'Flipped classroom' under study at Kenmore

March 25, 2014 Updated Mar 25, 2014 at 8:50 AM EDT

By Dan Miner, Reporter- Business First

...

'Flipped classroom' under study at Kenmore

March 25, 2014 Updated Mar 25, 2014 at 8:50 AM EDT

What happens when you do classwork at home? How about when homework is expected to be completed in class?

The result is a "flipped classroom" - a concept that's increasingly popular across the U.S., and has taken root at Mount St. Mary Academy, the private, all-girls high school in Kenmore.

Latin teacher Rebecca Cefaratti installed the program into three of her sections, Latin I, II and III, after hearing about the trend. She says it is a perfect fit for a subject like Latin, which requires constant review. Cefaratti recorded a series of lectures on language principles, which have been uploaded to YouTube and are assigned to students for consumption outside the classroom.

So students can watch lessons at their own speed, rewinding if necessary, and then have the benefit of a teacher's attention while doing exercises.

"In the past, for lessons I've taught in class, the students go home and things they understood suddenly become confusing," Cefaratti said. "So I very much wanted to do this process so that kids would have me as a resource."

Students do have some independent work which they take home. Cefaratti has also built some expectations into the course to ensure students actually watch the videos in their free time.

Mount St. Mary Academy's Latin I mid-term grades were as high this year as they've been since Cefaratti was hired in 2009, she said.

One of Cefaratti's students said the "flipped classroom" was an adjustment, especially because she came from small St. Mary School in Swormville which didn't utilize as much technology.

But after the first few videos, it's become a convenient and efficient learning mechanism, said Amanda McNulty, a 14-year-old freshman at Mount St. Mary.

"Instead of just learning it in class and then going home and forgetting it, I can watch the video," she said. "Any part of it I didn't understand, I can just rewind."

To submit a comment on this article, your email address is required. We respect your privacy and your email will not be visible to others nor will it be added to any email lists.