The 4 Big Mistakes I Made Flipping

I have been working in a flipped classroom environment for a number of years but in the last year I have trialled a number of different approaches to the flipped model.

Jon Bergmann and Aaron Sams are credited with the innovation of Flipped learning in America. Check out Jon here.

The 4 big mistakes I made flipping and how I'm fixing them.

My current trial was in a year 9 laptop maths class and here are my top 4 mistakes:

  1. I didn’t make enough videos at the beginning.
  2. I gave students too much choice about what to be working on in class
  3. I waited too long to check on student progress in their workbooks.
  4. I didn’t contact all parents as I intended to.

So in retrospect if I had changed these 4 things I would have had a much smoother implementation. I am sure that there are many other things that I could have also changed but these are the ones that I think would have had the biggest impact.


Not enough videos

Flipped teaching isn’t all about the videos but without them you don’t have a basis to work with the students. So they are important. I only had 2 ready to go in the first week and my upper students consumed them within one lesson. I tried to add a video that I found on YouTube to fill the gap but my students hated the video that I had selected because I didn’t make it.

Too much flexibility

Last year I had listened to a presenter talk about how they allowed students to pick the focus of their lessons. After about 4 weeks I found out that this hadn’t worked as well as I would have liked and then began setting specific weekly goals which worked much better. Next term students will have set goals to achieve each lesson just like in a traditional lesson and I will require some students to attend the inclass tutorials when they are struggling with particular concepts.

Checking on progress

I waited until week 4 to check on student progress after noticing some students didn’t perform as well as I hoped. Next term I will continue my fortnightly book checks and exit slip questions to ensure students are progressing through the content.

Contacting parents

Just like with homework it is important that parents understand what the current homework and classwork is so that I can get their support when students are not meeting the expectations of the class.

I did do quite a few things well but we can focus on that in another post (How flipping gained my class time). 

Comment below to share your reflections on flipping your classroom.


About cmcaton

I am a Secondary Teacher and Head of Department Mathematics in Education Queensland. I am passionate about the development of pedagogy that engages the 21st century student and love to explore their implementation in the classroom. Disclaimer: The thoughts on this page are my own and do not necessarily represent those of my employer.
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