10 great ways to get the most out of our new Learning Video Clips
1. Replace a few worksheets
Every Learning Video Clip contains questions to enable learning based around the small step of mathematics in that specific block. These questions can be used however you see fit. The most obvious (to me at least) at first glance is to pause at each question and have children do the work. For this to work best, you might want to use the varied fluency section of our teaching powerpoint for that step first. Teach the skills, let children practice these, then get them to put those skills to the test by working out the more problem-solving styled questions in our learning video clips.
2. Use them as an intro and hit the pause!
Now, I know I literally just said to teach something and then use the clips, but this really depends on how you want to use them and what works best for you and your class. It’s all about choice, and it might be that you’d prefer to introduce a step with a video clip. There’s nothing stopping you doing this. You could try playing a little of the clip, then hitting pause when the pause button shows.
Take that time to explain to the children how they could answer that particular question, the skills they’d need to use or what the various steps they’d need to undertake might be. Or, ask the children what they think they might need to do and…
3. Generate discussions
Take the example screenshot I just gave above. There’s not one definitive right answer to that question. It’s a great way to start a class discussion. Children could talk in pairs or in groups and learn from each other, then contribute their ideas to develop their speaking and listening skills. Deeper learning can sometimes be achieved best when children learn collectively, from one another and by exploring what they already know or by learning to question things for themselves. This also opens up the idea of there being more than one right answer as well as the fact that sometimes, it’s easier to support one another or to share ideas.
4. Group work
Following on from that thought on sharing ideas, for open questions such as the one above, children could create work together to answer this with multiple ideas. For more closed questions, group work can still be useful. Would they all solve the question in the same way? Who has the most efficient method? How can they tell? How could they check their work? These are things that could be discussed by children working in groups (especially mixed ability groupings – I’m no fan of ability groups personally, but that’s a separate blog post I suspect).
5. Spiral learning
Spiral Learning is a teaching method based on the idea that children learn more about a subject each time it is reviewed or revisited. Each time a child encounters a specific skill or area of learning, they expand their knowledge or improve their skill level. If you already use teaching powerpoints, varied fluency, reasoning and problem solving or a whole series of other things, then that’s great! Now, how about using something that’s a few minutes long, but can revisit a specific skill so that children are revisiting, revising and expanding their knowledge of that skill throughout the year. That’s what mastery is: mastering each skill! Learning Video Clips are perfect as a quick way of revisiting an earlier skill. There’s nothing stopping you using a place value clip from block 1 right in the middle of teaching block 3. Check how well children have retained those skills and refresh them as you teach throughout the year.
6. Create the creators of tomorrow!
There’s no secret in the fact that the children you teach today are going to be miles ahead of us with technology in the future. Showing children everything in workbooks, textbooks or on worksheets can already feel dated. I can’t remember the last time I had to hand write anything that wasn’t marking. When I was at school, nobody would have imagined there’d be a sector you could work in where everything was done through a digital medium, but we’re already there. It makes sense to teach children some of the process of making digital content and media, and to allow them to explore this as it is the technology they already have at their fingertips. The children we teach today are being prepared to grow up and enter professions that might not even exist yet. The least we can do is show them some things that are digital, creative and interesting now. Every Learning Video Clip has gone through its own creation process. From storyboard, to illustration, digital animation and audio recording. Why not have children create their own storyboards of animations to design their own maths video clips? If you’re up to the challenge, get children to actually make their own animated videos or record their audio too.
7. Inspire writing
Ok…ok…so not everything can be as tech heavy as my last idea. Sometimes we still need children to do some good old-fashioned writing. Some of the best writing my classes have ever produced have been based on another subject altogether. I’ve had children writing stories based upon boats they’ve built in D&T that we’ve tested in science, or children writing incredible stories set in worlds they’ve painted in art. Much like this, every learning video clip we have online is useful for maths, but also tells a little story. You could use these as settings to get children to write descriptively, as jumping off points for story writing or as inspiration for your class to make their own animated stories. Every animation starts off as a storyboard to be brought to life. If children have made a storyboard like the ones I suggested earlier, can they then convert these into a written story? Would each storyboard square make a good paragraph?
8. Cross-curricular learning – history, geography, science
Have a look around at the different themes. Each block is going to have a themed story to follow. Some of these might not be perfect links, but some really will. Teaching about the Romans? What better than a maths lesson based around a visit to The Colosseum?
Teaching science? How about sorting by types of animals?
9. Speed things up!
Research by the Institute of Progressive Education and Learning has shown that ‘Well-designed animations may help students learn faster and easier.’ Take advantage of the fact that all our animations have been scripted and designed carefully with learning at their core and get them in your class now for a quick win!
10. Create deeper learning
Ok, I cheated a bit here. I had 9 great ideas and it just felt wrong to stop short of 10. Sorry! This one is still true though. Above everything else, this is the main reason you should use these clips. They are an extra element to add to your teaching. They add a new layer and another thing for children to explore. However you choose to use them, something new is always going to be good. Children can be hooked in by the animations (and research shows that familiar and bright characters can engage children in learning better and for longer), they will want to learn and have something new to try. That can only be a good thing.
Got any more great ways to use the videos? Suggest them in the comments and I might just edit my 10th point to one of yours!