Photostories were on the menu for 2-5 students this past week. The subject was "A Day in the Life of A...". Students chose an object, a person, or anything else they could think of, and they told about a day in the life of that object.
Part 1: Photostories
Because of some changes in the media class where students do these activities, I did a screencast lesson using Screencast-O-Matic. Initially, I create the lessons for the class, but someone else executes them. Because of there being a substitute in the room, I thought the best way to deliver the lesson was through a screencast. Within Google Classroom I shared my video. Then they used Google Slides to complete their project.
Video 1 was a breakdown of the lesson. I am sharing it with you below.
Students then started creating. After they initially created them, I went in and commented on those that turned their projects in to me. Many of them had overlooked a few of the items talked about in the lesson.
First Lesson Examples
Part 2: Photostories
When students came back for their next class, they watched the second video I created. Students who had turned in their project were to read their comments and make appropriate changes before moving on to the rest of the requirements outlined in the video. Those that had not turned in went in and completed the first round (and were encouraged to watch the first video again) and then moved on through the second video.
Overall, I was impressed by how well the students did with the video lesson. When I saw students after the lesson was completed in media, many of them commented about how it was me in the video. Doing a video made the situation of having a substitute less stressful because I knew they were getting a lesson that explained what they were doing. Then the job of the teacher in the room became that of assisting students with the directions. As soon as students finish the second part of this project, I will create a post to share more of them!
Think about your classroom. When it comes to writing workshop or responding to reading, how many students drag their heels and write as little as possible? Or worse yet, refuse to write? Or even worse, their behavior starts to go south?
Now, think about your classroom. When it comes to talking about topics, how many students will sit one-on-one with you and talk easily?
In my experience students do not want to write because it takes too long or because it isn't interesting. Another issue, especially with the younger students, is that they cannot put their thoughts on paper. Talking through it is more natural. It allows them to use vocabulary they may not be able to spell when they write, but they know how to say it.
Technology can become an important tool when you want your students to share their thinking. Each day it is impossible to have one-on-one talks with students during reading workshop. Getting to each student and really focusing on what they are saying is not able to happen when you have 20 or more students to get to. This is where technology comes in handy!
Pull out an iPad, or any device that has video capabilities. Take that device, set it up in a quiet corner, and let the students go! Yes, even Kinders can do it! If anything, I would trust they could do it far better than some adults. Our students live in the age of selfies and videos - most students are able to easily work a video program on a device.
You can let them just talk at first. Maybe set a timer next to the device so they don't talk for hours! Have them talk to you about a book they are reading. Other times, set specific tasks or talking points you want them to hit in their dialogue. Another great way to use it is to record their reading out loud. You not only have a recording you can listen to multiple times, but you also have an artifact to show parents.
For you to listen to them, you can take the device home with you and listen, taking notes. If you are using an internet capable device, an app you can use is SeeSaw. Students can upload it to their profile so you can access it. From there, you can share it with families.
Take a leap and see what video recording can do for your classroom!
Fifth grade teacher in a 1:1 iPad classroom, sharing my journey with technology in the classroom