTE 2015, we are collecting your stories for possibly having you on Jon’s radio show.  If interested in telling us how you got started flipping your class or how you are implementing flipped learning, please fill out the form linked HERE.

Flipping 3rd Grade

Last week I had the privilege of visiting Cindy Gallagher’s third grade class at St. Celestine School in Elmwood Park, IL. Jeanine Rocchi, the building principal, met me in her office and told me how pleased she was with Cindy’s move to a flipped classroom.  I was then escorted to the room and walked into a place of active learning and engagement.  Her students greeted me and even made a poster for me.

The lesson I observed was a math lesson on finding volume.  The previous night the students had watched a 3 min video on how to find volume.  You can watch it here:  Then in class, Cindy spent a few minutes checking for understanding regarding volume and then gave them three tasks:

  • A Socrative Quiz on their iPads
  • A typical worksheet where students solve volume problems
  • A hands on activity where students found the volume of several rectangular objects in the room

Each student jumped in and started working on their tasks.  Since they already had background information they  were ready to get messy with their learning.  As I circulated in the room, I took some time to talk to many of the students.  I asked if they had watched the video and all of them said they had.  One boy told me that the topic was a bit “tricky” for him and he had to watch it twice.  I loved how this young man knows when he needs to hear something twice.

Another young man was not doing the tasks in the order that Mrs. Gallagher had presented and I asked him why. He told me he really like the Socrative quiz best so he wanted to save it for last.  He was taking more ownership of his learning.  He liked that he had some choice over the order in which he accomplished tasks.

Afterward, I chatted with Cindy and asked about her thoughts on the lesson and on flipped learning in particular.  She told me, “I could never go back.”  And, since she was only flipping math, she wanted to expand it more for next year.  So next year she is going to start flipping some grammar and vocabulary. She said she loves that her kids are getting so much more individual attention.

What strikes me about Cindy’s class, is how the simplicity of flipped class method has such deep implications for learning. Her class has been transformed and allows for greater differentiation, more engagement, and better student outcomes.

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