Inverted Lessons in the 5th Grade Classroom

Pay attention! There will be a quiz at the end . . .

In an effort to transform student learning, co-teachers Ms. Wilkie and Ms. Calnan are turning students on their heads. They are shifting the axis of their 5th grade learning environment by translating a fraction of their math lessons up to the cloud. That’s right; the occupants of Room 101 are using technology to flip a few math lessons! As a result, students spend class time gaining a deeper understanding through application of the concept they learned for homework the previous night, while teachers dynamically evaluate and regroup students to provide additional support or enrichment activities. Flipped learning is striking a chord with students and teachers alike as it accounts for the variable rates at which students learn and provides opportunities for more meaningful teaching, thereby enhancing learning outcomes for all students.

Screen Shot 2015-03-03 at 1.28.25 PM

Adapted from The Flipped Classroom infographic at

According to the Flipped Learning Network, inverted or “flipped learning is a pedagogical approach in which direct instruction moves from the group learning space to the
individual learning space, and the resulting group space is transformed into a dynamic, interactive learning environment where the educator guides students as they apply concepts and engage creatively in the subject matter.” In this blended learning equation, educational technology is the glue that holds the model together.

[table id=11 /]

Teacher Tools Student Tools
Schoolwires Website used to distribute content to students Teacher’s Schoolwires Website used to access content at home
Instructional videos created by teachers using browser-based Educreations or the Explain Everything app for the iPad Any web-enabled device used to view instructional videos / iPads used in the classroom
Google Apps for Education or Microsoft Office used to create student documents Worksheets to record evidence of learning for the at home portion of the lesson
QR Code generator used to point students to instructional videos on unit review documents QR Code readers used to watch teacher directed videos to review for unit tests

Thus far in Room 101 the educational technology picture for the flipped math lessons looks a bit like this, but the teachers are upping the ante as they join the blended learning bandwagon. Fast becoming a new formula for learning, the flipping phenomenon is filtering down from post secondary to elementary education. While scientific research is scarce for this emerging theory, survey data shows an increasing trend in participation as well as benefits. According to the Flipped Learning Network (FLN), the number of teachers who flipped a lesson increased from 48% in their 2012 survey to 78% in 2014. And while 95% of respondents represented middle to high school classrooms in 2012, elementary flippers grabbed 15% of the market share in 2014. (

Ms. Wilkie and Ms. Calnan are riding this positive slope, and so are their students. Just last week, Project Tomorrow’s Speak Up National Research Project released results that suggest 59% of students in grades 3-12 believe technology enables them to learn at their own pace while half feel technology gives them more control over their learning. ( Closer to home, a student surveyed in Room 101 revealed,

“I enjoyed it [flipped math lesson] because I could slow down and do the problems at my pace. Also, I could pay more attention to the video. I hope we do flipped classroom more often!”

It stands to reason that the wishes of this set of Hopkins students will be granted. For at this point, the outcome has exceeded expectations, and Ms. Wilkie and Ms. Calnan are plotting to increase the frequency as well as tweak the delivery of flipped lessons. Excitement continues to build as the radius of learning continues to expand beyond the perimeter of Room 101.

And now for the quiz! How many math terms can you parse from this post? Go ahead and leave a comment with your best guess!

By Stephanie Doty

Reposted from 03/04/2015


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