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How the flipped, blended classroom can help students who struggle with math

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It’s no secret that math tends to be the least favorite subject for many students, simply because it’s frustrating to so many. When students don’t understand what’s being taught, you lose them.

The problem is, the current classroom setting doesn’t allow teachers to have the time for those who fall behind.

In general, this is the way students learn math:

The teacher stands at the whiteboard (maybe a SmartBoard, if the teacher is lucky) and introduces a new chapter to the class. Students go home and start on homework. The really quick learners probably won’t have any questions. But most likely, students will get stuck on a problem or two. So, they bring questions to class the next day.

Although, that doesn’t help the homework grade…

By the time they get to class, the teacher will try to make time for questions. But even then, it’s time to learn a new chapter. So, the teacher gives another lecture and assigns more homework.

Now those students are not only stuck on yesterday’s homework, they’re trying to learn something new. And more likely than not, something on that newly assigned homework will confuse them too.

Now they have even more questions, and the teacher introduces yet another math concept. Before students know it, the homework and confusion have piled up and it’s time for a quiz.

As the homework piles on and students fall behind, it’s frustrating. And it’s why many students give up on the subject altogether.

Sound familiar?

It’s not the best solution to expect students to seek out help, tutoring and keep up with the curriculum. It can work for some, but for many, it’s disheartening and it loses student engagement.

Instead of expecting the student to adapt and keep up, it might be time to rethink the way we teach math.

Flipping the Classroom: The way Valor instructors teach math

At Valor, we flip the classroom.

It sounds a little funny, we’re sure, but the flipped classroom is actually an important method of teaching. It means that we find out student’s weaknesses and strengths before introducing any subject.

With online math courses, students log in and start with the coursework first. They’ll read through some instruction, watch videos and complete some math problems, or our version of ‘homework.’

Student’s answers are recorded and sent to the teacher. The teacher then reviews and examines which areas the students did well, and which areas need help.

Then the instructor presents the lecture. Teachers don’t go in blind, they know exactly how to help their students. And so, students log in to a live synchronous session and discuss specific struggles and get more insight.

Students still stuck on a math problem can email, call their teacher or set up a one-on-one online session to help them truly master the concept.

Students enjoy what they’re learning with digital math courses designed for them

Math doesn’t have to be boring.

Don’t laugh, it truly can be an entertaining subject. All it takes, really, is a curriculum made for teens, known as digital natives.

Valor offers an award-winning curriculum jam-packed with videos, games, fun stories and interactive content throughout the lessons. Students won’t be just reading PDFs or textbooks, they’ll work through online courses that will help them actually enjoy what they’re learning.

Is your child ready to start improving in math? Get started below:

The top myths about blended learning addressed

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When it comes to a blended education (a school that incorporates online education into the classroom), the amount of varied “facts” thrown out there can leave you with so many questions it can get overwhelming. Maybe you’ve never attended a blended learning school, or maybe you have a sister whose friend’s cousin’s nephew goes to one.

The bottom-line is: there are a lot of myths floating around out there, and that’s why we’ve addressed some of the top myths in this post.

1. Schools who use blended learning are as expensive as private schools.

We can easily address this myth. If a school holds a public charter status, it is completely tuition free. It doesn’t matter whether the school is blended, online or both. What matters is whether it is private or public.

District-sponsored charter schools give students the opportunity to get a quality education for free. Some blended learning schools are private and do charge tuition, and that’s why we recommend you do your research and find out what the best fit is for you.

Valor just so happens to be one of those public schools, so it’s tuition free with the quality of a private school.

2. Blended curriculum is only simple, busy work

This is a big myth.

A lot of people worry that digital curriculum equates to impersonal, busy work.

Not true.

In fact, the beauty of a blended model is that students receive an education specifically tailored to them. Students work at their pace and take as much time as needed to grasp each concept. If a student works faster than the others, she is not tied to waiting until the rest of the class is ready to move on; she can continue to learn. If a student is stuck, he can work with an instructor individually until he truly grasps the concept.

3. Blended learning students don’t get enough socialization.

This is another myth that may worry some parents and students.

Being in a blended environment where students spend time on computers could seem isolating, and even thought to have a negative impact on the student’s socialization.

This is far from the case.

Blended schools balance time spent on the computers with several opportunities for interaction with other students. In addition to computer coursework, students participate in traditional coursework, hands-on labs, collaborate on group projects, and can attend outside school events to get to know their peers and socialize.

4. Teachers don’t instruct as much in blended schools

This one is an ongoing myth we are proud to say we can bust!

Because there’s digital curriculum “teaching” students, many seem to think the onsite instructors don’t do much.

In reality, the opposite is actually true.

Blended learning classrooms usually mean small class sizes, which allows teachers to communicate individually with every student to help them receive a more personalized education.

Oftentimes, Valor students find that they communicate much more with their teachers here than they ever did in a traditional setting.

Join us at an open house for great food and enrollment info

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It’s been on your mind lately.

You’ve been thinking about a change. You might even be ready to switch schools, but don’t know where to start.

So, why not start the switch and get some great food while you’re at it?

Open Houses: Happening at Macayo’s in Goodyear through June

You can always enroll for Valor by filling an application out here. But if you want, you are welcome to come into the office during business hours to get in-face support from our faculty or staff.

Here are the details:

  • June 22, 11 a.m. – 2 p.m.
  • June 26, 4 – 7 p.m.

Head to Macayo’s to meet with enrollment advisors, get questions answered and enroll onsite.

Items to Bring to the Open House

These items aren’t required to attend an Open House. But if you’d like to significantly speed up the enrollment process, we recommend bringing these items with you.

Valor’s Enrollment Open House Details

  • What:Enrollment Open House for families wanting more information on why and how to enroll for Valor Preparatory Academy of Arizona
  • Where: Macayo’s – 1474 N. Litchfield Rd Goodyear, AZ 8395
  • When: June 22 from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m., June 26 4 – 7 p.m.
  • Why: Meet with faculty or staff face to face to discuss questions, concerns and receive additional information on the benefits enrolling with Valor. We will also help you start the enrollment process and we can assist you step-by-step to fully complete your student’s enrollment.

We’ll see you there!

Download flyer

Our school building is officially under construction! Check out the progress

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We are incredibly excited to announce our school building is under construction! This building is meant to be state-of-the art, designed for today’s learners. Here’s what it will have for our students:

  • Secured facility for the protection of its students
  • Highly mobile furniture to encourage group learning in all forms
  • Includes computers for each student to study
  • Open classroom concept
  • Small class sizes of 1:25
  • Digital curriculum coupled with highly qualified teachers

Since it broke ground in late May, the building has made great progress. We will be posting more pictures as we receive them from our principal.

Building Progress

A little more about Valor:

  • Tuition free
  • Public charter school (with the quality of a private school)
  • Blended, flipped classroom
  • Ability to study in person and from home
  • Personalized learning tracks based on student’s progress and needs

 

Want to learn more about Valor? Join us at an Open House!

You can come to Macayo’s in Goodyear to meet leadership and learn more about the school. Here are the dates:

  • June 15 from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m.
  • June 19 from 4 p.m. – 7 p.m.
  • June 22 from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m.
  • June 26 from 4 p.m. – 7 p.m.

Download this flyer to learn more.