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Teacher ‘flips’ class

POSTED: October 30, 2013 4:00 a.m.
David Renner Dawson Community News/

Eighth grade math teacher Kristina Priest instructs students during the group-work teaching portion of her class.

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One Dawson County teacher is flipping math class on top of itself.

Kristina Priest, an eighth-grade math teacher at Dawson County Middle School, is teaching her students via videos that can be viewed at home.

"The majority of student content is usually in the classroom itself," Priest said. "The students then go home and do homework. That's how we've always taught and been taught.

A "flipped class" works in reverse. The content the students are learning is done at home.

"That's where the videos come into play. I require them to take notes from the video and come in prepared the next day," Priest said. "In the classroom, we do the ‘homework' section. A lot of collaborative learning and hands on activities go on during class."

Priest was approached with restructuring her class by administration after a set of education conferences.

"I researched this system for about a week or so. The research was phenomenal," she said. "Eighth-grade math is such a hard curriculum. I tried to think of better ways to offer it. With this system, they can have me as a private tutor during the day."

Priest posts videos to her school-sanctioned account on a popular online video hosting service.

A typical video runs about 10 minutes in length and can be viewed as many times as it takes for a student to grasp the concept.

Previous concepts are reviewed during "warm ups" at the start of class.

Priest said the results of the the flipped class method have been astounding.

"My data really speaks a lot. With Riverview [Middle], I've always been behind in [CRCT] exams," she said. "I've always been in the high 49 percent range," Priest said. "This year, I was in the 70 percent range. I can really see the impact this program has had."

The CRCTs, or Criterion-Referenced Competency Tests, are designed to measure how well students acquire the skills and knowledge of the state mandated content standards in reading, English/language arts, mathematics, science and social studies.

"This program has been wonderful. I've always struggled having enough time and now I have extra time," Priest said. "This is my eighth year of teaching and I've never been able to do hands-on activities until after school. Now I get to do it during classes."




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