Breaking the mold of traditional learning

Students in Math Class

KANAWHA, Iowa – An area math class is eliminating the need for traditional teacher lectures, and is changing the way they approach homework.

Seventh graders at West Hancock Middle School are no longer sitting through teacher’s lectures in classroom.  Instead, they are listening to and watching online at home. This program titled “Flipped Learning,” is a strategy that sends lesson plans to the home and brings homework back into the classroom.

Kristi Gast flipped her curriculum at the beginning of this school year. She tells us that her main objective is to have students cover the basic groundwork of the lesson at home, then class time can be devoted to hands-on problem solving under her watchful eye.

“The classroom is much more student centered,” Gast explains, “I can watch the students work, and I can correct mistakes as they happen, instead of after-the-fact.” She says this strategy not only allows her students to be more productive with their practice work, but it also helps her build stronger relationships in the classroom, and reduce some confusion and stress at home.

Gast says that since the school year began, more students have been turning in their homework on time, and there is little concern in her mind about whether or not the students are fully grasping all of the mathematical concepts. Aside from seeing her students succeed in such a tough subject, she tells us she is looking forward to being able to compare tests results to the numbers she saw last year.

West Hancock isn’t the only district giving this whole idea of flipped learning a try. The Howard-Winneshiek School District, along with the Forest City Community School district, have implemented this strategy into some of their classrooms as well.


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