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Timberline teacher is 'flipping' the traditional equation for math homework upside down

Jerod Morehouse is using a different equation in his math classes

BOISE, Idaho — Math homework isn't always a simple task. It's not only difficult for the students, but can also be difficult for parents and guardians who are asked to help with the math homework! One math teacher at Timberline High School is "flipping" the script on the traditional sense of homework. He's bringing the home-work back into the classroom.

Jerod Morehouse is using a different equation in his math classes. He's using what's called the "flip method."

"He makes us watch videos at home that talks about what kind of topics we're going to be working on in class," explains student Brennan Spaulding, "And then, in class the next day, he has us apply the stuff that we watched in the video."

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In other words, the homework is the video and the actual math work is done in class.

"So the students are working together, they're working with me, they're asking questions and they have that support to help them learn,” Morehouse says.

"When we learn something one day and then have to recall it the next day, it helps it to stick in our minds for when we have to do a test on it,” says Spaulding.

This style of teaching does mean extra homework, but not for the students.

"Learning how to make my own videos, how to edit them, how to get sound into them and that kind of thing. Get them on YouTube, all of that kind of stuff was a steep learning curve for me,” says Morehouse.

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The students say the “flip method” is working.

"It really helps because if you don't understand it in the video maybe you can understand it in class, or if you don't understand in class, maybe the videos easier because you're at home,” says Shanzay Ali, a senior at Timberline High School.

"The research says, if you make your own video it's more effective for students. If you pair it with the collaborative activities, it's more effective,” says Morehouse. “If I'm going to spend the time doing it, I want it to be as effective as possible to help students learn."

The students say the videos are effective and entertaining.

"I did some little skits in the beginning, where I'd do something cheesy. I had another teacher come in here and tackle me because I stole his pudding snack out of the fridge; just some goofy things like that. I’m trying to get them to enjoy it, and look forward to the next video,” says Morehouse.

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"He usually has like a fun fact, or he'll post a picture in the video like once it was Chewbacca. I don't know. It's fun because it keeps you entertained as well,” Ali says.

"We're trying to promote math as a subject. Not just 'do well and move on' but really enjoy what it has to offer,” says Morehouse. "I think that part of our job as educators is not just to teach them math but make them enjoy math as well."

Jerod Morehouse was recently selected as Idaho’s winner, and national finalist, for the Presidential Awards for Excellence in Math and Science Teaching (PAEMST).

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