During the first few weeks of school, one of the most important things you will do will be to teach the rules and routines of your classroom. If you’re like me, you might value the importance of this task, but hate actually doing it. I find that by the time I teach, “how to use the bathroom pass” for the 15th time, I’m about ready to pull out my hair.
Well, last year, I finally found the solution: homemade “how to” videos. Gathering students to make “how to” videos during the first few weeks of school will help you accomplish three important goals related to classroom management.
1. Students will be accountable for their actions
By having students act in the videos, they become immediately more accountable for their future actions. A sneaky trick is to choose students that have a history of NOT following the rules. Doing so not only gives these students a chance to practice important skills one-on-one with you, but also makes them think about being good role models.
2. All classes will get the same information
By default, when you show the same video to all your classes, all students will get the same information. There’s no chance that you’ll forget an important detail because all the details are pre-recorded!
3. You will make a set of valuable resources to use throughout the year
Let’s face it, for most students, learning about something once just isn’t enough. When it’s apparent you need a reminder about one of your rules or routines, just pull out a video for a quick refresher. Easy.
I had a lot of success making a video I titled “Paintbrush Boot Camp” last year. I chose five of my fourth graders to demonstrate the proper way to use and wash paintbrushes. The students involved absolutely loved making the video and the rest of the school was in fits of giggles watching it. The best part though? My brushes were treated so much better throughout the year. The lesson really stuck! Below are some fun screen shots of the video, but if you’d like to watch it in full, click here.
So tell us, have you ever used videos to help students learn rules and routines?
What other ways do you make learning the rules engaging for students?
What obstacles do you see to making videos? We’d love to answer any questions below!