How a 4th Grade Math Teacher Flipped Classroom with ShowMe

Meet Frank Briganti, a 4th-grade math teacher who implemented flipped classroom into his teaching process. ‘I have been using ShowMe to post tutorial math videos on my class website for several years’ he says. He finds educational technology as a wonderful learning and teaching tool, which brings interactivity on both levels: among students, and between students and a teacher. Frank admits, ‘The interactivity is engaging, fun and educational!’.  



ShowMe of the Week: Financial Planning

This week’s blog reveals the main concepts of financial planning. Our Master teacher Spencer Leu, CFP Professional, is prone to believe that financial planning is one of those essential skills that isn’t taught at schools but must be learned by anyone. Mr. Spencer Leu’s course will provide you with basic insight on such topics of Financial Planning like Budgeting, Insurance, Estate planning, Retirement.

He wanted to share this important information with students, teachers and ShowMe users. Hope you find this information relevant for you.

You can find more on this topic in Introduction to Financial Planning course.


Featured User: Matthew Forrest

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!


Featured User: Ivona Maric

Today we have the privilege of talking with Ivona Maric, a math and physics professor in the Cleveland area. She shares our passion for reaching students in a meaningful way and shares, “If I can do it, anyone can, no matter what it is.”    She is excited to start expanding her ShowMes past her own classroom and into the world with Courses, Groups, and the Explore feature.

Visit Ivona’s awesome ShowMe Portfolio:

Can you tell us a little about yourself?

I have a Bachelor’s in math and physics, and a Master’s in math. I have been a college adjunct instructor since 2007 and have taught at more than ten colleges/universities in the greater Cleveland area.  I always enjoyed sciences and explaining math to other students, even while I was in high school. It seemed like second nature and I am very organized and planned ahead that teaching seemed like the right route to take. It has been difficult to find a full time teaching job but I teach for the students, not the money. One interesting thing about me is that I was born in Bosnia (in Europe) and moved to the wonderful USA twenty years ago. I have achieved so much while overcoming new experiences that came with moving to a new country.

What inspires you?

This is a tough question… I would say seeing opportunities that are out there and what steps I can take to make some of them happen. What also inspires me is seeing that students realize they make some things harder than they should be, especially after I speak honestly, in a realistic way with them.

What are some tips you can share with other ShowMe teachers?

Keep the videos simple, use appropriate backgrounds, and minimize graphics used. When I need to have certain things stand out, I use the notebook look, even the yellow lined paper. It subtly prompts them to take notes. Some of my students have said they play my videos while they are on the bus to just listen.  

Have an outline of the video on paper and then start creating a few pages before recording. Make sure to minimize noise as well as control any other interruptions, such as unsyncing your iPad from your iPhone so your video doesn’t get interrupted.

I encourage everyone to try ShowMe, for anything. I accidentally found it when I needed something to serve the purpose of creating videos for my students in a simple and affordable way.

What are some of the biggest challenges that teachers face?

I think the biggest challenge the teachers face is soft skills that most students lack. We cannot spend a lot of time teaching students how to take notes, review them, do homework, and study for the exam. Time management is a big key. This is what I have found at the college level to be the case, on top of attendance.

How has technology made a difference for your students?  

Many of them find it very helpful but there are some that resist it. Once they see my videos though, they love the flexibility of it and that they can make a request to me and a day later have a video ready to watch, without any need for a login.

When you’re not teaching, what can we find you doing?

Well, you can find me at home answering emails, grading, preparing notes or assessments, and binge watching shows I miss due to my busy schedule. I also enjoy reading but I don’t get a chance to read as often as I’d like.

How has ShowMe played a role in your classroom?

I mention it to my students the first day I meet them and continue to remind them to let me know what they would like me to make a video on. Some of them have used KhanAcademy before and then I show them ShowMe website and they are shocked that they didn’t know about it. It plays an important role for me because it’s easy for me to use and I promote it in all of my classes.

Thank you to Ivona for taking time to share with us about herself and how she helps extend beyond her classroom.  Be sure to check out her new ShowMes and upcoming Courses.


Featured community member: Meet Marko Markolovic

This week’s featured community member is Marko Markolovic. He’s also a ShowMe Ambassador and you’ll see Marko’s name around here on the blog more often. Definitely check out his lessons on Economics and Macroeconomics ! Thanks for all of your help Marko!

Tell us about yourself!

I have been a Social Studies teacher for 11 years, the last 4 of which have been at Blind Brook High School, which is 20 to 25 minutes north of New York City. I teach AP Macroeconomics, AP Government and Politics, Law, and Economics to both 11th and 12th graders. Blind Brook High School presents an excellent environment to teach in because of the wonderful and dedicated students. My favorite subject (besides the ones that I teach) really is everything to do with technology and how the educational experience can be impacted by technology.

How do you use ShowMe?

I record my AP Macroeconomics lectures on the ShowMe app and then email my students a handout to help organize the formation of their notes. In the classroom, I try to bring various real life problems that I have students discuss and solve in a collaborative environment. I strive to create an environment where students are using higher order thinking skills and problem solving techniqued to develop a deeper understanding of the course content and the world around them.   In turn, I’m hoping to create well-informed citizens. I also try to formatively assess the students’ understanding to foster an environment where the instruction can be more tailored to individual needs as apposed to a one-size fits all approach to teaching.

What’s the coolest ShowMe you’ve ever seen?

The coolest ShowMe I have seen was on Gerrymandering.  I thought it was well-done and made a complex topic easily understood.

How has technology made a difference for your students?

I think that the ability to rewind, pause, and fast forward has been very effective for my students to review and learn content at their own pace. ShowMe’s have provided students this opportunity, and I have noticed that students are more engaged and more comfortable in learning.

Where do you see education technology headed?

I think that educational technology, for the first time in my career, is focused not on the teacher but on the student and the approach the students takes to learning. I think that, going forward, educational technology is going to require more of the 1:1 formats that we read about having success at reaching every learner, as opposed to creating a one size fits all method of teaching or learning. I think that iBooks Author and digital resources give teachers the opportunity to create material catered to their students, rather than purchasing a physical textbook that needs to be replaced every 5 years. I think that tools like the iPad, the apps associated with the device, and the various Google applications available in the Cloud present the opportunity for students to collaborate and create original content in a meaningful way.   Further, I think the future of technology allows for originality in its use and implementation rather than the cookie cutter, cut and paste sort of educational materials that have existed to date. I think the future of education technology is very exciting; but, in these economic times of do more with less and property tax caps, teachers are going to have to find their own ways to integrate technology at their comfort level. Free applications, like ShowMe, are an excellent resource to help facilitate that process.

When you’re not teaching, where can we find you?

When I’m not teaching or reading about the content that I teach or reading Flipboard or the 5 or so blogs about technology, I am at home playing with my twins, Julia and Jackson, who will turn 9 months old in a few weeks.


Featured Community Member: Meet Claudia Crespo!

Claudia is a kindergarten teacher in Little Rock, Arkansas. Several weeks ago I came across a ShowMe that Claudia had created with one of her students. I was so impressed with the reading, writing and math skills these five year olds were demonstrating in their ShowMe presentations, and I knew I had to get in touch with her. To see Claudia’s complete ShowMe library, visit her profile here. 

Tell us about yourself!
I am from La Ceiba, Honduras. I came to Arkansas to pursue my teaching degree (P-4) whictch was obtained December 2008. I decided to go on to graduate school because I felt that as a teacher the more I studied the better a teacher I would become. I graduated from the University of Central Arkansas in May 2009 with a master’s degree in reading. After my graduation I was hired as 3rd grade teacher at Amboy Elementary but the following year I was asked if I would like to teach kindergarten. . This is my second year teaching in the North Little Rock School District.  I believe that having taught 3rd grade has helped me a lot to push my kindergarten students to their maximum potential. I am a strong believer that kindergarten students can do anything my third graders could do, although it takes a little more modeling and support. I love teaching every subject, especially now that we started using the common core curriculum because everything is intertwined and it has made planning for technology a lot easier.

How do you use ShowMe?
My literacy coach, Jennifer Kimbrell, actually introduced me to the ShowMe application. We started playing with it and thinking about how we could use this wonderful app in my classroom. I was telling her that I had a hard time seeing all of my student’s work in a daily basis, and that I needed a better way to asses their needs as readers, writers, and mathematicians. I use ShowMe to increase students’ math and writing meta-cognition as well as allow them to reflect on their work using rubrics. The authentic think-aloud provides an excellent assessment opportunity for me to see what students are able to do on their own and what my focus needs to be for them during one-to-one conferencing. This app has helped me so much in evaluating the needs of my students.

What’s the coolest ShowMe you’ve seen?
Jennifer Kimbrell got the idea of using the app in this way from the following blog: After exploring the website and watching all the videos, I could just see myself as a high school student struggling to understand my homework, like I so often did, and to just be able to go online and look for my teacher’s video on how to solve for X and Y would be amazing. This website is going to change the way students take notes, and do their assignments. I also have been working on a lot of personal art projects and the videos on how to draw hands has really helped me develop that skill.

How has ShowMe made a difference for your students?
One difference using the ShowMe app has made is change over time in my students’ writing has been phenomenal! Before allowing students to be more meta-cognitive and self-assessing themselves, students struggled with working independently during writer’s workshop. However, after only a week of using the app in this way, students’ dependence on me began to shift and there was a noticeable difference in their writing samples.

Where do you see education technology heading?
Students that are able to use technology in the classroom will have a greater advantage over students that do not because technology offers a way to make thinking more transparent. Students will be better equipped to see how they think as well as how others think. I think technology will allow students to become more reflective and self-regulated if used appropriately. It is important to note that it is not about the technology itself but how the technology is used.

When you’re not teaching and learning, what can we find you doing?
When I am not working, teaching or learning about all the technology out there, which really takes up a lot of my time, I share my time between writing children’s books and painting with acrylics and watercolors.




Featured Community Member: Meet Kris Hoppel!

I first spoke to Kris in October when she was just getting started with ShowMe. Since then, Kris has had her nose to the grindstone at school and created some really awesome ShowMe lessons! We’re proud to have her as a member of our community and excited to have her share her knowledge with all of you! To view Kris’s ShowMe Library, visit her profile and get your learning on!

Tell us about yourself!

I am a ’91 graduate of Penn State University with a BS in Secondary Math Education.  I have taught for 15 years in both public and private schools.  I have taught in Spotsylvania County, Va for 8 years, and the last 7 years at an independent private school, Fredericksburg Academy – in Fredericksburg, VA.  I teach high school students and have taught from pre-algebra to calculus.  I am currently teaching geometry, trigonometry, and calculus.  I would say my favorite subject right now is calculus.  This is the first year I have taught calculus and I am really enjoying relearning and working all the problems – my students just shake their head! (so does my husband)

How do you use ShowMe?

I have used show me to review problems in class – students can work problems then watch the solutions – this allows me to roam through the room and help those who need it, while the other students can continue to work and see solutions worked out.  Additionally, I have used it to demonstrate problems students have had difficulty in class or re-explain topics.  Just recently I have started to search out other calculus problems for my students to go home and listen to.  I think this provides them with alternative descriptions to solve a problem.  I also have started watching the calculus problems to pick up on any key points that I might not have taken into consideration – since it is my first year teaching the subject.   I am trying to figure out how I want to hand over my ipad and have the students create some showmes!

What’s the coolest ShowMe you’ve seen?

Currently, the only showmes I have been watching are the math showmes basically because that is all I have time for I think they are all great!

How has technology made a difference for your students?

Technology is something I find myself catching up with to the students, however, this year I am really branching out in all directions.  I think that technology is having a huge impact on how to present topics differently to better help all of my students.  I have used technology to do short online quizzes to help students have immediate feedback.  I believe the use of technology in class can only help my students.

Where do you see education technology heading?

I see technology having the potential to helping teachers to reach all students.  Technology is improving at an alarming rate and it is imperative to help our students to be able to work and adapt in this ever changing age.  With that said it is also imperative for teachers to receive training and administrators and school districts to help move us in that direction.

When you’re not teaching and learning, what can we find you doing?

My favorite things to do when not teaching is hanging out with my family.  I have two children, Jake, a sophomore in high school, and Annmarie, a seventh grader in Middle School.  I like to Jazzercise, run, and read.



Featured User #6 – Meet Ixchell

Featured User - IxchellMeet Ixchell, an outstanding ESL teacher hailing from southern California. Her English tutorials are inspired by her ESL students and we are proud to have her work showcased here at ShowMe.

Visit Ixchell’s awesome ShowMe portfolio:

Can you tell us a little about yourself?
I currently teach English as a second language for students getting their master’s degree. Both my parents were university professors so I was constantly surrounded by academia. Having studied several languages as a child, I was always interested in how words played a part in sentences and wanted to teach a language when I grew up.

How has ShowMe played a role in your classroom?
The ShowMes I create are based on a certain English textbook, so anyone using that textbook can following along. Since a lot of fellow teachers don’t have iPads, I try to set a certain standard for my ShowMes so other teachers can use them as well. It’s especially exciting when I realize that my students are watching my ShowMes without me even having to assign them for homework!

What are some things your students have taught you?
Definitely cultural awareness, especially since these students come from all around the world. For example, body language is very important to students from Saudi Arabia.

What are your future plans for ShowMe?
I definitely plan on using ShowMe more in the classroom and creating more grammar tutorials. Students constantly ask if I will continue making them. The lessons are especially helpful since ESL learners need concrete, physical examples and they eliminate the need for me to repeat lectures.


Featured user #5: Meet Mark Herring

Meet Mark Herring, one of our favourite educators from New Zealand! Mark has been a big fan of ShowMe from the start and is adding it to his tool box so he can continue doing innovative things in this classroom. Way to go Mark!

Visit Mark’s excellent ShowMe portfolio, complete with examples of student work!

Can you tell us a little about yourself?

I’m the Assistant Principal at Myross Bush School in Invercargill.  We’re a fantastic rural school with 170 students and an incredibly supportive community.  I’m also a classroom teacher of 27 10 and 11 year olds.  That’s Year 5/6 in New Zealand terms.  I’ve been teaching for 6 years and at the start of the year I was an ICT Facilitator for a local cluster of schools, here in Southland. 

I’m also a big outdoors fan.  I’m into running, mountain biking and have I’ve just reignited a love for skiing which is a bonus of living down here in the south.

How do you use ShowMe?

I’ve been using ShowMe to create videos by students and myself.  At the moment it’s mostly been to consolidate some learning that has occured or to help students grasp a concept when I’m not around.  I’ve been looking into ways I can encourage students to take more responsibility for their learning  – seeking the skills and answers they for themselves without relying on the learning being ‘spoon-fed’ to them.   ShowMe has allowed me to create a teachable moment for them whereever and whenever.  Even at home if they are that motivated and lots of them are.  I’m also looking into how I can use ShowMe to record student reflection on their learning, especially because the videos are so easy to embed into their student blogs.

What’s the coolest ShowMe you’ve seen (aside from your own)?

The best ShowMe I remember was one created by a student here in New Zealand in a classroom run by Stephen Baker (@palmyteacher).  He put me onto ShowMe.  I saw the power of student voice and using that tried and true method of having someone teach someone else something to make sure they have really understood the concept.

What advice do you for someone new to creating a ShowMe lesson?

Just have a go and don’t be embarrased to put yourself out there.  Teachers can be quite shy about having their colleagues see them teaching and a showme vid can be seen by lots of them.  Also, I’ve been amazed at how quick the students pick it up.  They’re a lot faster at mastering a new technology so I’d just let them at it!

What do you think are some of the biggest challenges for teachers?

I’m concerned a the political meddleing that is happening world wide.  I think there are lots of politicians who are listening to some ‘experts’ about how schools should be run and, in the process, missing the rea; essence of what a rounded / holistic education is all about.  I hope that we, as a profession will continue to have the courage to stand up for our convictions and always put our students first in our decision making.

Where do you see education technology headed?

I’m excited where technology is taking us.  I’ve been passionate about personalised learning for sometime and have see the power and potential for our students.  It’s amazing to see them grow in confidence and enthusiasm for being in control of their learning.  I had a student tell me last week that our class doesn’t feel like school anymore!  That’s really encouraging to me cause when I was at school I was pretty bored most of the time.  Any technology that empowers us, inspires us and gives us the flexibility to create our own learning journey is a great thing – just like ShowMe.  I’m looking ahead to seeing what we know as traditional school continuing to break us out of the four walls mentality that we’ve had since the industrial revolution!  I think the change has only just started.  I hope we’re bracing ourselves!