Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Flippin' Out

One of the most powerful pieces of Teach21 is the ongoing staff development that everyone committed to when they joined our learning community. This has truly grown into a learning community. With the major classroom upgrades still not in place (equipment and installation is still in process) teachers have utilized those three small tools (a Flip Video, a Microphone headset, and a webcam) in very big ways. At our Teach21 meeting on September 23 members of the team all shared ways they were using their Flip Video cameras in their classrooms. Videos were shown, plans were discussed and it was a sharing time that fostered confidence and grew our ideas and purposes for using this neat little tool. Of course there are still tech issues with the Flip Video, but we're working through that and we know that is part of this process. The bottom line is their use is impacting student performance.
Our school's media coordinator, Mrs. Cormier, went to a book festival recently held in our city called "Book Marks." She video taped authors and presenters to bring back for students to see. Many of these students would never get a chance to experience a festival like this. Now they can and will.
Mrs. Barham, a 5th grade teacher, videotaped herself discussing how her classroom blog has made a difference with her students. Mrs. Lickfeld taped her students doing a choral reading exercise, and videotaped her family's trip to a local fair. Her experiences at the fair caught on video allowed students who had never been there to get some idea what it like. That builds schema and allows them to more vividly describe a fair in their writing. Mrs. Carlson's second graders were taped practicing a group a presentation about Japan. By looking back and reflecting, students could see what could be improved or added to the presentation.
Mrs. Gibbs, a third grade teacher, was working on videotaping a reader's theater activity with her class. Mrs. Mace, our special needs pre-K teacher used video with one of autistic students to demonstrate how to count. It was an especially effective strategy because it gave that student something to refer back to and it became a mental "hook" on which that student could hang new knowledge and skills that were not previously visible. It also made the student feel proud of the accomplishment, building efficacy. Mrs. Gilliland, a kindergarten teacher, videotaped her class' interactions with their second grade buddy class (Mrs. Foster) as they read together. Mrs. Shrewsbury videotaped something as simple as morning work activities. Students were more than willing to share and engage in what they were doing knowing it was going to be "on camera." Mr. Cachia's 4th grade class did a short introduction video which was posted to his classroom blog. Student had to choose adjectives to describe themselves as part of their on-camera presentation. Mrs. Byrd's students recited a poem on video, which was posted to her classroom blog.
The list goes on and on, but you can see something as simple as a Flip Video can be a very powerful learning tool when creatively put to use. With the ongoing piece of sharing and collaboration we all benefited from the different ways it was put to use.

1 comment:

  1. Great Post. The real life benefits to your students at Bolton are so clearly laid out.