My current driving question for my master's degree is, "Does designing lessons for students addressing inequities create a more harmonizing classroom?" And while I don't talk about it much in my blog, I do internalize how inequities can shape a student's learning experience.
I will be teaching fifth grade next year (as well as coaching my co-workers on integrating art & engineering into their lessons). And with that, I am super excited that my teammate had created a blues music-writing unit that goes with our reading curriculum. Sadly, due to the quarantine, they were unable to use it last year. I, however, am a music lover/creator, and grew up listening to the blues. I cannot be more excited to create online learning for this unit!
So to start, I decided that a hyperdoc would be the way to create this lesson. The graphic above, I created using Picktochart and added it to my hyperdoc. This website is PERFECT for creating hyperdocs. It's meant to create infographics, and it has amazing visuals. I had only learned of it a few days ago, and was able to maneuver it well.
No hyperdoc would be complete without things to click here and there. I used relevent pictures and icons as links. In these links, I uploaded a link to "howling" blues from the early days when slaves were working in the fields. I then added a Google doc for students to share their thoughts on the music and why the music is relevant today. I created an EdPuzzle (my first one ever) for the students to hear a more "modern" blues artist and answer questions along the way. They can click on a link to a VTS lesson I created using Google Forms, and type in their questions when finished using Jamboard. This was my first time using Jamboard, and it seems like the perfect job for this!
When I created a video of the standard blues progression, I needed to show students exactly how to create blues music on Garage Band for the iPad. The iPad version and the computer version, are very different experiences. I found that Screencastify wasn't allowing me to use it. I've never used it before and was having trouble, so opted for my iPad's own screencasting to demonstrate where to click and for how long to hold the notes. I then air dropped the screencast to my laptop. Next, I created a separate audio of my voice explaining what to click. For this, I used Voicethread and watched the video as I spoke. I saved that voice recording as an MP3 file to my desktop (for quick access). On my laptop, I opened up an app I haven't used in AGES--iMovie. From there, I imported both the video and the audio and was able to create the movie!
When reading about blended models of instruction in a flipped classroom, I am just amazed at how many people are not taking advantage of this! If I were a kid in today's classroom, I would eat it up! In the blog post, "The Pedagogy of Blended Learning," the blogger says that students should have more agency. They should have more choice in their learning. I completely agree. It takes a lot of time and effort to create, not only meaningful lessons, but enganging lessons. The hyperdoc lesson I created is an introductory to our unit. It is a way for students to choose what interests them in learning about the Blues. They can then use this information further in the unit, when learning how slavery has shaped our country.
In Catlin Tucker's blog post "Flipped Classroom 101: Challenges, Benefits, and Design Tips", The writer give the advice, "Don’t just ask students to watch a video. Pair the video content with an activity that encourages students to think about, analyze, or evaluate the information. This is exactly why I decided to create an EdPuzzle using the song "I Got The Blues" by Sam Myers. It's not enough to just listen to a song. ESPECIALLY a blues song. Blues is complex in its simplicity. And it can take more than just one listen to really appreciate it. By using EdPuzzle, I am able to have students analyze what they are hearing, both musically, and lyrically. This will foster their critical thinking skills.
Sarah Magallano teaches 5th grade. She also coaches teachers on integrating art & engineering into their lesson plans.