Time seems to be a big thing that almost all teachers wish they had more of. The thing is though is that there are things that we can do to make it so we have more time with our students in class. When I flipped my classroom it wasn’t so I could spend less time with my students, it was so I could spend more time individually or in small groups with my students. The discussions and interactions were key but there typically wasn’t enough time because of all of the other stuff we were doing.
Many teachers like to use a video clip or segment to start a discussion or to even go to a greater depth. There are a ton of great videos already available to use on YouTube (it is not just funny cat videos like some people think). There are a ton of videos that fit perfectly into the discussions and activities that many teachers want to carry out in their classroom. Why not use that clip and have your students watch it before they come to class, so that you can spend more time with the discussions and interactions.
Now I know that many people would start to argue and ask the following questions;
- How will I know if they watch it?
- What if I want them to already be ready to answer some questions or answer questions while they watch it?
- How can I get evidence that they watched it and understood it?
The answer to these questions is a simple Google Form. You can embed the YouTube clip into the Google Form and have questions after the video to guide the discussion for the next day or to assess if they actually watched it. Setting it up so that it automatically collects their usernames means you have a record of who watched it and their answers will help you prepare for class.
This can play the role of a formative assessment that informs your lesson planning for the next day, since you will already know what they think and what they understand. The next day of instruction could actually be tailored to the needs of the actual students and not just what you think they will need. Try it once and you will see how effective it can be and how you can get more time to work with your students or even more time for them to do the homework or practice activities in class when you are there to help them instead of at home where you are not. Plus, having the video in a Google Form means that there are a lot fewer distractions while they watch it as opposed to on the website.
Watch the video to see how to get started.