In December I shared the numerous videocasts that I created for our sixth grade unit on The Hero's Journey. Those videocasts featured extreme close-ups of my hand modeling note taking on an intricate graphic organizer. The students added the information into their own organizer. This allowed them to spend more time in class in collaborative groups analyzing myths from various cultures for features of the Hero's Journey.
Over the past two days I have converted two old Power Point lectures into five minute videocasts with a Common Craft spin. I wanted to add a little more interest to the videos. As we know we are constantly fighting for our students attention. By adding some of the elements that Common Craft uses so well, I made videocasts that are more interesting and hold the attention of the students.
With the bought time my sixth graders (who are learning about Creative Problem Solving) worked in collaborative groups to build their thinking skills in fluency, flexibility, originality and elaboration.
My seventh grade students (who are using self-created abstract images to inspire poems) had the time to brainstorm and collaborate on their own poems as well as analyze and annotate three other poems for poetic elements.
The videos are not Oscar worthy but I am happy that instead of the students being trapped in their own isolation, taking notes from a screen in class, they were able to work together, practice new skills and produce new work rather than consume someone else's ideas.