Dear Parents & Guardians,

Your teacher directed you here to help you understand the flipped classroom model. Let us begin by intrucing ourselves. We and John and Brian, two teachers in NY state who started doing this relatively new process called "flipped instruction".

Flipped Instruction is the process of shifting classroom and homework dynamics to make bettter use of time in class. Instead of teaching students the base skills of a subject in class and sending your child home with problems to complete for homework, we are instead providing homework that delivers base skills so when your child comes into class, he or she already has those skills and we can start with more complex applications of the knowledge. Let's look at a few examples:

  • In a Math class, your child may be assigned homework to watch a video recorded by the teacher before class. Your child may be expected to watch the assignment and complete 1 or 2 problems to check for understanding. These are relatively simple applications of the skill and the video can be watched again and again. When your child comes into school the following day, the class can immediately start trying more complex applications of the skill while the teacher is there to clarify, assist and encourage your child to try out these applications. This provides a nice safety net since the teacher and other peers are there to help your child understand the next level of the concept. This helps decrease the frustration when your child comes home with difficult problems and no way to ask for help until the following day in class.
  • In a Social Studies class, a teacher may assign your child a clip from a documentary online. Your child may learn about the history of a concept and come to class ready to start a project such as a poster or other application of knowledge. It would be a waste of time for the teacher to lecture at the students for 20 minutes and then provide the assignment halfway into the class period.
  • In an Art class, students may watch a video that explains different types of tools or materials and how they can be utilized. Students then enter into the class with the skills to begin a project.

As you can see, the extra time in class is great for students to apply their knowledge as opposed to obtain the knowledge. Students who have difficulties with learning the base skills of the concept can repeat the video as many times as desired until the skill is learned. This helps students who may be too shy to ask extra questions during class.


How You Can Help

Many parents wish to help during this process, which not only helps their child, but also helps the teacher. As a parent, you can do any or all of the following things to help your child learn:

  • Learn With Your Child
    Watch the videos with your child. Children like to learn, especially when a parent wants to learn with the child. When your child comes back from school, show interest in the topic and ask your child to teach you the advanced applications learned in school. Showing interest will help your child be a lifelong learner.

  • Be Patient
    For some teachers, this will be a difficult process. Allow your child's teacher to develop their own style of flipped instruction. Be sure to ask questions and provide support. Your child's teacher will appreciate it!