Illustration by Edpuzzle Staff
3rd grade teacher Nicole Spinozza shares her process for creating elementary school friendly videos. Read on to learn how you can create the same fantastic lesson using Edpuzzle!
In a perfect world, I would be in my classroom with an interactive clock teaching my 3rd grade students how to tell time. However, us teachers have to be flexible right? With switching to remote learning, I’ve had to adjust and figure out a way to teach my students.
Edpuzzle has been a wonderful resource! In my most recent lesson, I wanted to teach my students how to tell and write the time in different ways. This included telling time quarter past, quarter to, and half past the hour.
Originally, I had the perfect little chalkboard clocks in my classroom that I had planned to use for this lesson but I had to make some adjustments and work with what I had! Edpuzzle can be used for any subject area but I have found it to be most useful for my math lessons.
Recreating the classroom experience
Switching to remote learning is difficult for everyone, especially younger students. They are trying to overcome the challenges of sitting at a computer screen all day faced with technology issues. And although there are many quality videos for elementary school students out there, sometimes they miss having that face-to-face experience.
I wanted my students to experience my lessons as similarly as they would in a classroom environment! Edpuzzle allows me to create mini-lessons for my students, while still allowing them some form of ownership and participation.
Being that my students are at home, I aim to keep my videos short and sweet to hold their attention. My goal was to be able to enter my students’ homes for no more than 10 minutes of the day in order to best engage them with my lesson.
Making the video
To plan for my video lesson, I thought about the learning goals and standards I wanted to address. I wanted my students to learn that there are many different ways we can tell and write the time. To record the mini-lesson, I used Screencastify. This Google extension allows you to share your computer screen while creating a voice over. I was able to teach my students just as I would if I was standing in front of my SmartBoard.
I found a wonderful interactive clock that allows you to move the hands around. This was especially important for me to create my lesson and provide my students with various examples of telling time. As I moved the hands of the clock in the video, I explained the vocabulary terms (quarter past, quarter to, half past) to my students.
Another great feature that you can use when creating a video with Screencastify is the pencil tool. With this, I was able to write on my screen and add notes for my students. This helped when I wanted to show my students how to write the time in different ways!
Once I recorded my video and uploaded it to Edpuzzle, I was able to decide where I wanted to add in questions for the students to answer. Throughout my recording, I would ask questions such as “Can you tell me the time shown on the clock?” or “Would this time be written as quarter past or quarter to?”
In Edpuzzle, I added in a multiple-choice question after I verbally asked a question in the video. Students then have as much time as they need to determine their answer. Once they answer, I like that Edpuzzle reveals the answer and gives them immediate feedback. If they got the answer right, great! If they didn’t, I was able to show them right then and there (in the video) how I got the correct answer.
Sharing the video
My video was assigned as a lesson in our Google Classroom. I knew I had to be flexible and understand that all of my students might not be able to join a live lesson at the same time, as ideal as that would be! By assigning my lesson on Google Classroom, students were able to log on at any point during the day to view the video and independently answer questions. This is helpful because it allows me to record my lessons in advance.
When the students finished, they had an exit ticket assignment to complete back in Google Classroom. This was a Google Slide assignment that reviewed the concepts I had just taught. The students were given about 10 questions to complete. They had an image of a clock for each question and they had to write the time two ways.
Seeing the results
With both the Edpuzzle assignment and the Google Slides assignment, I was able to see my student’s strengths and weaknesses. I could easily give them feedback and determine who would need additional support before moving forward with my next lesson.
My students love when I assign them Edpuzzle videos. I always receive multiple comments saying “This was fun!” or “I liked doing this!” I think it gives them some sense of normalcy to hear my voice. I also believe it benefits them academically because I am able to actually teach and interact with them, rather than just having them read a slide or complete a worksheet.
These videos allow my students to work at their own pace and really think about the content. If they want to pause the video, they can! If they want to rewatch the video, they also can! Edpuzzle gives them the chance to work through my problems and questions.
I find that using Edpuzzle is similar to doing a turn and talk in the classroom. Usually, I would ask my students a question and have them talk to their partner about what they think the answer could be and why. Since this isn’t an option at the moment, Edpuzzle is the perfect substitute for helping my students monitor their thinking.
Providing students with visuals is always helpful. Telling time can be especially difficult without that visual aspect. The virtual clock was a life-saver for me! I suggest giving your students the chance to practice playing with the virtual clock before this activity. If they know how to move the hands on the clock, they will be able to practice this skill with ease and will certainly have fun with it!
I plan to continue using Edpuzzle with my class throughout the rest of this school year and beyond. I think that while Edpuzzle has been very useful for remote learning, I can see myself using it in the classroom as well. It would make for a great station activity!
I've found it’s best to upload your own videos and add specific questions that you want your students to think about, just as you would in your own classroom. Don’t have time to create your own video? That’s okay too! I’ve been able to find some wonderful videos, created by other teachers, to meet my students' needs.
If you are hesitant to try out Edpuzzle, trust your teaching skills! You know what kinds of lessons your students respond well to and what kinds of questions get them thinking!
Want more excellent teacher tips? Check out #remotelearningdiaries on Twitter for more great Edpuzzle lesson plans!