Sunday, July 13, 2014

First Videos Have Been Recorded!

While school and my flipped classroom experience don't actually begin for a few more weeks, I want to get in something of a blogging groove and tell about my experiences as I prepare to flip my Pre-AP Algebra 1 classes.

There has been preparation before I actually recorded this week, and I hope to go back and share some of the foundation of my decision to flip my class, but since this week's big development was the recording of five videos, that's what I would like to blog about.

The first few lessons of our year are review for Algebra 1 students, so I feel good beginning the year of flipped lessons with material students are already familiar with.

The first lesson I recorded is about evaluating expressions and exponents.  The second lesson involves order of operations.  I felt VERY awkward during these two videos, and when I watched/listen to them I felt I sounded depressed.  But I decided to leave them as is and work on sounding more excited in the next videos.

A note about how I'm making videos:  I've had a SMART Board for several years.  For my 8th Graders, I make notes as SMART files.  I exported these notes as PDF files and uploaded them to Explain Everything on my school iPad (we are a 1:1 iPad school).  I recorded myself filling in and talking through the notes.

I'm new to Explain Everything and not sure if there's a way to use the iPad's camera to record my face (I've read from flipped teachers who like their faces are seen and those whose don't), but I think I'm just as happy to only record my voice.  Hearing myself is weird enough; I'm not sure I want to see myself, too.  I'll see what feedback I get from the students.

The next two videos - writing expressions and equations - felt and sounded a little more natural.

The last video I made - our first problem-solving lesson of the year - was the longest (15 minutes).  This is the longest I would ever want any video to be.  I made a units mistake at the end of the last slide that I didn't catch until I was watching the video through.  I could have re-recorded the slide, but it was a pretty involved problem, and I was afraid I would leave something out if I tried to go through the problem again.  So I've decided to leave the video alone, tell the kids there is a units mistake in the video, and see who can find it.  I'm sure there will be lots of mistakes over time, and the kids will love pointing them out to me!

This week I plan to record videos for our "Introduction to Functions" unit.  I'm a little more nervous about these videos, since the material will be new for my students, but I'm excited to have a good start on videos for the beginning of the year.

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