Sunday, February 3, 2013

Enjoy Skits for Math! Theatre Bringing Life to the Classroom!

Hello my blog trackers,
Here is option for using a skit to teach an Algebra lesson as promised. This one is about teaching math by using a video presentation.

Option 2: Video Presentation

This option can work for you or against you.  It really all depends on whether or not you can find the correct video online that demonstrates a similar algebraic problem that was explained in my last blog:

Solving for x: 3x + 10 - 5= 20

How do Teachers Do It?

Well, here are the steps.  They are not as extensive as the steps listed in my last blog because this one is mostly self-explanatory.

  1. You should prepare for the class by finding a video about a similar math lesson.
  2. Then, write the equation on the board and show your students how to solve it algebraically.
  3. Next, present the video to your class, hopefully it is somewhat humorous.  Have your class take notes about what was interesting about the video and if it helped them understand the material better, then how?
  4. Have the class share their answers to the questions and any comments after the video.
Sounds simple enough right.  

Why is the Video a Good Idea?

The video is a good idea because videos can serve as excellent supplemental teaching tools.  They can help reinforce the lesson you have just taught your class.  You should choose wisely, however because if the presentation is too dull, then good luck getting your students to pay attention to the content.

Evaluation According to 3 Criteria:

  • Accessibility of Resources
If you are using an online video, accessibility can be problematic.  The abundance of information available on the web can lead to difficulties such as it taking a long time for you to find what video is appropriate and useful to present to the class. Another problem is if you cannot find an appropriate video, though probably unlikely.  Also, human error and technical difficulty can prevent you from using the video.

For instance, if you forget anything at home, such as your computer or speakers, if necessary.  Also, if neither of those are working at the time or the internet is down, then your lesson is ruined.

So...always have a back-up plan.

  • Student Involvement
Other than the notes, questions, and discussion after the video there is very slim student involvement.  Also, if students are watching beware because sometimes when videos or movies are shown in class, as my Education 160/167 professor, Dr. Cain, states “It makes a statement to students that they do not have to work”.  

Also, the teacher is not able to perceive the class or rather make them pay attention as much if they are not the ones directly presenting the material.  Often teachers feel like they can catch up on other work while a video is playing, but you should watch them and don't choose a video that is too long.  It may only contain a little bit of actual context and serve no other value to students who will lose interest if it is too long anyways.

  • Student Learning Style Accommodations
If the teacher plays a video presentation of the skit then, once again, only the visual/spatial, logical/mathematical, verbal/linguistic, and somewhat the interpersonal learners are able to process the lesson properly because the video is the only medium used to present the lesson.

Overall: I give it ** stars out of five.  There is minimal student interaction, thus minimal motivation, it doesn't suit a variety of learning styles, and the accessibility of the resources poses a serious problem.  If it is possible, it is a nice idea, but not the best or even the second to the best way to present a skit.  At least when teachers are doing all the presenting the skit is live and might be more interesting than a video.

Like I said it all depends on the video.

Look out for the best recommendation for how to use a skit to teach an Algebra lesson next.
Thank you for reading,
~Aliana Theater Lover
Future Teacher

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