Collaboration Corner

Encouraging growth through reflective practices (Apr. '16)

Increasing Student Engagement with YouTube

Spring has sprung: the flowers are blooming, the temperatures are warmer, the baseball/softball/soccer fields are full of kids...and our students' attention spans are rapidly deteriorating!

But there's still a LONG seven weeks of schools left, and lots of learning still yet to do; how can we keep our students focused?


Its the one byproduct of effective instruction that has major pay-offs: kids learn more efficiently, they remember more of what they learn, and they become passionate about learning in general.

While there are hundreds of strategies for increasing the amount of time students are engaged during instruction (including adding movement, collaboration, increasing the pacing, changing up teaching styles), the most popular strategy of late has been to use technology, including YouTube. Visual tools such as YouTube create a connection between the content and the viewer. When videos incorporate humor, they're even more effective. Students pay attention. They ask questions. They make comments. And this leads to a great class discussion, complete with student engagement.

In this month's newsletter, I'm highlighting a couple of different YouTube resources that hopefully will help make the spring craziness a little more bearable!

The Rigorous Spring Bunny

Use this Cadbury Bunny Tryouts commercial to practice making inferences about authors' message or viewpoint.

First, view the video without any questions. Then, replay the video and ask the questions below. It's important to let students discuss their answers with peers and see others' viewpoints.

Before Second Viewing Questions:

1. Why are commercials produced?

2. What does the title Cadbury Bunny Tryouts make you think of?

During Viewing Questions:

1. What do you notice?

2. How is the author appealing to the audience?

3. How do you feel while watching this video?

4. What does the creator of this video do to make you feel this way?

After Viewing Questions:

1. What is the main message of this commercial?

2. What does the author want the viewer to do as a result of seeing the commercial?

3. How does the author illustrate the message?

4. What connections can be made between other media and/or texts?

Teaching the thinking processes with videos or pictures before texts helps students practice the steps for thinking at the knowledge level without having to worry about decoding.

Coaching Cycle #4

The fourth coaching cycle of the year begins this week! If there is an area of student learning that you would like to collaborate on during this time frame, please let me know! Want to try a new strategy, procedure, or idea out to see if it would work for next year? Now would be a great time!

Alternatively, if there is something your entire grade level would like to work on/have more knowledge about/collaborate on/acquire different resources for, etc. please let me know as well! Planning for next year? I can support you in that, too!

Instructional Tip

Last month I wrote about Marzano's Six Steps for Vocabulary Instruction. One way that teachers have found to easily practice the first three steps is by using a vocabulary notebook. This can be made using either a composition notebook or xerox templates stapled together. Each notebook entry includes the word, the student definition, a graphic representation of the word, and possibly the word used in context. Although words alone will not help students master all standards, they certainly will give students a heads-up on comprehension. When students know what the word means, they have a greater chance of understanding the meaning of the they can be more critical readers. Vocabulary knowledge gives students access to the text and access is key. Period.

Tech Tip

YouTube is also great for independent study at home or extra review! Check out the following two sites for engaging math lessons!

Where's the Coach?

April 1 - 7: WRE

April 8 - 14 : MME

April 15 - 21: WRE

April 22 - 28: MME

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Need the Coach?

...simply shoot me an email or grab me in the hallway! :-) There is not an official "coaching calendar" to request a session. Just let me know a few good days and times, and I'll get something scheduled!

Don't forget I have added a calendar of my weekly scheduled appointments to the Google Classroom page, so you can see where I am at and what times I have available each week!

Also, if your grade-level team would ever like to meet with me during a technology or grade-level IIB time, let me know as well!

If you need resources or support for your EDG goals, please let me know!

Contact Me

Feel free to call or email anytime, even if I'm not in the building! :-)

ext. 1731 (MME)

ext. 1525 (WRE)