Reflection: Accountability Investigating Character in OMAM & Tagging Research Notecards - Section 3: Building Knowledge


Check out the following fictional (but SO typical) feedback during "research paper season" before I discovered the magical powers of video tutorials:

Students at the start of class:

  • "Ms. McCoy, I didn't know how to do the notecards, so I didn't do them.  You have to show us again."
  • "I know you showed us last time how to make notecards, and I know that I already made 20 of them myself, but I don't remember it any more after the weekend.  How do we make notecards?"

Parent emails at all hours:

  • "I'm trying to help my daughter with her notecards and citations, but in my Master's class we are doing APA and she says you're doing MLA.  I told her they were the same for all intents and purposes, so she'll be doing her paper in APA.  Thanks."
  • "I was up until 11pm with my son last night trying to work on these notecards, but he was unable to show me what he was supposed to do.  We're frustrated, and I cannot expect him to complete this assignment at this hour with early basketball practice.  He will be coming to talk to you at the start of the hour tomorrow so he can figure out what he was supposed to do."

I'm sure I'm not the only one who has gotten feedback like this after a research paper (or other assignments, for that matter!).  

Even with written directions, modeling, and everything else you can think of, sometimes students need multiple exposures to directions that we just DON'T have time to offer within the classroom.  Video tutorials have changed my life (especially when paired with our 1:1 technology), because it allows that repeated exposure that students need and the transparency that parents want so that they can help their children.  From a classroom management perspective, it's a miraculous thing as well, because I can instantly route all "Are you kidding, we JUST WENT OVER HOW TO DO THAT IN CLASS!" questions a specific video on my channel on YouTube.  Eliminating these questions gives me the time I need to help students with other, more complex needs.  

Another benefit to utilizing self-created (or even found!) video tutorials is that students see it's their job to take ownership of the task, use their resources, and extrapolate their own answers.  As we all know, students (and adults too, if we're being honest) will ask questions that they would know the answer to if they devoted just a few moments to thinking about it, and in my building, "What page are we on?" is a ridiculously common student-chorus.  Those kinds of behaviors drive me insane and slow down class, and I've found that tutorial videos can counteract that drag.  If we hold firm on directing them to resources to find their answers instead of needlessly repeating information, I've found they actually listen better in class because they don't want to waste their own time finding directions for something that was already explained.  I've also found that there really are no excuses for not getting material done outside of the classroom, because there is another virtual "me" out there doling out directions just like I would in the classroom, but the YouTube me is even better in the fact that it can be paused, repeated, fast-forwarded, and muted!  Parents, too, are grateful for the added support at home, and most of my class periods don't start with 187 excuses from students on why they "couldn't" finish something.  Ultimately, I probably look like a weirdo with all of my tutorials to new students...but at least I'm a weirdo with fewer headaches from repeating information!

  Encouraging Self-Sufficiency & Differentiation with Tutorials
  Accountability: Encouraging Self-Sufficiency & Differentiation with Tutorials
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Investigating Character in OMAM & Tagging Research Notecards

Unit 6: Multitasking with Modernism & Research Skills
Lesson 5 of 9

Objective: SWBAT use textual evidence to investigate loneliness and the Lennie/George relationship in Of Mice & Men and gather relevant information from multiple sources to begin supporting their argumentative research paper.

Big Idea: Check it out: A discussion-provoking quiz & a tutorial-supported kickoff to notecard creation with Evernote! You’ll never go back to paper…

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