We are excited to get to know Matthew Forrest, who teaches Precalculus, Calculus, and AP Calculus at St. Augustine Prep in New Jersey. He is involved in many after school programs, works at a friend’s restaurant for fun, and loves spending time with his bird, cat, and dog (all of which love accidentally interrupting his ShowMe performances.) He has been able to accomplish much more with ShowMe than he could ever do in tradition methods. Let’s find out some of the ways that ShowMe has changed his classroom and helped reach students and teachers across the world.
Check out Matthew’s extensive portfolio (which he loves to share!)
Tell us about yourself?
I have a bachelors in Mathematics with a Minor in Computer Science from Stockton University. I grew up and currently reside in South Jersey. I have been teaching for 7 years. Besides teaching, I coach football and track, and I’m the moderator for my school’s math club and Model UN club.
What inspires you?
I will never forget what my calculus teacher, Mr. Trenelli, did for me. He rekindled my passion for math. I bombed precalc and thanks to my calc teacher’s passion and willingness to work with me, I got an A+. He not only made me realize that I was capable of the material, but reminded me how much fun it is when I know what is going on. To this day, I owe my career and essentially my life to him. I will never forget what he did for me.
Every year I strive to be that teacher for someone else.
How has ShowMe changed the way you teach?
Last year I tried the ShowMe semi flipped method and I finished the same curriculum a month early, which is really awesome since it allows me time to review and practice for the AP exam. What used to take 3-4 days to cover in class takes 2-3. I’ve found that it allows students to learn at their own pace. The really bright ones might watch a video once or even skip part way through it, while the ones who struggle a bit more can rewatch it as often as needed until they feel comfortable. It’s kinda like having me at home and going at each student’s personal speed.
I assign a nightly video to watch along with a small set of problems to go along with what the video taught. I then reinforce the video’s material in class.
I also provide it for my non-AP courses as supplemental material. If a student is absent, falling behind, or just studying for a test they can watch a video to get the help they need.
They are great for cyber learning days. In my school, if we have a snow day, we are supposed to still send the students an assignment, and this works perfectly.
What tips do you have for ShowMe creators?
Spice it up. Don’t be monotone, if you are bored making it, imagine how the students will feel watching it. Keep the videos to 15 minutes or under for high school students, any longer and they will lose interest/focus. Know your target audience level. Don’t make the videos too hard or too easy.
With over 200 followers, how do you feel about reaching teachers and students other than your own?
I make the videos for my students first and foremost. It’s a bonus for me when people who I don’t teach watch my videos and get benefit from them. I am very happy to have created three courses and still have alumni and students that attend my school that I don’t teach that ask me for help and I love to tell them to watch my video series on ShowMe.
What are some other cool tech tools you having been having fun with in the classroom?
I use notability on my iPad and, along with apple tv, where I mirror my screen onto the smartboard. This allows me detach myself from the front of the classroom. It also allows me to save the notes that I use and use them through all of my classes, without having to recopy them every time. I can also open up worksheets in here and do the work right on them or email them to the students to do for home/classwork.
Matthew’s commitment to his students, growth as an educator, and success with tech tools in a traditional classroom are only some of the reasons we have chosen him as our featured user this week. His ShowMes are easy to follow, well-made, and will continue to support students and teachers for years to come. Thank you for taking time to talk with us and for helping to build the ever growing ShowMe community of amazing educators!