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'Flipped Classroom' Getting A Tryout At Suburban High Schools

CHICAGO (CBS) -- Kids often complain about too much homework.  But what if they could cut the load by 75 percent?

CBS 2's Mary Kay Kleist shows us a trend that's catching on across the Chicago area.

Brooks Nevrly is a junior at Downers Grove North High School in two advanced-placement classes and an honors class.

"I do generally get a lot of homework. So I do have to balance it with that and sports," Nevrly says.

But there could be a solution to too much homework. What if everything got flipped around, and students heard the lecture at home, and came to class to do their homework?

It works for Nevrly.  Instead of an hour of math homework every night, he watches a 20-minute lecture.

Then, homework gets done in class the next day with the teacher's help.

"I can work on them one-on-one. I can answer their questions typically much better than the people at home can," teacher Brian Gervase says.

He is so pleased with the results of flipping, he recently led an open house so that teachers  from around Chicago could learn about the possible benefits for their students.

"There's still a lot of discussion in class. There's still a lot of getting into harder problems," Gervase says.

Nevrly says flipping is helping him learn.

"Once you come into class, it'll just be examples that you'll be doing, and you'll just be doing a lot of practice, which is good, because you'll learn it better," he says.

This trend has caught on across town at Downers Grove South.

Teacher Steven Zownorega just started flipping his honors physics classes because he realized students were frustrated.

"My students really struggle when they have to sit down and they always ask, 'Where do I start? Where do I begin?' Then they come in the next day and they don't have their homework done," he says.

But now that his students aren't struggling alone at home, they're more focused in class.

The flipped classroom concept began in Colorado six years ago.

The originators of this method say it works best for subjects like math, science and foreign languages.

For more information, click here.

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