Monday, November 9, 2020

Video Lessons - Students Getting What They Need When They Need It

Imagine calling your students to the carpet for a whole group lesson. Look out at all those faces. Now ask yourself, do all those students really need to be sitting here for this lesson? Do any of them already know the main concepts? How many students will still be confused even after this lesson is over?

What if you could transform that block of your day so each student can move at a pace that works for him or her? What if students begin taking more ownership of their learning which in turn, creates more engagement? It is possible!

Try this! Write out the steps to your lesson on Google Classroom for your students to read and follow. Include a short video to deliver the new content.

You can use premade videos but I prefer to make my own! I like to use Doceri as my recording tool since it's user friendly, quick to use and quick to upload to my YouTube Channel (I made tutorial videos for you below). Be aware that there is a learning curve here. You may end up taking a long time on your first videos but you will get the hang of it! Now-a-days, it only takes me about 10 minutes to fully create a 5 minute video. Also consider that once you create your videos, you can reuse them next year.

*Tip* Keep your videos short, ideally under 5 minutes. If you are trying to squeeze too much into one video, separate it into two videos.

It is a good idea to go through these types of lessons whole group first because students will need to be clear on the expectations. For example, I require my students take notes in their math notebooks. I also want my students to utilize the pause and rewind features on videos as needed.

This lesson format will almost feel like magic! Imagine this...

You say, "Students, begin your math plan."
Students immediately open their Google Classroom (I have them save it in their bookmark bar for even quicker access). They take out their notebooks, write their target and begin watching the video.
This now gives you a chance to gather specific students in a small group to catch them up on past content. You spend about 10-15 minutes with these students before you send them back to start today's video. Now you begin to walk around and help students who are done with their videos and are starting the next step in the lesson. You notice a few kids are struggling with the same concept and you decide to pull them together for a quick intervention. As you are doing this you are seeing other kids go back to the video on their own to review a concept they realize they didn't fully understand the first time they watched it.

This lesson structure fully transforms your instruction! Your role as a teacher completely changes. You will no longer be talking at your students while managing the numerous behavior issues that arise. Instead, you will be working with individuals and small groups in a way that works for them!

Students will begin to take ownership of their learning and their collaboration and problem solving skills will flourish. Students will have many opportunities to get caught up on past concepts as other students are getting more opportunities for enrichment. Not to mention... Students will be happy they don't have to sit through anymore 10 minute whole group lessons that end up being 40 minutes!

Other things to consider:
  • Use headphone splitters to have more than one student watch a video on a device. This is great if you don't have one-to-one devices or if one student needs a buddy for extra support.
  • Teach students to go back into the video if they get stuck on the activity
  • Consider adding thoughtful enrichment activities as the last steps in the lesson. One idea is to allow students access to your Ipad and teacher manual. Have them create their own math videos for past or upcoming lessons! See my YouTube channel for some examples of student-created videos.
  • We all make mistakes when we make videos or do math. Try rewarding students if they ever catch a mistake you made! This encourages critical thinking. 
  • Consider creating Khan Academy accounts for your students and use this as a last step in your math plan so students can progress through their grade level at their own speed and possibly go onto the next grade level!
  • Teach your class that every student is also a teacher. Encourage them to work together and teach them how they can help each other without just giving answers. 
  • Tell parents about your videos and give them access to view them. I have many parents watching my videos to better support their child.
  • Imagine how smoothly these lessons will go when you have a substitute!
  • When you make mistakes in your video recording, you will have to make a decision on what to do. I normally decide to rerecord my video since I try to keep my videos short and it doesn't take me long. Some people may decide to edit their videos using a tool like iMovie or YouTube editor but this can be very time consuming. Depending on how big your mistake is, you may also decide to leave it in the video and reward students for finding it. This can provide a great teaching moment on a tricky concept.
  • My YouTube videos are open to the public if you would like to use them. I am just starting to create teaching videos for educators but currently, most of my videos are for 4th and 5th grade math. You will notice I also went through a learning curve while learning to make instructional videos 😥. My earlier videos actually have me in them (yikes) and are often up to 20 minutes long! I've gotten better. Most of my videos are shorter now and use the Doceri App. 
I'd love to hear your ideas and what you are already doing in your classroom! Please comment. Also, if you're willing to share your videos, please include the link.


Basic Doceri Tutorial:

Create Example Video Lesson Using Doceri
(Note: The purpose of this video is to show educators how to create a video lesson and not on the quality content delivery. 😊 To see better content delivery, please watch other math videos on my YouTube Channel.)

Video of What Students Would See:

My YouTube Channel:

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Video Lessons - Students Getting What They Need When They Need It

Imagine calling your students to the carpet for a whole group lesson. Look out at all those faces. Now ask yourself, do all those students...