One of the most challenging aspects of teaching math is assessing each student’s level of understanding. It feels like it changes minute by minute- and there’s no neon ticker scrolling over their heads! I was shocked when I realized that the video math lessons I was already making, might actually help with assessment.
My biggest fear, when teaching new concepts, is that someone will have a misunderstanding and take it with them into independent practice. And practice doing something the wrong way over and over and over again… Becoming experts in the wrong way.
I have used many tools to avoid this: self-checking assessment tools like a Google Form and web apps like goformative that give me instant feedback. I have had great success with both of those. Even with those tools though, one skill I still struggled to teach was reflection and self-assessment. I needed to help some of my students really recognize their own confusion. In recent months, we have made great strides in this area thanks to my Guide Me Math videos.
Using Video Math Lessons
With my Guide Me Math video lessons, I have created an additional layer of support between our Launch Lesson and Guided Practice and Independent Practice.
Now, when it’s time for Independent Practice, students grapple with one problem- just one. And then, in a Google Doc, students click on the problem to watch my video solution. Initially, my goal was for students to check their answer before moving on… so they could catch their misunderstanding. In time though, I realized students are reaping so many more benefits! These are actually video math lessons.
First, shy students have the privacy of watching and rewatching that solution as many times as they’d like without raising their hand or confessing their confusion to me or their peers. Next, students are picking up excellent recording habits. I encourage students to revise their work as they watch. I’m amazed at how much clearer students have been recording their thinking since beginning these videos. They aren’t scrambling to copy from the board, listen and think all at once. They have the luxury of the pause button!
Also, I often show problems worked out two different ways in my videos. Many more students are truly giving multiple solution strategies a shot now. In the past, I’ve recorded both on anchor charts and accepted that most of the class will choose the way I like best… and that was definitely because I was doing it more often on the board! Now, they rewatch the parts they want and skip over the others. And lastly, students are picking up and using much richer math vocabulary. They hear me explain the concepts using key vocabulary terms multiple times. They can’t help but truly get to know the vocabulary more deeply. And with this math language, they are able to FINALLY explain their initial misunderstanding was. We are finally speaking the same language!