So, how do I communicate with parents? Of course I utilize and love the basics - emails, phone calls, conferences, Infinite Campus, and weekly newsletters. I've also spiced it up this year with a class blog that focuses on what we are learning in the classroom, as well as, showing exemplary student work. I use a class Twitter page to share small moments or victories from the day, and Remind 101 to share after-school reminders with parents. Today, though, I want to share with you my newest venture...video mini-lessons!
Before this week, I had been uploading the video from my iPad directly into the class blog/email, but with today's Snow Day (#9, by the way), I opened my own YouTube channel. Over time, I'll go back and add my older videos, but for right now, my latest video - Point of View is up and running!
What do I like about these videos?
- If students get home and need a re-teach, they have immediate and easy access to me
- Parents always have the opportunity to learn with their child.
- Families know the 'language' we are using in the classroom.
- Eventually, these videos will become student-centered as students will take the responsibility for creating them! I am so excited as we transition to this step and students can show what they know!
How do I create these videos? Great question!
- Mapping - I make a list of the most important things for my students to know about the topic. If they went home to share about Point of View, what would I want them to share? I make a list of the learning targets, vocabulary words, and any anchor charts I want to share.
- Visuals - What do I want families to see? Honestly, NOT my face - ha. :) I take pictures of any anchor charts, printables, or student work I want to showcase. In the video above, you saw some mini-posters I created in A Beautiful Mess and a class anchor chart.
- Script - I make a brief outline of what I want included in my video. I actually do write the entire thing out, but you definitely could!
- iMovie - Then, I add in my visuals to iMovie, and record my voice.
- Upload to YouTube!
The first few definitely took longer (i.e. 90 minutes or so), but as I have done more, it takes me somewhere around 40ish minutes a video. Although a definite time commitment, for me it is worth it. Plus, I have received some awesome feedback from parents about the videos!
So, there you go! Do you use video mini-lessons in your classroom? What are your favorite ways to communicate with parents?