Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Flipping the Classroom!

Flipping the Classroom , a blog hosted by Laying the Foundation (LTF), a teacher professional development program, went live this week on the LTF website. This new blog recaps the experiences of two high school teachers and LTF Trainers, Melissa Parma and Robert Gonzales, as they implement the flipped classroom model of teaching.

This rising educational trend reverses the traditional pattern of classroom instruction followed by homework activities. With the flipped classroom model, students gain insight into material—and control the pace of their learning—through viewing introductory information at home. Students then come to the classroom prepared to tackle an activity related to what they learned the night before. In the classroom, students have more time for hands-on activities, and they are able to get immediate assistance from the instructor and their peers when they face challenges in solving complex problems.

Middle school and high school teachers across the United States can benefit from the strategies that Parma and Gonzales use in their classrooms and present in the Flipping the Classroom Blog. For example, in her first post, Parma gives the details about the specific technology and equipment that she uses in her flipped classroom approach. Gonzales, in his first post, shares how he was introduced to the model, and outlines what blog readers can expect from his future posts.

Parma has taught in public high schools in Texas and California for 28 years. A native Texan, she graduated from Rice University and did her graduate work in education at Cal State, Los Angeles. With rare exceptions, her teaching assignments have always been either mathematics or physics or both. She is an LTF Math Trainer and manages the online LTF Math Forum, and she currently teaches at an Early College High School in New Braunfels, Texas.

Gonzales is a graduate of the UTeach Program at UT Austin. He has worked in Austin ISD for nine years, taking two years out of the chemistry classroom to be a department chair and instructional coach. He currently teaches chemistry in the Academy for Global Studies, a small learning community within Austin High School affiliated with the Asia Society as part of the International Studies School Network. Gonzales is an LTF Chemistry Trainer.

To learn more about LTF, its training program, and its blended learning initiatives and resources, visit

About Laying the Foundation
Laying the Foundation, a division of the National Math and ScienceInitiative, is dedicated to providing the best content-based, pedagogy-driven, teacher-to-teacher training, supported by rigorous classroom-ready lessons and web-based resources to improve the quality of math, science, and English instruction. LTF has trained over 36,000 teachers to date and has demonstrated dramatic increases in Advanced Placement exam participation and success in STEM subjects. LTF believes that training, mentoring, and empowering the teacher corps will lead to high standards of academic excellence for all students.