## Project Description

The 21st century is changing the landscape of our society and has implications that are far-reaching, especially for teaching and learning. How can educators make learning relevant in this new digital age? With access to digital computing devices for informational reference and devices that can perform quick computations, a new focus on ideas, concepts, ingenuity, innovation, and creation can emerge in the educational realm. Teaching and learning, now more than ever, must make the shift from being knowledge and skill based to placing emphasis on higher-order thinking skills where students are able to demonstrate understanding in a variety of ways.

This project will take at look at this dynamic in the high school mathematics classroom and examine ways in which the use of technology and best-pedagogical practices can engage students in "doing math" in more sophisticated ways. It is designed to make a transition from students simply being able to solve equations and manipulate expressions to having a deeper understanding of the concepts. This understanding can be demonstrated by engaging in tasks for which students would analyze, apply, synthesize, evaluate, create and share in a meaningful, mathematically-rich environment.

This project will take at look at this dynamic in the high school mathematics classroom and examine ways in which the use of technology and best-pedagogical practices can engage students in "doing math" in more sophisticated ways. It is designed to make a transition from students simply being able to solve equations and manipulate expressions to having a deeper understanding of the concepts. This understanding can be demonstrated by engaging in tasks for which students would analyze, apply, synthesize, evaluate, create and share in a meaningful, mathematically-rich environment.

## Overview

Definition of problem

My students have come to know that "application" is my secret word for "story problems"...and we all know how students feel about story problems. Many of my students are often able to perform mechanical operations, solve equations and inequalities, and simplify expressions. However, they are rarely able to demonstrate understanding by applying, synthesizing, analyzing, and making connections between the mathematics and their world. There is a disconnect; a gap that needs to be bridged.

My students have come to know that "application" is my secret word for "story problems"...and we all know how students feel about story problems. Many of my students are often able to perform mechanical operations, solve equations and inequalities, and simplify expressions. However, they are rarely able to demonstrate understanding by applying, synthesizing, analyzing, and making connections between the mathematics and their world. There is a disconnect; a gap that needs to be bridged.

Desired transformation

I would like to see my students make the shift from an instrumental understanding to more of a relational understanding; a shift from knowledge and skills to application, analysis, and synthesis; to truly grasp the meaning of the mathematical concepts studied; to do mathematics in more real and relevant ways.

I would like to see my students make the shift from an instrumental understanding to more of a relational understanding; a shift from knowledge and skills to application, analysis, and synthesis; to truly grasp the meaning of the mathematical concepts studied; to do mathematics in more real and relevant ways.

## Use of technology and pedagogy for transformation: The Flipped Classroom Concept

Bell rings.
Class begins with a warm-up, usually practice problems from previous lesson. Students check their answers to previous night's homework and the teacher answers a few questions. The teacher presents new material, primarily through lecture with guided examples ending with a story problem(s). Students take notes and copy down each example. The homework assignment is given. Students may have some time to work in class, but need to finish the practice problems (typically just like the examples) at home. Quizzes and tests are given approximately once a week consisting of problems that resemble those from class examples and homework practice. |

This is the way that many typical high school math classes operate and the way that my classroom operates 85% of the time. Of course the structure and flexibility may vary from teacher to teacher and classroom to classroom, but most have certainly attended a math class that operated similar to this. I most certainly have operated a classroom very much like this. In an environment such as this, learning is largely individual and less social and doing and understanding math consists of parroting with some scripted application. This is not an environment that values the theories that support that learning is a very social process and that deeper understanding can be gained and exhibited in a variety of ways.

What I am proposing is that this type of mathematics classroom be "flipped"! This would mean that students are listening to lectures and taking notes at home and have the opportunity to do math, build understanding, apply, analyze, synthesize, and create in the classroom along with others and the teacher as the facilitator of learning. This new environment might operate more like this:

Bell rings.
Students gather in small groups. Teacher poses a problem or introduces the activity for the day. Students gather materials and begin work. Teacher walks around monitoring progress, answering questions, and providing feedback. Students come together for group presentations or discussion of the activity and how the ideas are connected. Students discuss what assumptions can be made and which need to be justified. They might discuss what that justification would be. Class ends with a brief time for individual reflection. For homework, students will view a video introducing the mathematics concepts for the next day, take notes, and answer a few preliminary questions. |

## More information on the flipped classroom and its origin

- How the Flipped Classroom Is Radically Transforming Learning
- Vocasting and the flipped classroom
- Incredible webinar with leaders on Flipped Classrooms
- Let's use video to reinvent education: Salman Khan on TED.com

## Technology needed to facilitate the transformation

## Hardware
Laptop Computers (1 per student)
Headsets w/microphone or Earbuds(1 per student) External hard drives (10 to 12) Powerstrips (6 to 8) |
## Software
TechSmith Camtasia
TechSmith Jing TechSmith SnagIt TI Smartview |

Dashika (Missy) McCarthy

Michigan State University MAET, 2011

dashikamccarthy@gmail.com