A Closer Look at Student Videos

I recently introduced the video problems that my students and I have been working on this year.  Here, I would like to explain the students videos a little more.

While I have found a highly effective use for my videos in the classroom, I have realized that student video have just as equal and important place.  In a previous post, I mentioned how the Standards for Mathematical Practice.  These practice standards need to be an essential part of any math classroom.  A great way to accomplish that is by having students create their own problems, in the this case video story problems.

Here is the “Video Problem Think-Through” form that I use in my classroom:

Video Problem Think Through-click here to view the PDF

 Any student creating a video problem is required to complete this paper.  The content standards can be seen in what is required by the students.  For example, take a look at the question “Is the information you are providing accurate?”  I put this on form so that students would “Attend to Precision”  (Practice Standards Six).  Obviously, students are forced to attend to precision, due to the fact the question appears on the page.  However, in creating their own problem, which is a high-level thought process, attending to precision can be difficult.

For example, I had two students want to create a video problem that involved by a sandwich and cookie from the lunch room.  A great, authentic video problem that involved adding and subtracting decimals (one of our content standards).  The boys brought the video back and we took a look.  In the video they told the audience that the sandwich costs $4.50 and the cookie $ .50.  From my observations, there was no way the small sandwich that was barely 6″ and had hardly any meat cost $4.50 (it didn’t).  This lead to a discussion on what reasonable prices would be.  Now, the precision within the mathematics was correct; they correctly added 4.50 plus .50.  However the precision within the applied mathematics to the real world was off.  As teachers we can not undervalue how valuable this is.

In a student created video, any combination of the practice standards can be see.  Here, just for reference, is the list of the eight standards:

Then, take a look at this video, especially paying attention to the end conversation:

In this video, I can actively see the boys attending to standards 1, 2, 3, and 6 (arguments could be made that they are using others as well).

I hope this illustrates just how effective these videos can be.  Not only is student engagement heightened, the Common Core Practice Standards are really coming to life.  This is a great opportunity for students use the practice standards while applying the content standards.

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