On the weekend I was extremely privileged to meet up with a fellow teacher, John, to create a series of videos for an upcoming unit on the mathematics of construction. Here’s a quick teaser of the result.
That’s us explaining how to figure out how many bricks you’ll find in a square metre of a wall.
If you’re interested, you can watch the actual videos we made here. Team Teaching Construction playlist.
This was such a crazy experience. We arrived at school around midday Saturday and setup my lightboard in an unused classroom. The lightboard can be the topic of another post but it’s basically a pane of glass with some tricky lighting effects to allow the type of video you see above.
Next we sat down and talked our way through the concepts we wanted to teach. The idea was simple. 1 Concept = 1 video. It was an interesting exercise as so often our teaching and planning is done in isolation. We settled on our “production schedule” and got started.
Having never taught a lesson with another teacher, I had no idea how it would work. We had a few ground rules though.
- No script. We wanted it to be organic, like classroom teaching is.
- We also knew we wanted to keep things short. 6 minutes or less.
- Teach fast. They’re videos, so they can pause and rewind at will.
- One take only, this is saturday, we’ve got stuff to do!
So I pressed record and my computer screen counted us in. 3, 2, 1. Action
It was funny how we fell into our roles so quickly. I became a kind of interviewer while John did the bulk of explaining how things were going to go down. I repeated whatever he said and scribed it up.
There was also a great moment when we started teaching “carpeting“. We’d both taught this topic before and let out a collective groan over how we’d both struggled to teach it in the past. Suddenly John saw a roll of duct tape lying around and our carpet laying demo was ready for action. It felt like a great way to teach something we’d had trouble with previously and we came upon it while teaching together.
Having to run things by each other before we hit record also forced us to reflect on all the details of how we teach the things we teach the way we do. I really thought deeply about my teaching for the short couple of hours we were filming and then beyond.
I’m excited to see how students respond to our videos when they start their unit next week. This will also be John’s first try at Flipping his Classroom and I can tell he’s really looking forward to trying it out.
He’s also already talking about the next Joel and John show. We cover navigation next. Can’t wait.