If you’ve been thinking about flipping your class, you’re probably wondering what to put in your videos. This is the step that can cause some anxiety for people and many aren’t quite sure where to start.
I always tell people that your videos should sound much like your mini-lessons. Of course they won’t include student questions, but you should anticipate those and try to address them in your videos. Videos should include the same examples and the same modeling you would do in class.
Often, I start by asking myself, “why do the kids need to know to do tomorrow’s work?” and I create the video that gives that instruction. Let’s say, for example, the goal of the next lesson is to be able to multiply binomials. I know what that standard looks like on the test, on the next quiz, on the project we’ll be doing next week, and on tomorrow’s work (backwards design there), so what knowledge do I need to impart in this video so they can do that work?
Something else to consider is the length of your video. Research shows that videos should be 7 minutes or less in length. Beyond that you’ll find the law of diminishing returns. So keep it to 7 minutes or less.
The first few times you make a video you may go over 7 minutes. That’s ok. Just go back and re-record! I make several copies of my slides to begin with so when I make a mistake recording I can just delete and start over. Sometimes I realize I spent too much time on a vocabulary word, or I was over explaining an anticipated misconception, and I can go back and address that easily.
Keep in mind you don’t always have to address every misconception, because you can allow time at the start of class to answer questions. Additionally, you can answer questions during class time, or group mates can often answer each other’s questions. So you don’t have to answer every single misconception that might come up. Just a few of the major ones.
Think about the items that you have to prepare before your lesson – exactly the same way you do in the classroom. You probably prepare slides, examples, definitions, and so forth on a regular basis, and videos are no different. Prepare slides ahead of time, and make copies.
Consider ways that you can impart your personality into your videos. Some people start by telling a joke. Some people start their videos with general announcements. I start every video with music. I let it play for about 15 seconds before I start the lesson. And then I begin with instructions for updating tables of contents and taking notes in interactive notebooks.
While you brainstorm ways to let your personality shine through – keep in mind that you don’t want to “date” your videos. Ideally you’ll make videos that you can re-use next year. So maybe you don’t want to put the date in them. Or maybe you don’t want to give a specific page number for notes – because that could change by next year.
When you sit down to record, you don’t need a special headset or microphone, but you can use one if you like. I do not use one, but I make sure I am in a quiet space, free from background noise. Be sure to speak clearly and not too fast. Don’t over explain, just explain naturally. Follow your plan and use your slides to guide your explanations. When you’re done, check the time to make sure you didn’t go over 7 minutes.
Summer is the perfect time to play around with videos. Create a few and see how you feel about them. It just takes a little practice to get the hang of it and then you won’t worry about it again.
Click here to see some of my videos on TPT!
Check out my other blog posts on Flipped Classrooms by visiting mathlabclassroom.com
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