Clone Yourself

Today Contributor: Elise Baughman
My name is Elise Baughman and I teach Physics and Forensic Science at McCallum High School. When I’m not teaching, I like to be outside with my dogs, do renovation projects with my husband, and work in my garden.

One thing every teacher I know has said is, “I wish there were more of me.” We often find ourselves wearing multiple hats in trying to support our students’ learning. As we take on more roles we can lose time checking in with students to make sure they are progressing towards the objectives. 

To help regain lost time, I have started “cloning” myself. I dabbled with recording some videos in the past (in part from being inspired by the Blended Learning Blueprint for Elementary Teachers) and was really pleased with the results each time. I’ve already recorded several videos this year and here are the top 5 reasons that I will continue to record as much as I can:

1. Differentiation – Whenever I lecture to the whole class I find that there are sometimes students who miss information because they need more time and other students who become tempted by off task behavior while they wait for everyone to finish. Recordings allow students to work at the pace that is best for them. Students can pause, rewind, and rewatch as much as they need. 

2. Students Transition Independently-  As students move from one activity to the next, it can be a challenge, especially in larger classes, to make this happen smoothly because students may not finish an activity at the same time. By recording notes and instructions students can more easily shift from one activity to another without needing me to direct them. For example, as students completed a lab activity, I wanted them to transition to taking some notes so I recorded the lecture and students could easily move from the lab to notes without any down time.

3. Better Access – It’s not unusual for students to have to miss a day of class for college visits, extra curricular activities, or simply from getting sick. By recording more of what we do in class, students don’t feel like they have missed as much, they aren’t relying on other students to fill them in, and they can catch up more easily. 

4. Choice – As I offer more personalized learning in my classes, I have to make sure that I am offering learning options that will meet my students’ needs. Video instruction gives me another choice to offer my students.

5. Don’t Repeat (as much) – This wasn’t at the forefront of why I started “cloning” myself but its been a huge benefit. One of the first labs I did this year involved using microscopes and many students needed a refresher on how to use them so I made a video that I assigned as part of the pre lab. Last year, I had to repeat myself over and over on how to adjust the microscope, but this year, because students each had their own personal demonstration before they began, the questions were fewer and I could focus more on teaching content. 

There is more up front work in creating video resources, but the results are well worth it and I am so excited about having a library of videos ready to use next year.

There are countless resources that can you can find and use. The resources I use are:

  • Screencastify for screencasts. You can record 50 free videos (up to 10 mins each) per month.
  • My cellphone!

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