Monday, October 19, 2009

Reteaching behavior through video clips

Today for the first time, we tried re-teaching and supporting positive behavior through showing students video clips and having them process what they watch.  This is a technique we got from the High School PBS summit in Lansing; local giant Kalamazoo Central High School presented the idea.

We'll have a more formalized look at perceptions later.  Both the students and the teachers will have a poll to express their ideas about it.  But my initial perceptions are these: our initial attempts earn three stars out of five.  There were the logistical difficulties, of course--any time you do anything for the first time, particularly things that involve moving students from room to room or getting 20 copies of a DVD out to teachers, some things are going to go wrong.  Despite the logistical difficulties, the strategy of using high-interest video clips as instructional tools is sound. 

The post-video conversation was mixed.  Some classes really got into it, especially at the high school level.  The middle school students started getting some good reflection, but they were too often derailed by other students goofing around.  I don't think that, universally, we achieved the level of student buy-in and ownership we wanted.  In my class, a lot of my students looked like they felt they were being lectured at.  That was the opposite of the point.  Hopefully, I'll get better at asking questions in a way that inspires the students to talk, and I'll sit down and shut up.  (Maybe I'll just sit down and shut up anyway; let the kids stew in silence for a little while.)

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