Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Screencasting ... be there without being there

As most of you know, last year my position went from full time to half time.  Personally this was perfect for me as it allowed me precious time with Ruby, but professionally it presented some challenges.  One of the biggest challenges I faced was creating a schedule that allowed me to offer service to all grade levels.  To do this I really needed to be in the building full days (or at least 3/4 days) which seemed impossible at first as I was responsible for teaching 5th graders, 6th grade CMP.  It seemed like I would have to work 5 afternoons a week and due to our building schedule that meant I would only service 4th and 5th graders.

I struggled with this idea all summer, it seemed like a terrible injustice that my K-3 students would not get any time with me.  They deserved and needed my time as much as my 4th and 5th graders and I felt like I'd be abandoning them.  I started to brainstorm and work with my principal, classroom teachers, the district math coordinator, the director of elementary education, really anyone who could help me find a creative answer to the question "How can a 3 day-a-week teacher lead a 5-day-a-week math class?"

In the end, I came up with an idea by modifying the process of having a "Flipped" classroom.  I would work with my students for 90 minutes on my 3 work days (CMP3 suggests 55 min 5 days a week or 3 90 minute sessions) and they would work independently using SCREENCATS I made to guide their learning. My schedule now looks like this:

Last year, this process was successful and over the summer I began to think about all the other ways I could use screencasting to support my kids when I couldn't physically be with them.  I could make a screencast that guides a student as they explore a passion project, or read a novel or non-fiction book that far exceeds the ability of their classmates, I could use screencasting to set up an interactive "center" for kids who need a challenge, I could make a screencast instead of writing sub plans ... really the possibilities are staggering!

So in the spirit of "Show don't Tell," here's a link to a screencast I made to help explain how I make this model work for my students and I. Screencasting in the Classroom

I'd love to hear your ideas about screencasting ... how can we use this to benefit kids?

1 comment:

  1. Beautiful work Julia! Inspirational! I love the idea of the days that you are not there - the MUST DO and then the Student Assistant work. What kind of feedback have you gotten from teachers so far? I imagine that any kind of assistance with WorkPlaces is very much appreciated!
    Your screencast on how to make a screencast was extremely well done!
    Thank you! I will now reflect on how this could benefit my students, parents, and I at Peabody! Thank you!