Sunday, August 9, 2020

Introducing Video Lessons

 This school year many teachers will find themselves using video lessons for the first time. Some will be teaching entirely online, while others will be using video lessons in combination with in-person teaching. 

I started using video lessons as part of an in-class flip for my math workshop back in 2013. I get asked all the time about implementing video lessons and my biggest piece of advice is to be intentional about how you start the year. Just like we set clear expectations for other parts of our school day, we need to set clear expectations for video lessons. 

Usually I introduce math workshop (which includes video lessons) during the first week of school, often on day 2or 3. We start with a concept that is related to our first topic, but is a review skill. For example, we usually start the year with place value so I’ll begin by reviewing 6-digit numbers (a skill they learned the year before). This way we can focus on the process of workshop without the added challenge of new content. It’s also a great way to get them thinking about math again. 

The first day that we watch a video lesson, I gather the students on the rug and play the lesson for the whole class. As I play the lesson, I pause and model my thinking as I complete the notes page that goes with the video. The kids fill in the notes page along with me. 

After we watch the video and complete our notes page, we review the process. What did they notice about how I watch video lessons? As we debrief/discuss I create an anchor chart for video lessons. A lot of times this takes the format of a t-chart with the headings “looks like”/”sounds like”. 

The second day we do a video lesson, I start by having the class gather on the rug and we review the anchor chart for watching video lessons. Then we walk through how they will find the video and again go over my expectations (wear headphones, taking notes as you watch, pause when you need to, rewind if you need to, etc.). I then send them off to watch the video while I circulate the room giving reminders when needed. After everyone is done, we come back to the rug and debrief again. 

Okay great, that’s a normal year. So what about if we’re learning virtually?? 

My school will be utilizing a lot of live lessons, but even though there will be live lessons there will still be times when kids are watching a video (or a replay of the live lesson) and I want to set clear expectations for both live virtual lessons and recorded lessons. 

I plan to follow much of the same process as I’ve done in person. I will model and “think aloud” what I expect. For recorded lessons, I plan on showing a video through my screen share and modeling for students what they should be doing when they watch a video lesson. 

Want to know more about how I launch math workshop? 

Check out my launching math workshop series

Need more information on video lessons/flipped models? I have a *free* course that will teach you everything you need to know. Check it out here

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