We have very clear rules about mobile phones – the school has clearly marked “phone zones” and “no-phone zones” which are self explanatory, and as teachers we are advised that they are not allowed to be used in class unless they are integral to the learning, which is VERY rare. In fact when I asked a total of 60 students (2 year 10 groups) if they had ever used their phones in class a total of 12 students responded yes … believe it or not the most imaginative use was as a calculator!
After we’d done one of the fab Chris Moyles’ starters courtesy of Sheffield Maths ; imagine how excited they became when I explained that they would be producing one of their own starters and not only could they use their phone, it would be for listening to music! To be fair to the students, in both lessons when we discussed the ground rules they volunteered that they would only use their phone for the task in hand, and not for texting etc – I didn’t even have to ask. I was also impressed with the maturity with which they approached the task and they even remembered my rule about working in their own groups that “we don’t leave anyone behind” i.e. no-one is sat without a group (EVER!), and it is down to them to make sure that everyone is included.
I know, in general, Chris Moyles is a marmite thing, but in this case the students loved him. The materials they produced look fab, two of the students challenged themselves into making the sum a toughie and I’m not even sure they know the answer. We will film them next lesson and I genuinely can’t wait!