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Using Flipped Learning Activities to Teach Real-life Math

Sharing by Ms. Yau Man Wai, Kwok Tak Seng Catholic Secondary School, 2nd Runner-up (Mathematics Group)

The traditional approach of teaching circumferences and areas of circles focuses on the application of the formulas with textbook exercises. Rarely having an opportunity to solve everyday life problems, students feel the knowledge is disconnected from their daily life and Mathematics is boring. To change this mindset and contextualize textbook knowledge, I redesigned two Mathematics Online lessons using the flipped learning approach. Here are how my lessons were constructed:

Preparation Before Lesson

I asked students to learn basic knowledge on this topic, such as watching a playlist of videos to learn the concepts of circles and using a 360-degree simulator to know more about the facilities and dimensions of a standard sports ground. Students were then required to complete an online pre-lesson homework with Google Form.

Engagement During Lesson

After reviewing the online pre-lesson homework, I had a clear understanding of students’ learning performance. I also identified their common misconceptions. So, I focused on the difficult and abstract concepts, such as deduction formulas of areas of circles and the meaning of Pi, to help students construct the knowledge better. Moreover, I used various online tools such as Geogebra and Mathspace to check their answers and help them learn from their mistakes. The highlight of the lesson was to make students recognize there is unfairness if each running team starts and ends their race at the same point on the sports ground. Using a simulator, students had a “first-person-view” to run on a track and they were required to discuss the fairness issue. Then, I asked students to form a group of 4 and each of them was assigned different roles to finish a task.

Completing an assignment After Lesson

Each group (consisting of a mathematician, a technician, a presenter, and a visualor) was required to solve different problems related to the running track and take a group explanatory video of the solution. Afterwards, each group needed to evaluate other groups’ works and leave constructive feedback for others.

I learnt two things after experimenting with the flipped classroom approach.

First, we need to pay more attention on the continuity of pre-lesson and in-lesson contents. Lesson activities should be designed to allow students to apply pre-lesson knowledge and to deepen learning by solving more complicated tasks.

Second, e-learning tools play a fundamental role in flipped learning. After the completion of the assigned online homework, students receive instant feedback on their performance so they can utilize those statistics to plan revision strategies. Besides, the data helps teachers monitor students’ effort in preparing lessons at home. Teachers can then adjust the teaching pace, as well as deciding which misconceptions are to be more highlighted in the coming lesson.

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