Results of a Semester Survey – Part 3

Here are the responses to the third and final question on the survey: “What are your thoughts and suggestions for change?” I was quite nervous about the results to this question, but the criticisms were very constructive! Again, they are grouped and sorted.

Do More Than Just Easy Problems in Class

  1. It’s probably just me, but I feel like the tests have problems (problems within the lesson) that are in situations completely outside of how we learned it. Instead of just teaching us the basis of the lesson and giving us worksheets to get it down to a process, teach us how to use the math lesson in different situations (like weirdly-worded math problems).
  2. So far, everything in class has been going well. I really enjoy the Flipped Classroom. However, I hope we can do more during class time. Perhaps do more projects where we can apply what we learned to solve real world problems, kind of like the catapult project. In class, everyone finishes (or sometimes people don’t even care about it) a small assignment. I wish we can do more challenging stuff during class time. Thanks.
  3. Every day (or once a week) you could pick a really hard HL exam problem to go over on the Smart Board at the beginning of class. We would take shots at the problem, and you would guide us if we needed help. It would really boost the attitude in the classroom, taking on a problem with the class each day, rather than winging it and hoping you doing fail the next test. Or maybe make a packet of past exam problems to work on each unit? My physics teacher does that, and we work through problems in class together, him helping us with the harder problems.
  4. To change this, it’d be nice to have less repetitive worksheets and it would be good to have maybe two days for a long worksheet before we get another one. It’s overwhelming to get a new worksheet every day.”
  5. Have a certain day allotted to answering all the big and challenging questions before the test. You kind have already been doing that but keep it in mind that I find it highly beneficial.
  6. Would be better if we studied harder topics in class.
  7. Well, I have one suggestion about the flipped classroom. I think it needs more hand written quizzes. They don’t have to be for a grade, but most of the materials we are currently learning involve a lot of solving and applying. Rules and equations from the past are essential to understanding the current materials, and I think solving the equations by our hands would help myself and other fellow students to permanently take in the new materials.
  8. Maybe you could just teach us how to do a few HL problems on the reviews and worksheets so we are not completely lost.

I like all of these suggestions, and I’m thrilled that the number one issue is that students want to learn MORE. I am going to try to implement as many of these ideas as I can!

Prefer to Be Taught in Class

  1. My only complaint is that when I’m at home, I don’t have the motivation or energy to try to learn anything. Videos are a good idea in theory, but even if I do watch them, I don’t absorb enough to understand the lesson being taught. I do not understand anything that comes out of the videos; I like it when YOU teach. The worksheets and videos do not help, I wish there would be more teaching in class instead of me coming in the morning and disturbing you almost every day. I love the way you teach because I thoroughly understand the lesson and I can apply it to almost any situation given whether an IB problem or just a simple problem. It makes more sense when you TEACH IN CLASS.
  2. I think in addition to the flipped classrooms, on certain set days of the week, you should have a teaching day preferably towards the end of the week where you provide a summary of the lessons learned during that week. Also there should be two or three days for the explanation for review questions before tests.
  3. For some lessons it would be helpful if you just taught it in class because as seniors a lot of us don’t have the will power to watch math videos at home until the night before our tests. Although the videos help with that, it is easy to get the answer without watching or paying attention that closely. So, if you taught some lessons the regular way it would force students to be caught up because if they weren’t they wouldn’t have a video to lean back on so they would need to pay attention and not procrastinate.
  4. Teaching more in class to get the concept better
  5. Although I don’t mind learning from a video, and it has its advantages, I prefer learning from a teacher standing at the front of a classroom.
  6. Go over a brief overview of the chapters and then teach us how to do some of the harder problems.
  7. Although I do enjoy the liberties of the flipped classroom system, I would at least ask that a portion of the class be used for physical instruction to supplement the flipped classroom. I found it helpful that while the class was flipped, a small amount of instruction to ensure basic conceptual understanding always went a long way. Please: go over concepts taught in the chapter as a class and work through some problems in a structured class setting before turning us loose. That way, we might be able to score higher on tests

I think that re-teaching the lesson in class defeats the entire purpose of flipping the classroom. I have decided to set up a table in the front of the class for those that want a quick recap and some examples. Maybe that will help.

Make Your Own Videos

  1. Make more of your own videos and if you use other people, please don’t use that Ten Marks person who says “Okay?” every other word (he hinders learning)
  2. Maybe we could start lecturing during class and sending home worksheets?
  3. Do not choose videos for us to watch with attractive guys teaching us. It was great until I was tested on the subject……..
  4. Maybe make your own videos…

The goal is for all of the videos to be my own. But since this is my first year flipping, I am only able to do one class at a time. So next year I will do the videos for another class, and keep doing this until all of my classes are done.

Make Students Work in Class

  1. More required involvement in class would probably be more effective.
  2. More of a routine. I never really use class time to get work done, so if there was a routine of doing things, I could get a lot more done.
  3. I liked the flipped classroom but sometimes it is hard to work in class because no one else does. At least when you are teaching the lesson everyone listens but now that they can just watch the videos they have no reason to even work in class.

This is only an issue in some classes. Still working on this.

More Challenging Questions After the Videos

  1. The video checks just seem like grade boosters to me (not complaining 😛 ) but I think it would be more helpful if you had like different example problems as questions because that way we can get some practice right after the lesson to reinforce the concepts that were just discussed in the video. I wonder if you can have like a question bank of a few questions and a random questions pops up each time we take the quiz…I am not sure if that is even possible but just a thought.
  2. more practice problems.
  3. More practice with fractions, as in whatever we are learning but in fraction form.  The problems seem easy until the fractions and then it looks foreign.

They are right. When the videos aren’t mine, I don’t pay full attention, and I ask very simple questions in my video checks. I am going to improve on this, especially since the students actually want to be challenged.

Talk About the Video the Next Day

  1. Review what the video said for 5-10 minutes at the beginning of the class to make sure everyone understands.
  2. I think that you should still go over the material briefly before class in order to clarify the subject at hand. This would help us remember and understand what we just learned as well as provide us with time to clear not only my questions but also learn from the questions my peers ask.

I think that the idea I mentioned in the “Prefer to Be Taught in Class” section will take care of this issue as well.


  1. The one thing I do find to be a problem is that it’s very difficult to get your help for things during class (although I suppose I should just come in for tutoring) because there are just so many people that also need help. I do really enjoy the flipped classroom model, however, and I think it’s helped me both understand material more and improve my math grade immensely.
  2. I personally don’t think this is a good format for my learning style. I’m still not good at time management, so the flipped classroom makes it hard for me to get stuff done. If I haven’t done a homework check, I fall behind. When I fall behind, I progressively get more and more behind and confused, making it difficult to understand this already hard material. And then, because I know I am so far behind, I don’t even know what questions to ask for review because I haven’t even done all of the material yet! I liked last year better, because right after learning the lesson was taught in class I was ready to practice what I learned by  completing the worksheet. I rarely complete the worksheets this year, which is probably why I am not doing as well as I could.
  3. I think having maybe a quiz in the middle of a chapter may be useful so we don’t forget what we learned early on in the chapter. The flipped classroom process is really beneficial for me in math this year and I hope it continues next year.

Wow! A lot to think about! If any of my students are reading this, thank you very much for your input. I will definitely be considering all of these ideas. For my followers, I highly encourage each of you to ask these questions of your students too. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the results!

About blueshirtkhakipants

IB Math Teacher, Pianist, Canadian, Husband, Father of Two

Posted on February 16, 2013, in Flipped Classroom. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Hi,

    I came across your blog via David Wees, and I love your ideas about creating change in the classroom! As a fellow mathematics educator I thought you might be able to help in spreading the word about an educational TV show about math that we’re putting together. “The Number Hunter” is going to do for math education what Bill Nye The Science Guy did for science education. I’d really appreciate your help in getting the word out about the project.

    I studied math education at Jacksonville University and the University of Florida. It became clear to me during my studies why we’re failing at teaching kids math. We’re teaching it all wrong! Bill Nye taught kids that science is FUN. He showed them the EXPLOSIONS first and then the kids went to school to learn WHY things exploded. Kids learn about dinosaurs and amoeba and weird ocean life to make them go “wow”. But what about math? You probably remember the dreaded worksheets. Ugh.

    I’m sure you know math is much more exciting than people think. Fractal Geometry was used to create “Star Wars” backdrops, binary code was invented in Africa, The Great Pyramids and The Mona Lisa, wouldn’t exist without geometry.
    Our concept is to create an exciting, web-based TV show that’s both fun and educational.

    If you could consider posting about the project on your blog, I’d very much appreciate it. Also, if you’d be interested in link exchanging (either on The Number Hunter site, which is in development, or on which is a well-established site with 300,000 page views a month) please shoot me an email. We’re also always looking for input and ideas from other math educators!

    Thanks in advance for your help,


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