Messy is Scary…sort of.

This week I decided that I would create a flipped lesson for my students so that we could delve deeper into the material during class time.  My intent is to add rigor and enrichment.  At the CUE to You presentation by Jon Bergmann this summer, he mentioned that teachers who used flipped lessons had to expect and be okay with having a “messy” type of instructional period.

And that’s where I found myself today.

With permission from my principal, I told my students that if they had a smart phone, that they could take it out and leave it on their desk face down (I couldn’t have them looking at their push notifications, could I?)  After students finished the class activity – classifying details for the various world religions – I told them that they could use their smart phones to begin their homework.

I created a podcast – well it’s actually a vodcast – but I didn’t feel like explaining the difference to my students and most of them know what a podcast is.  The podcast was about the Five Pillars of Islam.  Students were to watch the presentation on the class website and create a tree map with the details of the Five Pillars of Islam.  Easy.  Right?  No.

First of all, the videos only seemed to work on iPhones.  Not Androids.

Second, several of my students have smart phones, but many of those are only wi-fi enabled.  Makes sense for the socio-economic area that my school is located in.

My Plan B?  Add the podcast to our Edmodo class library.  My Plan C?  Add the podcast to our Edmodo class page.

A student asked, “Is it on YouTube?”

I tried to explain how it took so long to upload last night that I eventually had to go to bed.  I told them I would try it again.  At home.  Since YouTube is blocked by my district’s firewall.

I successfully uploaded the podcast to YouTube (Plan D) after I got home.

Students were ecstatic.  They could finally watch the video.  One of my students downloaded QuickTime because she figured it would be easier to watch the videos I make since I use a Mac.  Smart girl.

Today’s class was messy though.  But I loved it.  Students were using their smart phones or at least attempting to do so.  Some of them were trying to hide it even though I told them that they could use it.  Some of them came after school so that they could use their smart phone in my class to look up the podcast.  I love it again.  And I really appreciate my principal being open to allowing students to use cell phones in my class.  Did I mention that cell phone use is banned at my school?

Tomorrow is Day 2 of the flipped lesson.  I’m using flex groups to differentiate the learning for my students.  It’s going to be messy tomorrow.  I should be more scared but for some reason I’m not.  Call me crazy.

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