Thursday, July 26, 2012

Boring Lessons? ReVamp with Videos!

I wanted to spice up my lesson on fact and opinion, but I wanted to make sure I was in the upper echelon of Bloom's Taxonomy. At this point in their schooliverse, my students are well versed in writing F and O on a worksheet. Not because of me, because you know how I feel about worksheets. I wanted to step it up! What to do? What to do?

 Wellllll, now that we have access to Youtube, I decided to take advantage of it! I was already a big fan of using videos in the classroom before our Youtube access was granted. Prior to Youtube, I used, and still do, WatchKnowLearn, which is a great way to watch educational videos, especially if you can't access Youtube. There is also Discovery Education/United Streaming and Youtube Education.

 I decided to locate commercials on Youtube, and show them to my students. They watched the videos, and distinguished fact from opinion. This led to conversations about truth in advertising. And of course, I couldn't stop there. My students are working in cooperative groups, creating original commercials. I gave them a Fact/Opinion organizer so that they could list facts and opinions about their product, and incorporate it into their commercial, which will be recorded. I'm sure watching the videos on Youtube,(commercials), will help them create excellent original commercials.

 And this all started with a video.... 

My class made me play this particular video But, it served it's purpose, everyone knew everything there was to know about a polygon by the end of the unit. Whenever I come across an interesting video, I post it on our class blog and/or Edmodo. We are studying Mount Everest, and the videos we have watched... Well,let's just say, only reading about it, couldn't begin to compare. Videos inspire, teach, entertain, there are a myriad of uses for them in the classroom! 

WARNING! WARNING! Never, ever, ever, show a video without watching it first!!!!! 

 Funny story, well, now it's funny, it wasn't funny when it happened.

 I set up my Mount Everest video that I have posted on Teachertube. I turned on the Smartboard because, well, I was on Teachertube. It was my video, so I knew it was safe. I started the video, and what comes blaring out of our speaker? "Rachel Ray is going to talk about sex!" What the...? 

It was a commercial for the Rachael Ray show! My kids crack up as I frantically turned off the speaker and flicked the remote simultaneously. The remote wouldn't work for some reason, so I placed my body in front of the Smartboard to block the screen, while continuing to frantically hit the off button.!!! I talked to my kids after I turned off the projector, they thought it was quite funny. Thankfully, I did not get any irate phone calls from parents. Lesson learned, do not turn on the projector until the actual video begins! Pass it on.:)

Videos are not a replacement for a lesson, but they can certainly be used as a tool to enhance one!


  1. We can now upload Youtube videos into a Vusafe account at our school so I will be using lots of videos to "hook" them into lessons. And maybe sometimes just to get a laugh. Well, not like the laughs you got. :) Don't you hate that??? :)


  2. Such an amazing way to hook kids in to what they're going to learn about. We have to "keep it real" for kids. The less we talk the more they learn.

  3. I love, love, love using videos as part of my lessons! And that polygon video is a favorite every single year :) Don't feel bad about your Rachel Ray fiasco...that sort of thing has happened to me, too.


  4. @Shannon Yes! It was very embarrassing!:)
    @Sara I agree! Every year, I relinquish more and more of my "power" to my students!
    @Farrah Thanks for making me feel better.:)