A few years ago, a colleague introduced me to The Teaching Channel after I voiced the need for a video about persistence in math class to use with a group of upper elementary teachers, a group frustrated with their students’ lack of skills in persistent problem solving. I was amazed to discover this remarkable resource! Since that time, I’ve often used videos from this site while planning training to provide educators with a visual for a training objective. In coaching sessions, I’ve used this site as a resource to help teachers find excellent videos to use to inform their practice and hone their teaching craft.
Let me tell you what I like best about this resource: these videos show teachers and students sharing their learning in authentic situations. There are over 1100 videos with an excellent filtering system so you can easily look for videos by subject, grade and topic. During training and coaching, I’ve found the list of standards at the top of the video to be invaluable as teachers unpack standards, write learning targets, and decide how to assess those standards. Many times, while discussing standards, some teachers have a difficult time articulating what they want students to “Know and Be Able to Do” and ask to see what it looks like in the classroom. As we dive deeper into these discussions, being able to pull up a short video so teachers can visualize student engagement around a cluster of standards, brings the conversation back to a focus on student learning.
Let me give you an example. As I was working with 3rd grade elementary teachers to create math lessons that were Common Core aligned, we started talking about how we could bring authenticity in to the math classroom. Our topic was fractions, so I pulled up The Teaching Channel and filtered the videos by “Math”, “Grade 3” and “Common Core”. A 6 minute video popped up, “Understanding Fractions through Real-World Tasks”, showing a classroom application of Math standards 3.NF.A.1 and 3.NF.A.2a, as well as Math Practice 4 (Model with Mathematics). We used the “Questions to Consider” to shape our conversation around the video and jotted down what we noticed as well as questions raised by watching the video. The discussion was much richer because of this video. Even more exciting was the fact that these teachers noticed there were more videos in the series and I heard, “Tonight I’m going to watch some more of this teacher’s videos!” and “Let’s each pick a video to watch and talk about them at our next team meeting.” At that point, I shared a feature that I wanted them to use as they watched more videos. In the section to the right of the video is a feature titled “My Notes”. You can use this after signing in to the site to stop the video and type in comments. The teachers were excited that they could share their thinking as they watched different videos.